Articles on Microeconomics

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microeconomics article analysis essay

Microeconomics explains why people can never have enough of what they want and how that influences policies

Amitrajeet A. Batabyal , Rochester Institute of Technology

microeconomics article analysis essay

Albanese promises a ‘productivity project’ in an economic vision statement harking back to Hawke and Keating

Michelle Grattan , University of Canberra

microeconomics article analysis essay

Debate: How financial initiatives that tackle global warming can make a real impact

Céline Louche , Audencia and Timo Busch , University of Hamburg

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Vital Signs: the power of not being too clear

Richard Holden , UNSW Sydney

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The internet has done a lot, but so far little for economic growth

Chris Doucouliagos , Deakin University and Tom Stanley , Deakin University

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‘ Weather-sensitive ’ products: adjusting price and promotions to increase sales

Xavier Rousset , Université Paris Cité ; Octavio Escobar , PSB Paris School of Business , and Régis Chenavaz , Kedge Business School

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Cabinet papers 1990-91 : lessons from the recession we didn’t have to have

Warwick Smith , The University of Melbourne

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Five ways to fix the UK’s productivity puzzle from the inside out

Chris Clegg , University of Leeds

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From Chinese milk to Indian chocolate, behind the world’s fast-expanding markets

Khaled Soufani , University of Cambridge ; Mark Esposito , Harvard University , and Terence Tse , ESCP Business School

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How data empowered the economic individual and gained a Nobel for Angus Deaton

Vincent O'Sullivan , Lancaster University

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When it comes to economic forecasting, it’s wise to admit to uncertainty

Graeme Wells , University of Tasmania

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How Microeconomics Affects Everyday Life: Renting an Apartment

Learn to make the best use of limited resources

microeconomics article analysis essay

Microeconomics  is the study of how individuals and businesses make choices regarding the best use of limited resources. Its principles can be usefully applied to decision-making in everyday life—for example, when you rent an apartment. Most people, after all, have a limited amount of time and money. They cannot buy or do everything they want, so they make calculated microeconomic decisions on how to use their limited resources to maximize personal satisfaction.

Similarly, a business also has limited time and money. Businesses also make decisions that result in the best outcome for the business, which may be to maximize profit. 

The field of microeconomics interests investors because individual consumer spending accounts for roughly 70% of the U.S. economy. Microeconomics and macroeconomics (the study of the larger aggregate economy) together make up the two main branches of economics.

Key Takeaways

  • Microeconomics uses a set of fundamental principles to make predictions about how individuals behave in certain situations involving economic or financial transactions.
  • These principles include the law of supply and demand, opportunity costs, and utility maximization.
  • Microeconomics also applies to businesses.

Some Principles of Microeconomics

Before using microeconomics to understand its use in renting an apartment, it helps to understand some fundamentals. Microeconomics uses certain basic principles to explain how individuals and businesses make decisions. These are:

  • Maximizing utility —Maximizing utility means that individuals make decisions to maximize their satisfaction.
  • Opportunity cost —When an individual makes a decision, they also calculate the cost of forgoing the next best alternative. If, for instance, you use your frequent flier miles to take a trip to the Bahamas, you will no longer be able to redeem the miles for cash. The missed cash is an opportunity cost .
  • Diminishing marginal utility — Diminishing marginal utility , another economic input, describes the general consumer experience that the more you consume of something, the lower the satisfaction you get from it. When you eat a burger, for example, you may feel very satisfied, but if you eat a second burger, you may feel less satisfaction than you experienced with the first burger.
  • Supply and demand —Two other important economic principles are supply and demand as they appear in the market. Market supply refers to the total amount of a certain good or service available on the market to consumers, while market demand refers to the total demand for that good or service. The interplay of supply and demand helps determine prices for a product or service, with higher demand and limited supply typically making for higher prices.

The amount of the U.S. economy accounted for by consumer spending

Applying Microeconomics to Renting an Apartment 

To help understand how microeconomics affects everyday life, let’s study the process of renting an apartment. In New York City there is a limited supply of housing and high demand. This explains why housing costs in New York are high, according to the principles of microeconomics just outlined.

Maximizing utility

To rent an apartment, first you must determine a budget. For this you will have to take into account your income and how much money you are looking to spend on housing, in such a way as to maximize your utility or satisfaction. If you allocate too much of your income to rent, you will limit the money you have left for other expenses. Thus, you will have to decide what amount of money is the maximum you are willing to part with for rent, what amenities you must have in your apartment, and which neighborhoods are acceptable to you. All of these decisions and calculations are about maximizing utility.

Opportunity cost

Based on all the above factors, you set a budget to get the most satisfaction for the least possible rent. You will not pay more than you have to in order to get what you want. Given that in this supply-constrained market there are others also interested in renting the more in-demand apartments, you might find that you will have to increase your budget. To do this you will have to cut down on spending in another area, such as entertainment, travel, or eating out. That is the opportunity cost of finding the right apartment.

Supply and demand

Similarly, a landlord will seek to rent an apartment at the highest price possible, as their motivation generally is to get the best return from renting out the apartment. In setting the rent, the landlord would have to take into account the demand for the apartment in that specific neighborhood. If there are enough potential renters interested in the apartment, the landlord would set a higher rent. If the rent is set too high, compared with what other landlords in the neighborhood are charging for comparable apartments, renters will not be interested. Thus the business owner, in this case the landlord, also makes decisions based on supply and demand.

And while the landlord would attract a larger pool of prospective renters by setting a rent that is lower than what other neighborhood landlords are charging for comparable apartments, they would be missing out on some rental income, which will not maximize their utility. Thus, both you and the landlord will make decisions to get the best outcome for yourselves given the constraints you face.

The Bottom Line

In a capitalist economy, both consumers and businesses make thousands of big and small decisions each year guided by microeconomic issues. Consumers seek to maximize their satisfaction when they go out and shop for anything from paper towels to apartments, houses, and cars. Businesses set prices and make other decisions based on microeconomics. The prices that consumers will pay depends on the supply of a specific good, such as an apartment, as well as how much others are willing to pay for it.

Bureau of Economic Analysis. “ National Income and Product Accounts Tables ," Download "Table 1.1.6. Real Gross Domestic Product, Chained Dollars." 

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microeconomics article analysis essay

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  • Introduction to microeconomics
  • Study resources
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This article provides a broad overview of microeconomics. It is intended to introduce key topics to those who have not studied microeconomics, and to offer a revision to those who have done so

What is microeconomics?

Microeconomics is the branch of economics that considers the behaviour of decision takers within the economy, such as individuals, households and firms. The word ‘firm’ is used generically to refer to all types of business. Microeconomics contrasts with the study of macroeconomics, which considers the economy as a whole.

Scarcity, choice and opportunity cost

The platform on which microeconomic thought is built lies at the very heart of economic thinking – namely, how decision takers choose between scarce resources that have alternative uses. Consumers demand goods and services and producers offer these for sale, but nobody can take everything they want from the economic system. Choices have to be made, and for every choice made something is forgone. An individual may choose to buy a car, but in doing so may have to give up a holiday which they might have used the money for, if they had not chosen to buy the car.  In this example, the holiday is the opportunity cost of the car. Just as individuals and households make opportunity cost decisions about what they consume, so too do firms take decisions about what to produce, and in doing so preclude themselves from producing alternative goods and services.

Producers also have to decide how much to produce and for whom. A simple answer to the first question might be: ‘As much as possible of course, using all the resources we can’. However, classical economists teach us that if we combine all of the factors of production – land, labour, capital and the entrepreneur – in different ways, we can get some surprising results. One of the most famous of these is confirmed by the law of diminishing returns. This law states that if we keep on adding variable factors of production (such as labour) to fixed factors (such as land), we will get proportionally less output from each additional unit of factor added until, eventually, overall output will start to decrease with each additional unit of factor added.

The price mechanism

Much of the study of microeconomics is devoted to analysis of how prices are determined in markets. A market is any system through which producers and consumers come together. In early subsistence economies, markets were usually physical locations where people would come together to trade. In more complex economic systems, markets do not depend on humans actually meeting one another, so many markets today arise when producers and consumers come together less directly, such as by post and on the internet.

Producers and consumers generate forces that we call supply and demand respectively, and it is their interaction within the market that creates the price mechanism. This mechanism was once famously described as the ‘invisible hand’ that guides the actions of producers and consumers.

Markets are essential to produce the goods and services required for everyday life. Even if an individual can produce all the food needed to survive, that person will still need clothes, shelter and other necessities. Therefore, from very early times, communities learned that they would benefit from exchange. The crudest form of exchange was barter, but the evolution of money as a medium of exchange and unit of account accelerated the development of the process.

But how would people know what they could charge, or what they should pay, for goods and services? Before any formal thought was given to this, traders soon discovered that if they fixed their prices too low they would soon run out of inventory, while if they set their prices too high they would not sell what they had produced. In physical markets there would often be perfect knowledge, as traders would be able to check the prices of those who had similar goods and services to trade, simply by walking around the stalls. Once markets became more remote, less perfect knowledge of prices was inevitable and the process became less certain. Alfred Marshall, whose Principles of Economics was published in 1890, drew heavily on the writings of Jevons and Mill. However, much of what you read today about supply and demand, elasticity, revenues and costs and marginal utility are based on Marshall’s thoughts. Marshall provided a base upon which formal analysis of supply and demand, and consequently the determination of prices in markets, could be built.

Demand is created by the needs of consumers, and the nature of demand owes much to the underpinning worth that consumers perceive the good or service to have. We all need necessities, such as basic foodstuffs, but other products may be highly sought after by some and regarded as worthless by others. The level of demand for a good or service is determined by several factors, including:

  • the price of the good or service
  • prices of other goods and services, especially substitutes and complements
  • tastes and preferences
  • expectations.

In orthodox economic analysis, these determinants are analysed by testing the quantity demanded against one of these variables, holding all others to be constant (or ceteris paribus).

The most common way of analysing demand is to consider the relationship between quantity demanded and price. Assuming that people behave rationally, and that other determinants of demand are constant, the quantity demanded has an inverse relationship with price. Therefore, if price increases, the quantity demanded falls, and vice versa. Figure 1 portrays the conventional demand curve.

Figure 1: Demand curve

For any change in price, there is an inverse change in quantity demanded. The price increase from OP1 to OP1 results in a reduction in quantity demanded from OQ1 to OQ2 .

A change in price will cause a movement along the curve. When the price increases, the quantity demanded will reduce. This happens with most types of goods, with some bizarre exceptions. Demand for what are known as ‘Giffen goods’ actually rises with an increase in the price for such goods. For example, when the price of rice increases in some regions of China, more rice will be purchased, as there is not enough income left over to some  consumers to purchase higher value food items. If we then relax the assumption that other variables (such as income and tax rates, etc) are constant, what happens then? An increase in income will often cause the demand for a good or service to increase, and this will shift the whole curve away from the origin. Likewise, a reduction in the price of a substitute good will move the demand curve towards the origin as the good in question will then be less attractive to the consumer.

While these generalisations are useful, it is important to remember that economic behaviour is based on human decisions, and so we can never predict fully how people will act. For example, some very basic foodstuffs will become less popular as incomes increase and when consumers find that they no longer have to subsist on basic diets.

Supply refers to the quantity of goods and services offered to the market by producers. Just as we can map the relationship between quantity demanded and price, we can also consider the relationship between quantity supplied and price. Generally, suppliers will be prepared to produce more goods and services the higher the price they can obtain. Therefore, the supply curve – when holding other influences constant – will slope upwards from left to right, as illustrated in Figure 2.

Figure 2: Supply curve

There is a direct relationship between price and quantity supplied. An increase in price from OP1 to OP2 results in an increase in quantity supplied from OQ1 to OQ2.

The determinants of supply are:

  • prices of other goods and services
  • relative revenues and costs of making the good or service
  • the objectives of producers and their future expectations
  • technology.

Generally, a firm will maximise profit when its marginal revenue (the revenue arising from selling one extra unit of production) equals its marginal cost (the cost of producing that one extra unit of production). However, a firm may continue to produce as long as the marginal revenue exceeds its average variable costs, as in doing so it will be making a contribution towards covering its fixed costs.

Following the same rationale as applied earlier, a movement along the supply curve will be brought about by a change in price, but a movement of the whole curve will be caused by a determinant other than price.

The concept of elasticity is concerned with the responsiveness of quantity demanded or quantity supplied to a change in price. If a small change in price brings about a massive change in quantity demanded, the price elasticity of demand is said to be highly elastic. Conversely, if a change in price has little or no effect on the quantity demanded, the demand is said to be highly inelastic. This concept is obviously very important to producers, who have to estimate the potential effects of their pricing strategies over time. It is also important to government finance departments, which have to model the implications of imposing sales taxes on goods and services in order to predict tax revenues.

Price elasticity of demand is measured by dividing the change in quantity demanded by the change in price and, conversely, price elasticity of supply is measured by dividing the change in quantity supplied by the change in price. Price elasticity of demand occurs when an increase in price leads to a reduction in total revenue (p x q) between those two points on the demand curve, and price inelasticity occurs when an increase in price leads to an increase in total revenue. Unitary elasticity occurs when the change in price causes no change in total revenue.

In addition to price elasticity, there are similar concepts of relevance to your study:

  • Income elasticity is the responsiveness of quantity demanded or supplied to a change in income.
  • Cross elasticity is the responsiveness of quantity demanded or supplied of good X to a change in price of good Y.

Equilibrium

Assuming all determinants of supply and demand are to be constant except price, a firm will produce where the supply curve intersects the demand curve. By definition, this is the point at which the quantity supplied equals the quantity demanded (Figure 3).

Price is determined at the intersection of the supply and demand curves.

If the price is set above the equilibrium price, this will result in the quantity supplied exceeding the quantity demanded. Therefore, in order to clear its inventory, the company will need to reduce its price.

Conversely, if the price is set below the equilibrium price, this will result in an excess demand situation, and the only way to eliminate this is to increase the price.

Market intervention

In capitalist systems, allowing markets to operate freely is considered to be desirable, but it is generally accepted that market forces cannot be permitted to operate for all the goods and services required by society. Some goods and services are ‘public goods and services’, which means that they can only be provided adequately by intervention. These include law and order and the military. For this reason, the government or supra-national organisations may choose to introduce and maintain systems that will ensure that such goods and services are produced, and may fix prices either above or below the equilibrium price.

A maximum price is sometimes imposed in order to protect consumers. This will result in a situation in which the quantity demanded will exceed the quantity supplied, provided the maximum price is struck below the equilibrium price (Figure 4).  There are numerous examples of this in real life. During World War 2, the UK government intervened in this way in order to ensure that families could obtain adequate supplies of goods such as bread, butter and petrol. One consequence of this is that there was excess demand in the system, and this led to an illegal market developing.

Figure 4: Maximum price

Maximum price is OP1. At this point, the quantity demanded (OQ1) exceeds quantity supplied (OQ2). The 'black market' price is OP2.

A minimum price is sometimes imposed in order to protect producers. Here, the quantity supplied will exceed the quantity demanded, provided the minimum price is struck at a level above the equilibrium price. One of the goals of the European Union (EU) has been to protect the agricultural sector, and the common agricultural policy is a minimum price system. As a consequence of this, the agricultural sector of the EU has periodically generated surpluses.

The impact of intervention in the price system should not be seen as undesirable in all cases. However, one of the contributions that microeconomic analysis makes is that it teaches us that there will be consequences of such interventions, and society has to manage those consequences.

Theory of the firm

The theory of the firm is a branch of microeconomics that examines the different ways in which firms within an industry may be structured, and seeks to derive lessons from these alternative structures. Perfect competition A perfectly competitive market is one in which:

  • there are many firms producing homogeneous goods or services
  • there are no barriers to entry to the market or exit from the market
  • both producers and consumers have perfect knowledge of the market place.

Under such conditions, the price and level of output will always tend towards equilibrium as any producer that sets a price above equilibrium will not sell anything at all, and any producer that sets a price below equilibrium will obtain 100% market share. The demand ‘curve’ is perfectly elastic, which means that it will be horizontal.

As these conditions imply, there are few if any examples of perfectly competitive markets in real life. However, some financial markets approximate to this extreme model, and there is no doubt that in some fields of commerce the development of the internet as a trading platform has made the markets for some products, if not perfectly competitive, then certainly less imperfect.

Monopoly A monopoly arises when there is only one producer in the market.  It should be noted the laws of many countries define a monopoly in less extreme terms, usually referring to firms that have more than a specified share of a market.

Unlike perfect competition, monopolies can and do arise in real life. This may be because the producer has a statutory right to be the only producer, or the producer may be a corporation owned by the government itself.

A monopoly enjoys a privilege in that it can strike its own price in the market place, which can give rise to what economists call ‘super-normal profits’. For this reason, monopolies are usually subject to government control, or to regulation by non-governmental organisations.

Oligopoly An oligopoly arises when there are few producers that exert considerable influence in a market. As there are few producers, they are likely to have a high level of knowledge about the actions of their competitors, and should be able to predict responses to changes in their strategies.

The minimum number of firms in an oligopoly is two, and this particular form of oligopoly is called a duopoly. There are several examples of duopolies, including the two major cola producers and, for several product lines, Unilever and Procter & Gamble. However, markets dominated by perhaps up to six producers could be regarded as oligopolistic in nature. Where a few large producers dominate a market, the industry is said to be highly concentrated. Although it is difficult to make generalisations across all oligopolistic markets, it is frequently noted that their characteristics include complex use of product differentiation, significant barriers to entry and a high level of influence on prices in the market place.

Monopolistic competition Monopolistic competition arises in markets where there are many producers, but they will tend to use product differentiation to distinguish themselves from other producers in the market.  Therefore, although their products may be very similar, their ability to differentiate means that they can act as monopolies in the short-run, irrespective of the actions of their competitors.

For monopolistic competition to exist, consumers must know of – or perceive – differences in products sold by firms. There tend to be fewer barriers to entry or exit than in oligopolistic markets.

Conclusions

Those embarking on their studies for BT/FBT will quickly become aware that the syllabus is broad but shallow. It is essential to cover a wide range of topics, without necessarily having to study each component part in depth. The purpose of this article has therefore been to provide basic information on the most important areas of microeconomics without any intention of exploring any individual topic in detail. Awareness of key principles is important, but candidates should not assume that they have to be experts in order to deal with the objective test questions in the exam.

Written by a member of the BT/FBT examining team

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  • © 2011

Microeconomics, Macroeconomics and Economic Policy

Essays in Honour of Malcolm Sawyer

  • Philip Arestis 0

University of Cambridge, UK University of the Basque Country, Spain

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  • Table of contents

About this book

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Table of contents (15 chapters)

Front matter, microeconomics, the function of firms: alternative views.

  • Nina Shapiro

Industrial Structure and the Macro Economy

  • Keith Cowling, Philip R. Tomlinson

Unemployment, Power Relations, and the Quality of Work

  • David A. Spencer

The Problem of Young People Not in Employment, Education or Training: Is There a ‘Neet’ Solution?

  • John McCombie, Maureen Pike

The Business of Macro Imbalances: Comparing ‘Gluts’ in Savings, Money and Profits

  • William Milberg, Lauren Schmitz

Macroeconomics

A critical appraisal of the new consensus macroeconomics.

Philip Arestis

Bringing Together the Horizontalist and the Structuralist Analyses of Endogenous Money

  • Giuseppe Fontana

Economic Growth and Income Distribution: Kalecki, the Kaleckians and Their Critics

  • Amitava Krishna Dutt

The Influence of Michał Kalecki on Joan Robinson’s Approach to Economics

  • G. C. Harcourt, Peter Kriesler

Shared Ideas Amid Mutual Incomprehension: Kalecki and Cambridge

  • Jan Toporowski

Economic Policy

Is there a role for active fiscal policies supply-side and demand-side effects of fiscal policies.

  • Jesus Ferreiro, Teresa Garcia del Valle, Carmen Gomez, Felipe Serrano

Fiscal Policy and Private Investment in Mexico

  • U. Emilio Caballero, G. Julio López

A Keynes-Kalecki Model of Cyclical Growth with Agent-Based Features

  • Mark Setterfield, Andrew Budd

Unsurprising to Keynes, Shocking to Economists: The Normalisation of Capital Controls in the Global Financial Crisis

  • Ilene Grabel

Regulating Wall Street: Exploring the Political Economy of the Possible

  • Gerald Epstein, Robert Pollin

Back Matter

  • economic growth
  • economic policy
  • fiscal policy
  • income distribution
  • John Maynard Keynes
  • macroeconomics
  • microeconomics
  • political economy
  • unemployment

University of Cambridge, UK

University of the basque country, spain.

Book Title : Microeconomics, Macroeconomics and Economic Policy

Book Subtitle : Essays in Honour of Malcolm Sawyer

Editors : Philip Arestis

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230313750

Publisher : Palgrave Macmillan London

eBook Packages : Palgrave Economics & Finance Collection , Economics and Finance (R0)

Copyright Information : Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2011

Hardcover ISBN : 978-0-230-29019-8 Published: 26 July 2011

Softcover ISBN : 978-1-349-33137-6 Published: 01 January 2011

eBook ISBN : 978-0-230-31375-0 Published: 26 July 2011

Edition Number : 1

Number of Pages : XXIV, 296

Topics : Microeconomics , Macroeconomics/Monetary Economics//Financial Economics , Labor Economics , International Relations , Industrial Organization , Political Economy/Economic Systems

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Studies in Microeconomics

Studies in Microeconomics

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  • Description
  • Aims and Scope
  • Editorial Board
  • Abstracting / Indexing
  • Submission Guidelines

Studies in Microeconomics seeks high quality theoretical as well as applied (or empirical) research in all areas of microeconomics. All manuscripts will be subjected to a peer-review process.

TOPICS : Topics include (but are by no means restricted to): rational choice and individual decision making, consumer choice, producer choice, choice under uncertainty, game theory (cooperative, non-cooperative, static and dynamic), market equilibrium, market failure (imperfect competition, public goods and externalities), information economics, general equilibrium , social choice, welfare economics and mechanism design, as well as theoretical or empirical research in industrial organization and public economics that uses a microeconomic framework. Additionally, we are interested in promoting research involving laboratory and field methods to address important economic as well as policy relevant questions that are difficult to examine using the more traditional naturally occurring data.

The intended audience of the journal are professional economists and young researchers with an interest and expertise in microeconomics and above.

This journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) .

Studies in Microeconomics seeks high quality theoretical as well as applied (or empirical) research in all areas of microeconomics (broadly defined to include other avenues of decision science such as psychology, political science and organizational behavior). In particular, we encourage submissions in new areas of Microeconomics such as in the fields of Experimental economics and Behavioral Economics. All manuscripts will be subjected to a peer-review process. The intended audience of the journal are professional economists and young researchers with an interest and expertise in microeconomics and above.

In addition to full-length articles MIC is interested in publishing and promoting shorter refereed articles ( letters and notes ) that are pertinent to the specialist in the field of Microeconomics (broadly defined).

MIC will periodically publish special issues with themes of particular interest, including articles solicited from leading scholars as well as authoritative survey articles and meta-analysis on the themed topic.

We will also publish book reviews related to microeconomics, and MIC encourages publishing articles from policy practitioners dealing with microeconomic issues that have policy relevance under the section Policy Analysis and Debate.

TOPICS: Topics include (but are by no means restricted to): rational choice and individual decision making, consumer choice, producer choice, choice under uncertainty, game theory (cooperative, non-cooperative, static and dynamic), market equilibrium, market failure (imperfect competition, public goods and externalities), information economics, general equilibrium , social choice, welfare economics and mechanism design, as well as theoretical or empirical research in industrial organization and public economics that uses a microeconomic framework. Additionally, we are interested in promoting research involving laboratory and field methods to address important economic as well as policy relevant questions that are difficult to examine using the more traditional naturally occurring data.

  • Australian Business Deans Council (ABDC)
  • Indian Citation Index (ICI)
  • ProQuest: Worldwide Political Science Abstracts
  • Research Papers in Economics (RePEc)
  • UGC-CARE (GROUP II)

This Journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics

Studies in Microeconomics is hosted on Sage Peer Review, a web-based online submission and peer review system. Please read the Manuscript Submission Guidelines below, and then visit https://peerreview.sagepub.com/MIC to login and submit your article online.

Remember you can log in to the submission site at any time to check on the progress of your paper through the peer review process.

Only manuscripts of sufficient quality that meet the aims and scope of Studies in Microeconomics will be reviewed.

There are no fees payable to submit or publish in this Journal. Open Access options are available - see section 3.3 below.

As part of the submission process you will be required to warrant that you are submitting your original work, that you have the rights in the work, and that you have obtained and can supply all necessary permissions for the reproduction of any copyright works not owned by you, that you are submitting the work for first publication in the Journal and that it is not being considered for publication elsewhere and has not already been published elsewhere. Please see our guidelines on prior publication and note that Studies in Microeconomics will consider submissions of papers that have been posted on preprint servers; please alert the Editorial Office when submitting (contact details are at the end of these guidelines) and include the DOI for the preprint in the designated field in the manuscript submission system. Authors should not post an updated version of their paper on the preprint server while it is being peer reviewed for possible publication in the Journal. If the article is accepted for publication, the author may re-use their work according to the Journal's author archiving policy.

If your paper is accepted, you must include a link on your preprint to the final version of your paper.

If you have any questions about publishing with Sage, please visit the Sage Journal Solutions Portal

1. What do we publish 1.1  Aims & Scope 1.2 Article types 1.3 Writing your paper

2. Editorial policies 2.1 Peer review policy 2.2 Authorship 2.3 Acknowledgements 2.4 Funding 2.5 Declaration of conflicting interests 2.6 Research data

3. Publishing policies 3.1 Publication ethics 3.2 Contributor’s publishing agreement 3.3 Open access and author archiving

4. Preparing your manuscript 4.1 Formatting  4.2 Artwork, figures and other graphics 4.3 Supplemental material 4.4 Reference style

5. Submitting your manuscript 5.1 ORCID 5.2 Information required for completing your submission 5.3 Permissions

6. On acceptance and publication 6.1 Sage Production 6.2 Online First publication 6.3 Access to your published article 6.4 Promoting your article

7. Further information

1. What do we publish?

1.1 Aims & Scope

Before submitting your manuscript to Studies in Microeconomics , please ensure you have read the Aims & Scope .

1.2 Article types

The types of manuscripts accepted in the journal are:

  • Book Reviews
  • Policy Analysis and Debate
  • Research Papers
  • Exposita Note

Topics include (but are by no means restricted to): rational choice and individual decision making, consumer choice, producer choice, choice under uncertainty, migration decisions, firm level studies, game theory (cooperative, non-cooperative, static and dynamic), market equilibrium, market failure (imperfect competition, public goods and externalities), information economics, general equilibrium, social choice, welfare economics and mechanism design, labour market, social sector (education, health, gender) issues. We welcome submissions in all traditional fields of Microeconomics as well as the emerging new areas such as the fields of experimental economics, and behavioral economics. In addition, theoretical or empirical or applied research in industrial organization and public economics that uses a microeconomic framework is very much within the scope of the journal. We will also publish reviews of books related to microeconomics and highly debated policy issues. The intended audience of the journal are professional economists and young researchers with an interest and expertise in microeconomics and above.

1.3 Writing your paper

The Sage Author Gateway has some general advice and on  how to get published , plus links to further resources. Sage Author Services also offers authors a variety of ways to improve and enhance their article including English language editing, plagiarism detection, and video abstract and infographic preparation.

1.3.1 Make your article discoverable For information and guidance on how to make your article more discoverable, visit our Gateway page on How to Help Readers Find Your Article Online 

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2. Editorial policies

2.1 Peer review policy

Studies in Microeconomics adheres to a rigorous double-blind reviewing policy in which the identity of both the reviewer and author are always concealed from both parties.

Studies in Microeconomics is committed to delivering high quality, fast peer-review for your paper, and as such has partnered with Publons. Publons is a third party service that seeks to track, verify and give credit for peer review. Reviewers for Studies in Microeconomics can opt in to Publons in order to claim their reviews or have them automatically verified and added to their reviewer profile. Reviewers claiming credit for their review will be associated with the relevant journal, but the article name, reviewer’s decision and the content of their review is not published on the site. For more information visit the Publons website.

The Editor or members of the Editorial Board may occasionally submit their own manuscripts for possible publication in the Journal. In these cases, the peer review process will be managed by alternative members of the Board and the submitting Editor/Board member will have no involvement in the decision-making process.

2.2 Authorship

All parties who have made a substantive contribution to the article should be listed as authors. Principal authorship, authorship order, and other publication credits should be based on the relative scientific or professional contributions of the individuals involved, regardless of their status. A student is usually listed as principal author on any multiple-authored publication that substantially derives from the student’s dissertation or thesis.

If the named authors for a manuscript change at any point between submission and acceptance , an Authorship Change Form must be completed and digitally signed by all authors (including any added or removed) . An addition of an author is only permitted following feedback raised during peer review. Completed forms can be uploaded at Revision Submission stage or emailed to the Journal Editorial Office contact (listed on the journal’s manuscript submission guidelines). All requests will be moderated by the Editor and/or Sage staff.

Important : Changes to the author by-line by adding or deleting authors are NOT permitted following acceptance of a paper .

Please note that AI chatbots, for example ChatGPT, should not be listed as authors. For more information see the policy on Use of ChatGPT and generative AI tools .

2.3 Acknowledgements

All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an Acknowledgements section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, or a department chair who provided only general support. 

Please supply any personal acknowledgements separately to the main text to facilitate anonymous peer review.

2.3.1 Writing assistance Individuals who provided writing assistance, e.g. from a specialist communications company, do not qualify as authors and so should be included in the Acknowledgements section. Authors must disclose any writing assistance – including the individual’s name, company and level of input – and identify the entity that paid for this assistance. It is not necessary to disclose use of language polishing services.

2.4 Funding

Studies in Microeconomics requires all authors to acknowledge their funding in a consistent fashion under a separate heading. Please visit the Funding Acknowledgements page on the Sage Journal Author Gateway to confirm the format of the acknowledgment text in the event of funding, or state that: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors. 

2.5 Declaration of conflicting interests

Studies in Microeconomics encourages authors to include a declaration of any conflicting interests and recommends you review the good practice guidelines on the Sage Journal Author Gateway

2.6. Research data

At Sage we are committed to facilitating openness, transparency and reproducibility of research. Where relevant, Studies in Microeconomics encourages authors to share their research data in a suitable public repository subject to ethical considerations and where data is included, to add a data accessibility statement in their manuscript file. Authors should also follow data citation principles. For more information please visit the Sage Author Gateway , which includes information about Sage’s partnership with the data repository Figshare.

3. Publishing Policies

3.1 Publication ethics Sage is committed to upholding the integrity of the academic record. We encourage authors to refer to the Committee on Publication Ethics’ International Standards for Authors and view the Publication Ethics page on the Sage Author Gateway  

3.1.1 Plagiarism Studies in Microeconomics and Sage take issues of copyright infringement, plagiarism or other breaches of best practice in publication very seriously. We seek to protect the rights of our authors and we always investigate claims of plagiarism or misuse of published articles. Equally, we seek to protect the reputation of the Journal against malpractice. Submitted articles may be checked with duplication-checking software. Where an article, for example, is found to have plagiarized other work or included third-party copyright material without permission or with insufficient acknowledgement, or where the authorship of the article is contested, we reserve the right to take action including, but not limited to: publishing an erratum or corrigendum (correction); retracting the article; taking up the matter with the head of department or dean of the author's institution and/or relevant academic bodies or societies; or taking appropriate legal action.

3.1.2 Prior publication If material has been previously published it is not generally acceptable for publication in a Sage journal. However, there are certain circumstances where previously published material can be considered for publication. Please refer to the guidance on the Sage Author Gateway or if in doubt, contact the Editor at the address given below.

3.2 Contributor’s publishing agreement

Before publication, Sage requires the author as the rights holder to sign a Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement. Sage’s Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement is an exclusive licence agreement which means that the author retains copyright in the work but grants Sage the sole and exclusive right and licence to publish for the full legal term of copyright. Exceptions may exist where an assignment of copyright is required or preferred by a proprietor other than Sage. In this case copyright in the work will be assigned from the author to the society. For more information please visit the Sage Author Gateway

3.3 Open access and author archiving

Studies in Microeconomics offers optional open access publishing via the Sage Choice programme and Open Access agreements, where authors can publish open access either discounted or free of charge depending on the agreement with Sage. Find out if your institution is participating by visiting Open Access Agreements at Sage . For more information on Open Access publishing options at Sage please visit Sage Open Access . For information on funding body compliance, and depositing your article in repositories, please visit Sage’s Author Archiving and Re-Use Guidelines and Publishing Policies .

4. Preparing your manuscript for submission

4.1 Formatting

The preferred format for your manuscript is Word. LaTeX files are also accepted. A LaTex template is available on the Manuscript Submission Guidelines page of our Author Gateway.

The manuscript should be structured as follows:

  • Manuscripts should normally not exceed 6,000 words and should be submitted with the cover page bearing only the title of the article, author/s’ names, designations, official addresses, phone/fax numbers, and email addresses. Author/s’ name should not appear on any other page.
  • All articles must be accompanied by an abstract of 150–200 words and 4–6 keywords.
  • Use British spellings in all cases rather than American spellings (hence, ‘programme’ not ‘program’, ‘labour’ not ‘labor’, and ‘centre’ and not ‘center’).
  • Use ‘z’ spellings instead of ‘s’ spellings. This means that words ending with ‘-ise’, ‘isation’, etc., will be spelt with ‘z’ (e.g., ‘recognize’, ‘organize’, ‘civilize’).
  • Use single quotes throughout. Double quotes only to be used within single quotes. Spellings of words in quotations should not be changed. Quotations of 45 words or more should be separated from the text and indented with one space with a line space above and below. Notes should be numbered serially and presented at the end of the article. Notes must contain more than a mere reference.
  • Use ‘twentieth century’, ‘1980s’. Spell out numbers from one to nine, 10 and above to remain in figures. However, for exact measurements, use only figures (3 km, 9 per cent, not %). Use thousands and millions, not lakhs and crores.
  • Use of italics and diacriticals should be minimised, but used consistently.
  • Tables and figures to be indicated by numbers separately (see Table 1), not by placement (see Table below). Present each table and figure on a separate sheet of paper, gathering them together at the end of the article. All Figures and Tables should be cited in the text. Sources for figures and tables should be mentioned irrespective of whether or not they require permissions.

4.2 Artwork, figures and other graphics

For guidance on the preparation of illustrations, pictures and graphs in electronic format, please visit Sage’s Manuscript Submission Guidelines 

  • Figures, including maps, graphs and drawings, should not be larger than page size. Tables and charts should have self-explanatory titles and numbered and arranged as per their references in the text. All photographs and scanned images should have a resolution of minimum 300 dpi and 1,500 pixels and their format should be TIFF or JPEG. 
  • Tables, figures, pictures and charts should appear at their original place in the text where they appear. They should not be provided at the end or in a separate file.
  • Due permissions should be taken for copyright protected photographs/images. Even for photographs/images available in the public domain, it should be clearly ascertained whether or not their reproduction requires permission for purposes of publishing (which is a profit-making endeavour).
  • Please Note: All figures and tables should be cited in the text and should have the source (a specific URL, a reference or, if it is author’s own work, ‘The Author’) mentioned at the bottom of the tables/charts/graphs irrespective of whether or not they require permissions.

Figures supplied in colour will appear in colour online regardless of whether or not these illustrations are reproduced in colour in the printed version. For specifically requested colour reproduction in print, you will receive information regarding the costs from Sage after receipt of your accepted article. 

4.3 Supplemental material

This Journal is able to host additional materials online (e.g. datasets, podcasts, videos, images etc) alongside the full-text of the article. For more information please refer to our guidelines on submitting supplemental files

4.4 Reference style

Studies in Microeconomics adheres to the APA reference style. View the APA guidelines to ensure your manuscript conforms to this reference style.

5. Submitting your manuscript

Studies in Microeconomics is hosted on Sage Peer Review, a web based online submission and peer review system. Please read the manuscript submission guidelines, and then visit https://peerreview.sagepub.com/sis to login and submit your article online.

The authors need to register their account with their organizational email ID only (no exceptions).

IMPORTANT: Please check whether you already have an account in the system before trying to create a new one. If you have reviewed or authored for the journal in the past year it is likely that you will have had an account created. 

As part of our commitment to ensuring an ethical, transparent and fair peer review process Sage is a supporting member of ORCID, the Open Researcher and Contributor ID . ORCID provides a unique and persistent digital identifier that distinguishes researchers from every other researcher, even those who share the same name, and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between researchers and their professional activities, ensuring that their work is recognized. 

The collection of ORCID IDs from corresponding authors is now part of the submission process of this Journal. If you already have an ORCID ID you will be asked to associate that to your submission during the online submission process. We also strongly encourage all co-authors to link their ORCID ID to their accounts in our online peer review platforms. It takes seconds to do: click the link when prompted, sign into your ORCID account and our systems are automatically updated. Your ORCID ID will become part of your accepted publication’s metadata, making your work attributable to you and only you. Your ORCID ID is published with your article so that fellow researchers reading your work can link to your ORCID profile and from there link to your other publications.

If you do not already have an ORCID ID please follow this link to create one or visit our ORCID homepage to learn more. 

5.2 Information required for completing your submission

You will be asked to provide contact details and academic affiliations for all co-authors via the submission system and identify who is to be the corresponding author. These details must match what appears on your manuscript. The affiliation listed in the manuscript should be the institution where the research was conducted. If an author has moved to a new institution since completing the research, the new affiliation can be included in a manuscript note at the end of the paper. At this stage please ensure you have included all the required statements and declarations and uploaded any additional supplementary files (including reporting guidelines where relevant).

5.3 Permissions

Please also ensure that you have obtained any necessary permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere. For further information including guidance on fair dealing for criticism and review, please see the Copyright and Permissions page on the Sage Author Gateway .

6. On acceptance and publication

6.1 Sage Production

Your Sage Production Editor will keep you informed as to your article’s progress throughout the production process. Proofs will be made available to the corresponding author via our editing portal Sage Edit or by email, and corrections should be made directly or notified to us promptly. Authors are reminded to check their proofs carefully to confirm that all author information, including names, affiliations, sequence and contact details are correct, and that Funding and Conflict of Interest statements, if any, are accurate. 

6.2 Online First publication 

Online First allows final articles (completed and approved articles awaiting assignment to a future issue) to be published online prior to their inclusion in a journal issue, which significantly reduces the lead time between submission and publication. Visit the Sage Journals help page for more details, including how to cite Online First articles.

6.3 Access to your published article

Sage provides authors with online access to their final article.

6.4 Promoting your article

Publication is not the end of the process! You can help disseminate your paper and ensure it is as widely read and cited as possible. The Sage Author Gateway has numerous resources to help you promote your work. Visit the Promote Your Article page on the Gateway for tips and advice.

Any correspondence, queries or additional requests for information on the manuscript submission process should be sent to the Studies in Microeconomics editorial office as follows:

[email protected]

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  • American Economic Journal: Microeconomics

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2024—Volume 16 February 2024 (Vol. 16, No. 1)

2023—Volume 15 November 2023 (Vol. 15, No. 4) August 2023 (Vol. 15, No. 3) May 2023 (Vol. 15, No. 2) February 2023 (Vol. 15, No. 1)

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Microeconomics: Essay on Microeconomics

microeconomics article analysis essay

Microeconomics studies the economic actions and behaviour of individual units and small groups of individual units.

In microeconomic theory we discuss how the various cells of economic organism, that is, the various units of the economy such as thousands of consumers, thousands of producers or firms, thousands of workers and resource suppliers in the economy do their economic activities and reach their equilibrium states.

“Microeconomics consists of looking at the economy through a microscope, as it were, to see how the millions of cells in the body economic-the individuals or households as consumers, and the individuals or firms as producers—play their part in the working of the whole economic organism.”- Professor Lerner.

In other words, in microeconomics we make a microscopic study of the economy. But it should be remembered that microeconomics does not study the economy in its totality. Instead, in microeconomics we discuss equilibrium of innumerable units of the economy piecemeal and their inter-relationship to each other.

For instance, in microeconomic analysis we study the demand of an individual consumer for a good and from there go on to derive the market demand for the good (that is, demand of a group of individuals consuming a particular good). Likewise, microeconomic theory studies the behaviour of the individual firms in regard to the fixation of price and output and their reactions to the changes in the demand and supply conditions. From there we go on to establish price-output fixation by an industry (Industry means a group of firms producing the same product).

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Thus, microeconomic theory seeks to determine the mechanism by which the different economic units attain the position of equilibrium, proceeding from the individual units to a narrowly defined group such as a single industry or a single market. Since microeconomic analysis concerns itself with narrowly defined groups such as an industry or market.

However it does not study the totality of behaviour of all units in the economy for any particular economic activity. In other words, the study of economic system or economy as a whole lies outside the domain of microeconomic analysis.

Microeconomic Theory Studies Resource Allocation, Product and Factor Pricing :

Microeconomic theory takes the total quantity of resources as given and seeks to explain how they are allocated to the production of particular goods. It is the allocation of resources that determines what goods shall be produced and how they shall be produced. The allocation of resources to the production of various goods in a free-market economy depends upon the prices of the various goods and the prices of the various factors of production.

Therefore, to explain how the allocation of resources is determined, microeconomics proceeds to analyse how the relative prices of goods and factors are determined. Thus the theory of product pricing and the theory of factor pricing (or the theory of distribution) falls within the domain of microeconomics.

The theory of product pricing explains how the relative prices of cotton cloth, food grains, jute, kerosene oil and thousands of other goods are determined. The theory of distribution explains how wages (price for the use of labour), rent (payment for the use of land), interest (price for the use of capital) and profits (the reward for the entrepreneur) are determined. Thus, the theory of product pricing and the theory of factor pricing are the two important branches of microeconomic theory.

Prices of the products depend upon the forces of demand and supply. The demand for goods depends upon the consumers’ behaviour pattern, and the supply of goods depends upon the conditions of production and cost and the behaviour pattern of the firms or entrepreneurs. Thus the demand and supply sides have to be analysed in order to explain the determination of prices of goods and factors. Thus the theory of demand and the theory of production are two subdivisions of the theory of pricing.

Microeconomics as a Study of Economic Efficiency:

Besides analysing the pricing of products and factors, and the allocation of resources based upon the price mechanism, microeconomics also seeks to explain whether the allocation of resources determined is efficient. Efficiency in the allocation of resources is attained when the resources are so allocated that maximises the satisfaction of the people.

Economic efficiency involves three efficiencies; efficiency in production, efficiency in distribution of goods among the people (This is also called efficiency in consumption) and allocative economic efficiency, that is, efficiency in the direction of production. Microeconomic theory shows under what conditions these efficiencies are achieved. Microeconomics also shows what factors cause departure from these efficiencies and result in the decline of social welfare from the maximum possible level.

Economic efficiency in production involves minimisation of cost for producing a given level of output or producing a maximum possible output of various goods from the given amount of outlay or cost incurred on productive resources. When such productive efficiency is attained, then it is no longer possible by any reallocation of the productive resources or factors among the production of various goods and services to increase the output of any good without a reduction in the output of some other good.

Efficiency in consumption consists of distributing the given amount of produced goods and services among millions of the people for consumption in such a way as to maximize the total satisfaction of the society. When such efficiency is achieved it is no longer possible by any redistribution of goods among the people to make some people better off without making some other ones worse off. Allocative economic efficiency or optimum direction of production consists of producing those goods which are most desired by the people, that is, when the direction of production is such that maximizes social welfare.

In other words, allocative economic efficiency implies that pattern of production (i.e., amounts of various goods and services produced) should correspond to the desired pattern of consumption of the people. Even if efficiencies in consumption and production of goods are present, it may be that the goods which are produced and distributed for consumption may not be those preferred by the people.

There may be some goods which are more preferred by the people but which have not been produced and vice versa. To sum up, allocative efficiency (optimum direction of production) is achieved when the resources are so allocated to the production of various goods that the maximum possible satisfaction of the people is obtained.

Once this is achieved, then by producing some goods more and others less by any rearrangement of the resources will mean loss of satisfaction or efficiency. The question of economic efficiency is the subject-matter of theoretical welfare economics which is an important branch of microeconomic theory.

That microeconomic theory is intimately concerned with the question of efficiency and welfare is better understood from the following remarks of A. P. Lerner, a noted American economist. “In microeconomics we are more concerned with the avoidance or elimination of waste, or with inefficiency arising from the fact that production is not organised in the most efficient possible manner.

Such inefficiency means that it is possible, by rearranging the different ways in which products are being produced and consumed, to get more of something that is scarce without giving up any part of any other scarce item, or to replace something by something else that is preferred. Microeconomic theory spells out the conditions of efficiency (i.e., for the elimination of all kinds of inefficiency) and suggests how they might be achieved. These conditions (called Pareto-optimal conditions) can be of the greatest help in raising the standard of living of the population.”

The four basic economic questions with which economists are concerned, namely:

(1) What goods shall be produced and in what quantities,

(2) How they shall be produced,

(3) How the goods and services produced shall be distributed, and

(4) Whether the production of goods and their distribution for consumption is efficient fall within the domain of microeconomics.

The whole content of microeconomic theory is presented in the following chart:

Microeconomic Theory

Microeconomics and the Economy as a whole:

It is generally understood that microeconomics does not concern itself with the economy as a whole and an impression is created that microeconomics differs from macroeconomics in that whereas the latter examines the economy as a whole; the former is not concerned with it. But this is not fully correct. That microeconomics is concerned with the economy as a whole is quite evident from its discussion of the problem of allocation of resources in the society and judging the efficiency of the same.

Both microeconomics and macroeconomics analyse the economy but with two different ways or approaches. Microeconomics examines the economy, so to say, microscopically, that is, it analyses the behaviour of individual economic units of the economy, their inter-relationships and equilibrium adjustment to each other which determine the allocation of resources in the society. This is known as general equilibrium analysis.

No doubt, microeconomic theory mainly makes particular or partial equilibrium analysis, that is, the analysis of the equilibrium of the individual economic units, taking other things remaining the same. But microeconomic theory, as stated above, also concerns itself with general equilibrium analysis of the economy wherein it is explained how all the economic units, various product markets, various factor markets, money and capital markets are interrelated and interdependent to each other and how through various adjustments and readjustments to the changes in them, they reach a general equilibrium, that is, equilibrium of each of them individually as well as collectively to each other.

Professor A. P. Lerner rightly points out, “Actually microeconomics is much more intimately concerned with the economy as a whole than is macroeconomics, and can even be said to examine the whole economy microscopically. We have seen how economic efficiency is obtained when the “cells” of the economic organism, the households and firms, have adjusted their behaviour to the prices of what they buy and sell. Each cell is then said to be in equilibrium.’ But these adjustments in turn affect the quantities supplied and demanded and therefore also their prices. This means that the adjusted cells then have to readjust themselves. This in turn upsets the adjustment of others again and so on. An important part of microeconomics is examining whether and how all the different cells get adjusted at the same time. This is called general equilibrium analysis in contrast with particular equilibrium or partial equilibrium analysis. General equilibrium analysis is the microscopic examination of the inter-relationships of parts within the economy as a whole. Overall economic efficiency is only a special aspect of this analysis.”

Importance and Uses of Microeconomics:

Microeconomics occupies a vital place in economics and it has both theoretical and practical importance. It is highly helpful in the formulation of economic policies that will promote the welfare of the masses. Until recently, especially before Keynesian Revolution, the body of economics consisted mainly of microeconomics. In spite of the popularity of macroeconomics these days, microeconomics retains its importance, theoretical as well as practical.

It is microeconomics that tells us how a free-market economy with its millions of consumers and producers works to decide about the allocation of productive resources among the thousands of goods and services. As Professor Watson says, “microeconomic theory explains the composition or allocation of total production, why more of some things are produced than of others.”

He further remarks that microeconomic theory “has many uses. The greatest of these is depth in understanding of how a free private enterprise economy operates.” Further, it tells us how the goods and services produced are distributed among the various people for consumption through price or market mechanism. It shows how the relative prices of various products and factors are determined, that is, why the price of cloth is what it is and why the wages of an engineer are what they are and so on.

Moreover, as described above, microeconomic theory explains the conditions of efficiency in consumption and production and highlights the factors which are responsible for the departure from the efficiency or economic optimum. On this basis, microeconomic theory suggests suitable policies to promote economic efficiency and welfare of the people.

Thus, not only does microeconomic theory describe the actual operation of the economy, it has also a normative role in that it suggests policies to eradicate “inefficiency” from the economic system so as to maximize the satisfaction or welfare of the society. The usefulness and importance of microeconomics has been nicely stated by Professor Lerner.

He writes, “Microeconomic theory facilitates the understanding of what would be a hopelessly complicated confusion of billions of facts by constructing simplified models of behaviour which are sufficiently similar to the actual phenomena to be of help in understanding them. These models at the same time enable the economists to explain the degree to which the actual phenomena depart from certain ideal constructions that would most completely achieve individual and social objectives.

They thus help not only to describe the actual economic situation but to suggest policies that would most successfully and most efficiently bring about desired results and to predict the outcomes of such policies and other events. Economics thus has descriptive, normative and predictive aspects.”

We have noted above that microeconomics reveals how a decentralised system of a free private enterprise economy functions without any central control. It also brings to light the fact that the functioning of a complete centrally directed economy with efficiency is impossible. Modern economy is so complex that a central planning authority will find it too difficult to get all the information required for the optimum allocation of resources and to give directions to thousands of production units with various peculiar problems of their own so as to ensure efficiency in the use of resources.

To quote Professor Lerner again, “Microeconomics teaches us that completely ‘direct’ running of the economy is impossible—that a modern economy is so complex that no central planning body can obtain all the information and give out all the directives necessary for its efficient operation.

These would have to include directives for adjusting to continual changes in the availabilities of millions of productive resources and intermediate products, in the known methods of producing everything everywhere, and in the quantities and qualities of the many items to be consumed or to be added to society’s productive equipment.

The vast task can be achieved, and in the past has been achieved, only by the development of a decentralised system whereby the millions of producers and consumers are induced to act in the general interest without the intervention of anybody at the centre with instructions as to what one should make and how and what one should consume.

Microeconomic theory shows that welfare optimum of economic efficiency is achieved when there prevails perfect competition in the product and factor markets. Perfect competition is said to exist when there are so many sellers and buyers in the market so that no individual seller or buyer is in a position to influence the price of a product or factor.

Departure from perfect competition leads to a lower level of welfare, that is, involves loss of economic efficiency. It is in this context that a large part of microeconomic theory is concerned with showing the nature of departures from perfect competition and therefore from welfare optimum (economic efficiency). The power of giant firms or a combination of firms over the output and price of a product constitutes the problem of monopoly.

Microeconomics shows how monopoly leads to misallocation of resources and therefore involves loss of economic efficiency or welfare. It also makes important and useful policy recommendations to regulate monopoly so as to attain economic efficiency or maximum welfare. Like monopoly, monopsony (that is, when a single large buyer or a combination of buyers exercises control over the price) also leads to the loss of welfare and therefore needs to be controlled.

Similarly, microeconomics brings out the welfare implications of oligopoly (or oligopsony) whose main characteristic is that individual sellers (or buyers) have to take into account, while deciding upon their course of action, how their rivals react to their moves regarding changes in price, product and advertising policy.

Another class of departure from welfare optimum is the problem of externalities. Externalities are said to exist when the production or consumption of a commodity affects other people than those who produce, sell or buy it. These externalities may be in the form of either external economies or external diseconomies. External economies prevail when the production or consumption of a commodity by an individual benefits other individuals and external diseconomies prevail when the production or consumption of a commodity by him harms other individuals.

Microeconomic theory reveals that when the externalities exist free working of the price mechanism fails to achieve economic efficiency, since it does not take into account the benefits or harms made to those external to the individual producers and the consumers. The existence of these externalities requires government intervention for correcting imperfections in the price mechanism in order to achieve maximum social welfare.

Several Practical Applications of Microeconomics for Formulating Economic Policies :

Microeconomic analysis is also usefully applied to the various applied branches of economics such as Public Finance, International Economics. It is the microeconomic analysis which is used to explain the factors which determine the distribution of the incidence or burden of a commodity tax between producers or sellers on the one hand and the consumers on the other.

Further, microeconomic analysis is applied to show the damage done to the social welfare or economic efficiency by the imposition of a tax. If it is assumed that resources are optimally allocated or maximum social welfare prevails before the imposition of a tax, it can be demonstrated by microeconomic analysis that what amount of the damage will be caused to the social welfare.

The imposition of a tax on a commodity (i.e., indirect tax) will lead to the loss of social welfare by causing deviation from the optimum allocation of resources the imposition of a direct tax (for example, income tax) will not disturb the optimum resource allocation and therefore will not result in loss of social welfare. Further, microeconomic analysis is applied to show the gain from international trade and to explain the factors which determine the distribution of this gain among the participant countries.

Besides, microeconomics finds application in the various problems of international economics. Whether devaluation will succeed in correcting the disequilibrium in the balance of payments depends upon the elasticity’s of demand and supply of exports and imports. Furthermore, the determination of the foreign exchange rate of a currency, if it is free to vary, depends upon the demand for and supply of that currency. We thus see that microeconomic analysis is a very useful and important branch of modern economic theory.

Related Articles:

  • Microeconomics: Notes on Meaning of Microeconomics – Discussed!
  • Difference between Microeconomics and Macroeconomics
  • Difference between Macroeconomics and Microeconomics
  • Essay on Microeconomics and Macroeconomics

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65 microeconomic topics you can choose from.

June 30, 2021

The competitive economy is driving everything in today’s world; that is why it becomes tricky to choose microeconomic topics for essay writings. However, there are plenty of microeconomic topics to write about if you perform proper research.

microeconomics topics

Students who are interested in microeconomic research topics are encouraged to dig deeper into the area of their interest. Learn and grasp the concepts before you choose a topic so that you have a better understanding of the complexities of that topic.

For any essay writer, it is vital to invest time in online research before selecting the topic. Choose the topic after due consideration as it should suit your skills and knowledge. We have gathered a list of microeconomic essay topics that range from basic topics with broad scope to specific ones.

What Are Microeconomic Essay Topics?

Before we proceed, we strongly recommend having a clear understanding of what microeconomic topics are. Microeconomics is a branch of science that encompasses a large variety of topics, so it may be a challenging task to find the best one for you. We have written this guide to help you with a lot of interesting microeconomic topics ideas.

Microeconomics is a field of economic science with a strong emphasis on scientific research that can help economists to predict economic tendencies. This can be achieved by knowing how the market will react to predictable purchasing decisions.

Well-researched microeconomic research topics can be used for a number of purposes; for instance, microeconomic topics for presentation, microeconomics papers topics for monopoly, microeconomic theory topics, microeconomic current event topics and whatnot.

Purpose of Writing an Essay on Microeconomics

If you are new in this field, it can be tricky to understand the scope and reasons for writing a research paper on microeconomics. The purpose is to integrate and use the maths tools and concepts that the students learn during their study.

Don’t forget that the success of your writing depends on the variety of factors in which choosing the right topic for research is the most prime factor. A know-how of the present economic conditions of the world will help in choosing a current and relevant topic.

Basic Requirements for Selecting a Microeconomic Topic

Ready to start looking for an interesting microeconomic topic for your essay writing? Here are some key principles that must be taken into consideration before selecting a topic:

The topic should be interesting for the reader and also for you. It should be broad enough to find the necessary material. The scope should be manageable within your essay deadline. It should be flexible enough to help you in composing an argumentive essay.

Microeconomic Topics To Begin Your Writing

If you are stuck while searching for the right microeconomic topic to write about, you have landed at the right place. We have gathered a long list of microeconomic research topics. So, here is a list of well-researched essay writing ideas:

  • The impact of supply and demand on prices
  • How does the economy change with the change of seasons?
  • How do different microeconomic market structures influence supply?
  • The influence of labor market and labor union on demand and supply
  • How does the purchasing ability of consumers affect the pricing system?
  • The use of advertising in microeconomics and how it influences the decisions of customers?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of initiating a venture in the modern market?
  • Does the price of health care influence taxes?
  • The microeconomic problems and their relation with pollution
  • Why is nature the largest victim of industrialization, and how it creates an impact on the economy?
  • The impact of ecological costs on the principles of industry location
  • The economic struggle for maximum utilization of natural resources and its reasons

Microeconomic Topics for Presentation

  • Economic influences of trade
  • Effects of oil prices on the economy
  • How will current fluctuation influence the economy?
  • The role of a government in boosting the economy
  • Influence of unchecked population growth on the economy
  • Increasing prices of commodities and the decreasing inflation rates
  • Effect of imports on the local economy
  • Impact of small businesses on economic development
  • Managing unpredicted effects of exchange rates on economic growth
  • Economic development in the digital era
  • Effect of monetary policies on the economy
  • How America’s interest rates affect the world economy?
  • Role of the American economy in shaping global economic trends
  • Inflation Rates: Revision method of computing

More Detailed Microeconomic Paper Topics

  • How does government policy affect microeconomics?
  • Correlation between productivity and economic growth
  • Business decision making and the importance of microeconomics
  • Deadweight loss and its connection to taxes
  • Why does a minimum wage result in unemployment?
  • Information technology and its significance for the economic development
  • Pros and cons of risk pooling
  • Marginal profitability and marginal resource costs
  • Commodity relations and money as one of its forms
  • How can a small business get out of debt?
  • Market failure and need for government intervention
  • Social imbalance: the difference between wealth and income
  • Significance of market speculation and its economic benefit
  • How should sellers and buyers share the tax burden?

Microeconomic Topics for Research

  • Essence, types, sources, and consequences of inflation
  • How changes in income affect consumer choices
  • Concept of market equilibrium
  • Perfect competition and the cases of homogeneous products
  • Fair value vs. market value
  • What are the factors that influence international pricing system?
  • Barriers to entry and their impact on market competition
  • Revenue maximization from the macroeconomic viewpoint
  • How does minimum wage influence market equilibrium?
  • Do luxury goods follow the law of demand?

Microeconomic Theory Topics

  • The influence of game theory on economic theory
  • Law of diminishing returns in the manufacturing industry
  • Basics of anti-monopolistic regulation
  • Theory of firm under perfect competition
  • The theory of production in the new era
  • Major principles of the economic welfare theory

Microeconomic Paper Topics on Monopoly

  • Monopolistic behavior in the modern market structures
  • Modern economy and the influence of oligopolies
  • Market monopolization in France: main challenges
  • Natural monopolies and regulation of its activities in the USA and foreign countries

Microeconomic Topics in the News

  • How does advertising influences purchasing decisions?
  • How can advertising be used within microeconomics for maximum benefits?
  • The role of social media marketing in stimulating supply
  • What are the problems of advertising that can lead to the closure of the company?
  • Effects of extended lockdowns on microeconomic policies

We hope that this guide will help you choose the right microeconomic topic to make your research impressive!

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Essay on break-even analysis (bea) | microeconomics.

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In this essay we will discuss about Break-Even Analysis (BEA). After reading this essay you will learn about: 1. Meaning of Break-Even Analysis 2. The Graphical Method or Break-Even Chart 3. Margin of Safety 4. The Equation Method 5. The Contribution Margin 6. Assumptions 7. Limitations  8. Uses.

  • Essay on the Uses of Break-Even Analysis

Essay # 1. Meaning of Break-Even Analysis :

The break-even analysis (BEA) indicates at what level total costs and total revenue are in equilibrium. It is an analytical technique that is used to identify the level of output and sales volume at which the firm ‘breaks- even’, i.e. the revenues are sufficient to cover all costs.

BEA establishes the relationship among fixed and variable costs of production, volume of production, value of output, sales value and profit. It is, therefore, also known as Cost-Volume-Project (CVP) analysis. Three approaches are commonly used to solve the BE problems.

Essay # 3. Margin of Safety :

This type of BEA can be used to calculate the level of sales which must be attained to avoid loss or to calculate the margin of safety (MS). MS is the difference between the firm’s actual level of sales and sales at the BE point, as shown in the Figure 1. It is expressed as: MS = Actual sales revenue-BE sales.

However, firms calculate the MS in terms of ratio as:

MS Ratio = MS/Actual Sales

The MS is an indicator of the strength of a firm. If the margin is large, it shows that the firm can make profit even if it has to face difficulties. On the other hand, if the margin is small, a small reduction in sales can lead to loss. MS is nil at the BE point because actual sales volume is equal to the cost.

Essay # 4. The Equation Method :

The same results can be arrived at by the equation method:

Profit = TR – TVC – TFC 

where TR = Price x Quantity

TVC = AVC x Quantity TFC is a constant)

BE point is where profit = 0

And 0 = (Price x Quantity) – (AVC x Quantity) – TFC.

Rearranging the above equation:

BE Quantity = TFC /Price-AVC

Essay # 5. The Contribution Margin:

Price – AVC in the above equation represents the contribution margin. Thus the above equation can be written as

BE. Point = TFC/Contribution Margin

Output and TR, TC

Fig. 2 illustrates the contribution margin where TVC is the total variable cost. TFC (total fixed cost) is added to TVC in order to arrive at TC (total cost). The difference between TR and TVC is the contribution margin.

Suppose TFC = Rs150

AVC = Rs 12

(Price) P = Rs 15

BE Quantity = 150/15-12=150/3 =50 units

Now TR = P × Q= 15 × 50= Rs 750 TC = TFC + TVC = 150 + (12×50) = Rs 750 Thus BE point is 50 units where TR (Rs 750) = TC (Rs 750)

Essay # 6. Assumptions of Break-Even Analysis :

The break-even analysis is based on the following assumptions:

1. The cost and revenue functions are linear.

2. Total cost is divided into fixed and variable costs.

3. Fixed cost is constant.

4. Variable costs change proportionately with output.

5. The number of units produced and sold of the product is identical. It means that there is no opening or closing stock.

6. The sale price is constant.

7. Factor prices are constant.

8. Costs are affected only by the quantity produced.

9. There is no change in technology and productivity.

10. There is only one product. In case of multiproduct, the product-mix remains constant.

Essay # 7. Limitations of Break-Even Analysis :

The break-even analysis has certain limitations which are discussed as under:

a. Constant Price:

The straight line TR curve assumes that every level of output can be sold at the same price. This is unrealistic because product prices do not remain constant as output increases. In fact, they change frequently.

b. Constant Cost:

It is also assumed that whatever the level of output, AVC remains the same. This suggests that there is no limit to output which the firm can produce. This is again highly unrealistic. The above two assumptions make the BE analysis static in nature.

c. Limitless Profits:

This analysis assumes that profits are a function of output. This suggests that profits increase without limit as the level of output rises. In fact, this never happens because profits are influenced by technological changes, improved management, higher productivity, changes in the scale of fixed factors, etc.

d. Ignores Selling Costs:

It is based only on production costs and neglects selling costs.

e. Data Limitations:

As the BE analysis is based on accounting data, it suffers from such limitations of data as neglect of imputed costs, arbitrary depreciation estimates, inappropriate allocation of overhead costs etc.

f. Limited Products:

This analysis is based on a limited range of products and area. The present day firm produces many products and has many departments or plants which cannot be lumped together and presented on a single BE chart. So the scope of this analysis is limited to a single product of a particular business firm.

g. Short-Run Analysis:

The BEA can be used only during the short run. As such, it is not an effective tool for the long run.

h. Ignores Elasticity of Demand:

It ignores the concept of elasticity of demand and the possibility that different prices may lead to different levels of demand.

i. Ignores Diminishing Returns:

It ignores the principle of diminishing returns which every firm has to keep in view for breaking-even.

Essay # 8. Uses of Break-Even Analysis :

Despite the above noted limitations, the BEA is a useful device for decision making by a firm. It possesses the following advantages in planning and control of business activity.

(i) Product Planning:

It helps the firm in product planning based on its estimated revenue and costs. It can decide about adding a new product line or dropping an existing product line.

(ii) Activity Planning:

The firm can plan about the expansion or reduction of its plant capacity based on its BE analysis.

(iii) Profit Planning:

This analysis helps the firm to plan about the profit level to be earned. This estimate is based on the projections of revenue and costs for the future.

(iv) Safety Margin:

It can be used in determining the safety margin relating to decline in sales without incurring losses.

(v) Target Capacity:

It helps the firm in determining its target sales quantity in order to benefit from its minimum average variable costs of production.

(vi) Price and Cost Changes:

Though this analysis assumes prices and costs as constant, yet it can be used in analysing the effect of changes in prices and costs on the profits of a firm.

(vii) Price Decision:

The firm can take decision about the selling price to be fixed based on its expected revenue and costs in order to earn profits.

(viii) Promotion Decision:

It can decide about the best promotion techniques for the product within the estimated break-even point so as to increase its sales volume.

(ix) Distribution Decision:

Similarly, it can take decision about the best possible distribution system which increases its sales, i.e. to have several distributors or a single distributor in a city or region. 

(x) Dividend Decision:

It is on the basis of the BE point that the firm can decide about the payment of dividend to its shareholders. It is only when the firm starts earning profits beyond the BE point that it decides about the quantum of dividend to be paid to its shareholders.

Related Articles:

  • Break-Even Analysis : Another Powerful Controlling Tool for Management
  • Relationship between Break-Even Analysis, P/V Ratio and Margin of Safety

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OpenAI teases an amazing new generative video model called Sora

The firm is sharing Sora with a small group of safety testers but the rest of us will have to wait to learn more.

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OpenAI has built a striking new generative video model called Sora that can take a short text description and turn it into a detailed, high-definition film clip up to a minute long.

Based on four sample videos that OpenAI shared with MIT Technology Review ahead of today’s announcement, the San Francisco–based firm has pushed the envelope of what’s possible with text-to-video generation (a hot new research direction that we flagged as a trend to watch in 2024 ).

“We think building models that can understand video, and understand all these very complex interactions of our world, is an important step for all future AI systems,” says Tim Brooks, a scientist at OpenAI.

But there’s a disclaimer. OpenAI gave us a preview of Sora (which means sky in Japanese) under conditions of strict secrecy. In an unusual move, the firm would only share information about Sora if we agreed to wait until after news of the model was made public to seek the opinions of outside experts. [Editor’s note: We’ve updated this story with outside comment below.] OpenAI has not yet released a technical report or demonstrated the model actually working. And it says it won’t be releasing Sora anytime soon. [ Update: OpenAI has now shared more technical details on its website.]

The first generative models that could produce video from snippets of text appeared in late 2022. But early examples from Meta , Google, and a startup called Runway were glitchy and grainy. Since then, the tech has been getting better fast. Runway’s gen-2 model, released last year, can produce short clips that come close to matching big-studio animation in their quality. But most of these examples are still only a few seconds long.  

The sample videos from OpenAI’s Sora are high-definition and full of detail. OpenAI also says it can generate videos up to a minute long. One video of a Tokyo street scene shows that Sora has learned how objects fit together in 3D: the camera swoops into the scene to follow a couple as they walk past a row of shops.

OpenAI also claims that Sora handles occlusion well. One problem with existing models is that they can fail to keep track of objects when they drop out of view. For example, if a truck passes in front of a street sign, the sign might not reappear afterward.  

In a video of a papercraft underwater scene, Sora has added what look like cuts between different pieces of footage, and the model has maintained a consistent style between them.

It’s not perfect. In the Tokyo video, cars to the left look smaller than the people walking beside them. They also pop in and out between the tree branches. “There’s definitely some work to be done in terms of long-term coherence,” says Brooks. “For example, if someone goes out of view for a long time, they won’t come back. The model kind of forgets that they were supposed to be there.”

Impressive as they are, the sample videos shown here were no doubt cherry-picked to show Sora at its best. Without more information, it is hard to know how representative they are of the model’s typical output.   

It may be some time before we find out. OpenAI’s announcement of Sora today is a tech tease, and the company says it has no current plans to release it to the public. Instead, OpenAI will today begin sharing the model with third-party safety testers for the first time.

In particular, the firm is worried about the potential misuses of fake but photorealistic video . “We’re being careful about deployment here and making sure we have all our bases covered before we put this in the hands of the general public,” says Aditya Ramesh, a scientist at OpenAI, who created the firm’s text-to-image model DALL-E .

But OpenAI is eyeing a product launch sometime in the future. As well as safety testers, the company is also sharing the model with a select group of video makers and artists to get feedback on how to make Sora as useful as possible to creative professionals. “The other goal is to show everyone what is on the horizon, to give a preview of what these models will be capable of,” says Ramesh.

To build Sora, the team adapted the tech behind DALL-E 3, the latest version of OpenAI’s flagship text-to-image model. Like most text-to-image models, DALL-E 3 uses what’s known as a diffusion model. These are trained to turn a fuzz of random pixels into a picture.

Sora takes this approach and applies it to videos rather than still images. But the researchers also added another technique to the mix. Unlike DALL-E or most other generative video models, Sora combines its diffusion model with a type of neural network called a transformer.

Transformers are great at processing long sequences of data, like words. That has made them the special sauce inside large language models like OpenAI’s GPT-4 and Google DeepMind’s Gemini . But videos are not made of words. Instead, the researchers had to find a way to cut videos into chunks that could be treated as if they were. The approach they came up with was to dice videos up across both space and time. “It’s like if you were to have a stack of all the video frames and you cut little cubes from it,” says Brooks.

The transformer inside Sora can then process these chunks of video data in much the same way that the transformer inside a large language model processes words in a block of text. The researchers say that this let them train Sora on many more types of video than other text-to-video models, varied in terms of resolution, duration, aspect ratio, and orientation. “It really helps the model,” says Brooks. “That is something that we’re not aware of any existing work on.”

“From a technical perspective it seems like a very significant leap forward,” says Sam Gregory, executive director at Witness, a human rights organization that specializes in the use and misuse of video technology. “But there are two sides to the coin,” he says. “The expressive capabilities offer the potential for many more people to be storytellers using video. And there are also real potential avenues for misuse.” 

OpenAI is well aware of the risks that come with a generative video model. We are already seeing the large-scale misuse of deepfake images . Photorealistic video takes this to another level.

Gregory notes that you could use technology like this to misinform people about conflict zones or protests. The range of styles is also interesting, he says. If you could generate shaky footage that looked like something shot with a phone, it would come across as more authentic.

The tech is not there yet, but generative video has gone from zero to Sora in just 18 months. “We’re going to be entering a universe where there will be fully synthetic content, human-generated content and a mix of the two,” says Gregory.

The OpenAI team plans to draw on the safety testing it did last year for DALL-E 3. Sora already includes a filter that runs on all prompts sent to the model that will block requests for violent, sexual, or hateful images, as well as images of known people. Another filter will look at frames of generated videos and block material that violates OpenAI’s safety policies.

OpenAI says it is also adapting a fake-image detector developed for DALL-E 3 to use with Sora. And the company will embed industry-standard C2PA tags , metadata that states how an image was generated, into all of Sora’s output. But these steps are far from foolproof. Fake-image detectors are hit-or-miss. Metadata is easy to remove, and most social media sites strip it from uploaded images by default.  

“We’ll definitely need to get more feedback and learn more about the types of risks that need to be addressed with video before it would make sense for us to release this,” says Ramesh.

Brooks agrees. “Part of the reason that we’re talking about this research now is so that we can start getting the input that we need to do the work necessary to figure out how it could be safely deployed,” he says.

Update 2/15: Comments from Sam Gregory were added .

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Opinion: We know how voters feel about Trump and Biden. But how do the experts rank their presidencies?

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Presidents Day occurs at a crucial moment this year, with the presidency on the cusp of crisis as we inexorably shuffle toward a rematch between the incumbent and his predecessor. It’s the sort of contest we haven’t seen since the 19th century, and judging by public opinion of President Biden and former President Trump, most Americans would have preferred to keep it that way.

But the third installment of our Presidential Greatness Project , a poll of presidential experts released this weekend, shows that scholars don’t share American voters’ roughly equal distaste for both candidates.

Biden, in fact, makes his debut in our rankings at No. 14, putting him in the top third of American presidents. Trump, meanwhile, maintains the position he held six years ago: dead last, trailing such historically calamitous chief executives as James Buchanan and Andrew Johnson. In that and other respects, Trump’s radical departure from political, institutional and legal norms has affected knowledgeable assessments not just of him but also of Biden and several other presidents.

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The overall survey results reveal stability as well as change in the way scholars assess our nation’s most important and controversial political office. Great presidents have traditionally been viewed as those who presided over moments of national transformation, led the country through major crises and expanded the institution of the presidency. Military victories, economic growth, assassinations and scandals also affect expert assessments of presidential performance.

The presidents at the top of our rankings, and others like ours, reflect this. Hallowed leaders such as Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and George Washington consistently lead the list.

Our latest rankings also show that the experts’ assessments are driven not only by traditional notions of greatness but also by the evolving values of our time.

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One example is the continuing decline in esteem for two important presidents, Andrew Jackson and Woodrow Wilson. Their reputations have consistently suffered in recent years as modern politics lead scholars to assess their early 19th and 20th century presidencies ever more harshly, especially their unacceptable treatment of marginalized people.

More acutely, this survey has seen a pronounced partisan dynamic emerge, arguably in response to the Trump presidency and the Trumpification of presidential politics.

Proponents of the Biden presidency have strong arguments in their arsenal, but his high placement within the top 15 suggests a powerful anti-Trump factor at work. So far, Biden’s record does not include the military victories or institutional expansion that have typically driven higher rankings, and a family scandal such as the one involving his son Hunter normally diminishes a president’s ranking.

Biden’s most important achievements may be that he rescued the presidency from Trump, resumed a more traditional style of presidential leadership and is gearing up to keep the office out of his predecessor’s hands this fall.

Trump’s position at the bottom of our rankings, meanwhile, puts him behind not only Buchanan and Johnson but also such lowlights as Franklin Pierce, Warren Harding and William Henry Harrison, who died a mere 31 days after taking office.

Trump’s impact goes well beyond his own ranking and Biden’s. Every contemporary Democratic president has moved up in the ranks — Barack Obama (No. 7), Bill Clinton (No. 12) and even Jimmy Carter (No. 22).

Yes, these presidents had great accomplishments such as expanding healthcare access and working to end conflict in the Middle East, and they have two Nobel Prizes among them. But given their shortcomings and failures, their rise seems to be less about reassessments of their administrations than it is a bonus for being neither Trump nor a member of his party.

Indeed, every modern Republican president has dropped in the survey, including the transformational Ronald Reagan (No. 16) and George H.W. Bush (No. 19), who led the nation’s last decisive military victory.

Academics do lean left, but that hasn’t changed since our previous surveys. What these results suggest is not just an added emphasis on a president’s political affiliation, but also the emergence of a president’s fealty to political and institutional norms as a criterion for what makes a president “great” to the scholars who study them.

As for the Americans casting a ballot for the next president, they are in the historically rare position of knowing how both candidates have performed in the job. Whether they will consider each president’s commitment to the norms of presidential leadership, and come to rate them as differently as our experts, remains to be seen.

Justin Vaughn is an associate professor of political science at Coastal Carolina University. Brandon Rottinghaus is a professor of political science at the University of Houston.

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