Price Gouging

Technical Parameters: No more than two page faces, no smaller than 12 point font, single-spacing is fine, approximately 1-inch margins.
Assignment: Analyze market effects and discuss the economic arguments for and against price gouging laws. To be concrete, consider a law restricting firms from raising the price of such goods as milk, gasoline, water, or generators immediately before, during, and soon after a natural disaster such as a hurricane.
You must discuss (1) how the market will behave with and without such a price gouging  law during a natural disaster and (2) the economic arguments for and against such a law. For (1) you will likely want to consider shifts in supply and/or demand curves, efficiency and equity effects, how consumer and producer surplus changes, how resources are ultimately allocated, incentives of consumers and firms, and the effect on firm revenues. It will be important to use correct economic terminology in your essay. Keep in mind:
1. This is not an explanation of what price gouging is, the moral issues involved, or the history of price gouging laws.
2. You must cite any sources (except your textbook). While you may find it helpful to read on the subject, this is not a research project. It is by no means necessary that you bring other sources into your essay in fact you probably will be better off not doing so. Your thoughts about the issue are sufficient.
3. You may discuss the essay with classmates but everyone must turn in their own work.
4. This is NOT a persuasive essay. The point is for you to present how price gouging laws will affect a market and discuss both sides of the issue from an economic point of view.
5. Graphs may be very helpful as you prepare your essay, but do not include any graphs with you essay.
6. Your essay must be a coherent presentation of the question at hand and issues involved. Simply a list or table of pros and cons, for example, is unacceptable..
7. Style, spelling, and grammar matters. You will need to be clear and concise.

You will be graded based on:
1. The quality and correctness of your economic analysis.
2. Correct use of economic terms.
3. Quality of presentation, including spelling and grammar (as a secondary criteria)





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