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Home > Wednesday Wisdoms: Newsletter > This is how you score A* Evaluation marks 🎯

Welcome to the 37th edition of Wednesday Wisdoms by EdGenie!

Every Wednesday I send out actionable tips, tricks and real-world application insights from my 13-year experience coaching students to achieve As and A* in their Economics and Business A Levels.

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Mastering the art of evaluation is crucial. 🎯


In your journey towards achieving A-Level greatness, mastering the art of evaluation is crucial. 🎯

It’s not enough to just understand and explain; you must be able to critically appraise and evidence your arguments to truly excel. 📊

Let's talk about AO4 – the heart of high-level evaluation: 🧠

Generic evaluation statements, like “Education has a time lag,” simply won’t cut it. ⏳ Yes, it’s true, but it’s also true for countless other students writing the same thing.

Stand out from the crowd by being specific and providing evidence. 🌟

Consider this:

If you're discussing increasing productivity, don't just mention education has a time lag. Dive deeper. 🏊‍♂️

How does the UK’s current education policy align with the emerging AI-driven industry? 🤖

Is the curriculum adapting fast enough to equip students with the skills required for future jobs? 🎓

Your evaluation needs to do two things:

Be Specific: Relate directly to the point you just made. If you’re discussing education and productivity, focus on how current educational reforms may or may not support productivity gains in the specific context of technological advancements. 📝

Be Evidenced: Back up your evaluation with solid evidence. Use recent studies, expert opinions, or statistical data to support your points. For instance, citing the UK’s investment in AI research and development can bolster your argument about the effectiveness of education in enhancing productivity. 🔍
Let's look at a generic vs. evidenced evaluation:

Generic: “Education has a time lag, so it might not increase productivity immediately.” 🚫

Evidenced: "While education is known to have a time lag, its effectiveness in boosting productivity heavily relies on the adaptability of UK government policies. Despite a notable £1 billion investment into AI as outlined in the government's Industrial Strategy, there is a persistent concern about the education system's sluggish pace in aligning with rapid technological advancements. This misalignment risks prolonging the time lag further, potentially stalling the increase in productivity despite expansionary fiscal supply side policy."

The more precise and backed-up your evaluation, the higher your climb on the ladder of A-Level Economics success. 📈

Don’t just aim to complete your evaluation; aim to impress with it!


​UK unemployment rate leaps to 4.2% amid fears of job cuts


📈 UK Unemployment Rate Rises to 4.2%: The unemployment rate increased from 3.9% to 4.2% in February, exceeding predictions and sparking concerns about job cuts due to high interest rates.

💷 Strong Pay Growth Amid Economic Concerns: Despite rising unemployment, pay growth excluding bonuses was stronger than expected at 6%, challenging the Bank of England's decision-making regarding interest rate cuts.

🏦 Potential Interest Rate Cut This Summer: Insights from the latest data suggest the Bank of England might reduce interest rates in the summer, influenced by slight easing in regular pay growth and a less tight labour market.

💰 Significant Pay Raises in Certain Sectors: Workers in the hospitality sector received an average pay raise of 8.4%, while City workers saw an 8.1% increase, pushing real wages up significantly when considering inflation rates.

⚖️ National Minimum Wage Boosts Low-Paid Sectors: The national minimum wage increased by 9.8% to £11.44 per hour in April, likely to keep wage growth high and impact inflation expectations.

📉 Economic Inactivity Concerns: The proportion of people not working and not seeking work also rose, mainly due to ill health, adding to the economic challenges as it diminishes the workforce and inflates wages and costs.

🛑 Rising Long-term Sickness Among Workers: The number of people economically inactive due to long-term sickness reached a record high of 2.82 million, highlighting a significant shift in the workforce since the pandemic.

A Level Economics Questions:

Q: Discuss the potential impact of a high unemployment rate on the aggregate demand within an economy.
A:A high unemployment rate typically reduces aggregate demand within an economy because unemployed individuals have lower disposable income, leading to decreased consumption. The recent increase in the UK’s unemployment rate to 4.2% suggests a potential reduction in consumer spending, which can dampen economic growth. Moreover, higher unemployment may reduce consumer confidence, further impacting aggregate demand negatively.

Q: Examine the reasons why the Bank of England might consider cutting interest rates in response to the current economic indicators.
A: The Bank of England may consider cutting interest rates to stimulate economic growth by making borrowing cheaper, thus encouraging investment and spending. Given the cooling effects of previous higher interest rates leading to increased unemployment and a less tight labour market, a rate cut could potentially reverse these trends, supporting job creation and economic stability.

Q:Evaluate the effectiveness of wage increases in combating real wage stagnation during inflationary periods, referencing the 8.4% pay raise in the hospitality sector.
A: Wage increases can be effective in combating real wage stagnation during inflationary periods by maintaining or enhancing workers' purchasing power. The 8.4% pay raise in the hospitality sector likely helped workers cope better with inflation, enhancing their real income and standard of living. However, such wage increases can also contribute to wage-price spirals, where higher wages lead to higher production costs and subsequent price increases, potentially exacerbating inflation.

Q: Assess how changes in the national minimum wage can influence inflation and employment.
A: Increases in the national minimum wage can lead to higher consumer spending as low-paid workers gain more disposable income, which can boost economic activity. However, such increases can also lead to higher production costs for businesses that employ a large number of minimum-wage workers. These businesses might pass on these costs to consumers in the form of higher prices, contributing to inflation. On the employment side, while a higher minimum wage can improve living standards, it might also lead to reduced employment opportunities if businesses cut back on hiring to manage increased wage bills.

Possible A Level Economics 25 Marker Question

Assess the implications of rising unemployment on UK economy.(25 marks)​

Infographic of the Week

France and Canada Dominate Global Carbon Tax Revenue in 2022

In 2022, France and Canada emerged as leaders in generating carbon tax revenue, collectively accounting for over half of the global total of approximately $30 billion. This financial outcome underscores the effectiveness of their extensive carbon pricing frameworks that span multiple sectors, such as transportation and industry. The top 15 countries in carbon tax revenue, according to the World Bank’s State and Trends of Carbon Pricing Report from April 2023, also include Sweden, Norway, and Japan among others. Despite the significant revenue generated, there is a consensus that carbon pricing alone may not suffice to meet the ambitious targets of the Paris Climate Agreement. This highlights the need for additional policy measures and technological innovations to complement the carbon taxes and drive more substantial reductions in CO2 emissions.

Chart of the Week

Global Economic Growth Forecasts: A Tale of Two Extremes

The International Monetary Fund's latest World Economic Outlook, released every January, predicts a global economic growth rate of 2.6% for 2024 and 2025 based on market exchange rates, and 3.1% when adjusted for purchasing power parity (PPP). The report highlights a disparity between emerging markets and developed economies, with the former generally outpacing the latter. Notably, India leads the growth among emerging markets, while advanced economies like the EU show modest improvement. The US and China, although still significant contributors to the global economy, are expected to see a slowdown compared to 2023. On the other hand, countries like Argentina face economic contraction in 2024 but are anticipated to recover strongly in 2025. The report underlines varied growth trajectories, indicating a complex global economic landscape recovering from the pandemic.

Macroeconomic Data

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I'm Emre, and I've got a big goal - to make A* education accessible to all A-level students.
And it Starts With You!

Emre Aksahin
Chief Learning Officer at Edgenie