Economics models are false and so government should ignore their predictions. Explain, discuss and evaluate the accuracy of this statement.
Price Elasticity – Economics models are the tools which economists use to predict future economic developments by measuring past relationships among variables such as household income, consumer spending, employment, interest rates, tax rates etc. and forecasting how changes in some of these variables will affect other variables. An economic model is said to be complete if it can accurately forecast many of the variables future course, however, no economic model can be complete in true sense. There are several forces outside the model that affect the calculation and forecasting of variables. There are two ways by which these outside factors affect the forecasting and economic predictions. The input errors are concerned with inaccurate assumption of outside variables and model errors which explains the deviation of the equation of economic model from the assumption to the actual. Hence, it can be said that economic models are subjective approximations of reality and are designed to explain the observation. Therefore, the model’s predictions should be moderated so that it can accommodate the effect of random data variables (Deming, 2000).
Many researchers believe that economic theories and models simply provide ways to look at systems and determine how changes in variables affect the overall outcome. It also explains advantages and disadvantages of various economic models and systems. However, predictions and subsequent policy decisions are made after following value judgement of policymakers or the government. Therefore, the government should view at economic model only as a framework which provide insight of a contextual theory. More empirical evidence and real life economic parameters should be considered while making policy decisions based on economic predictions (Godley & Lavoie, 2006).
No economic model can perfectly predict the real future. A good example of the economic model’s failure is to predict the reasons for the global financial crisis of 2008. The prevailing economic model was deficient to provide sufficient attention towards the relationship between demands, wealth, and excessive financial risk taking. There were considerable research which had been conducted to uncover the same and also a new behavioural equation was added to the existing economic models. The true test of the new model will happen when it will effectively flag financial risk levels that would need a precautionary policy change. This is an ongoing process which consist of constructing, testing, and revising models and outside forces so that economists and policymakers can predict the future course of economy (Taylor, 2009).
Government neither can overlook economic models’ forecasts nor make predictions completely based on them. It has also been seen that economists seem to put aside political factors outside their equation. Politics among other outside factors is the most important factor that helps to determine the outcome of economic policy. In view of these analysis, it is suggested to use structural models which makes several “what if” economic analysis on several input combinations. In this way, the policymakers would have substantial information on various numerical variables and the forecast can be recalculated whenever required (Diermeier, Eraslan & Merlo, 2003).
Identify estimates of the price elasticity of demand for at least three different products
The “law of demand” suggests that the higher the price of a good, the lesser demand from consumers. This is the fundamental law of all economic models to predict the economic forecasts. In order to predict consumer behaviour in more details, economists use several techniques which evaluate the sensitivity of consumers’ demands with respect to changes in price. The most commonly used technique is known as “price elasticity of demand”. In simple terms, it is the proportionate change in demand given a change in price. For example, if a one unit decline in the price of a product produces a one unit increase in demand for that product, the price elasticity of demand is said to be one (Green, Malpezzi & Mayo, 2005).
Numerous studies suggest that the majority of consumer goods and services falls in the price elasticity of between .5 and 1.5. Essential products to everyday living, which have fewer substitutes, typically have lower elasticity for example, staple foods. Since, staples such as cereals are necessities in the diet, and are usually cheaper so that people safeguard their income for spending on such essentials when prices increase. Furthermore, lower income households tend to have higher price elasticity for food items than high income households. As food products occupies a large share of total income in these households, price changes have a substantial impact on the allocation of budget. On the other hand, magnitude of the elasticity for animal source foods such as fish, meat and dairy are higher than staple cereals as these are considered as luxury food items and there are always many substitutes available for consumption of these food choices (Andreyeva, Long & Brownell, 2010).
Goods with many substitutes, or are considered luxuries as are not essential, or whose purchase can be easily postponed, have higher elasticity. For example, the demand of automobile is considered as elastic as there are three kind of substitution takes place. In response of a unit price change, consumer of a new car can delay the purchase, or can choose to purchase another category of car or chose not to buy a new car and use another mode of transport. Furthermore, in case of buying a particular model of car, it would be highly elastic demand as there will be a lot of substitutes. On the other hand, demand for cars in rural areas would be inelastic over the longer run. Because there are very few alternative mode of transports available (Parry, Walls & Harrington, 2007).
Another example can be taken from health care services, where the demand for health care expenditure is found to be price inelastic. A range of price elasticity estimates it to be -0.17, which means that a one unit increase in the price of health care will lead to a 0.17 unit reduction in health care expenditures. Moreover, the demand for health care is also found to be income inelastic as it is in the range of 0 to 0.2. The positive sign of the elasticity suggests that there will be increase for health care demand as income increases, however the low magnitude of the elasticity indicates that the demand response would be relatively very small (Duarte, 2012).
Andreyeva, T., Long, M. W., & Brownell, K. D. (2010). The impact of food prices on consumption: a systematic review of research on the price elasticity of demand for food. American journal of public health, 100(2), 216-222.
Deming, W. E. (2000). The new economics: for industry, government, education. MIT press.
Diermeier, D., Eraslan, H., & Merlo, A. (2003). A structural model of government formation. Econometrica, 71(1), 27-70.
Duarte, F. (2012). Price elasticity of expenditure across health care services. Journal of health economics, 31(6), 824-841.
Godley, W., & Lavoie, M. (2006). Monetary economics: an integrated approach to credit, money, income, production and wealth. Springer.
Green, R. K., Malpezzi, S., & Mayo, S. K. (2005). Metropolitan-specific estimates of the price elasticity of supply of housing, and their sources. The American Economic Review, 95(2), 334-339.
Parry, I. W., Walls, M., & Harrington, W. (2007). Automobile externalities and policies. Journal of economic literature, 45(2), 373-399.
Taylor, J. B. (2009). The financial crisis and the policy responses: An empirical analysis of what went wrong (No. w14631). National Bureau of Economic Research.
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This paper examines the European Union economic model as an example of a regional integration for economic prospects in the world. Since 1972, twelve nations of Europe namely, Austria, Belgium, Britain, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain co-operated economically under the treaty of European Economic Commission, EEC (Bartolini). However, the Union under examination in this paper came into effect on July 1987 when the single European Act came into force, thereby amending the founding treaties to cope with the transition into a single market. For a longer time, the European Union (EU) remains the most developed model in the regional integration examples. However, lately, severe economic crisis continue to shake the very foundation upon which the union stands. From debt crisis to refugee crisis, the challenges seem so great for some of the nation members to bear. Consequently, this now puts into question the economic benefits that accrue from the integration process (Hix and Høyland).
The lack of logical solutions to the EU’s frequent crisis ideally calls into question the very steadfastness of the union. The recent financial crisis that threatened Greece to decamp from the European Union reveals the institutional and structural cracks within the Eurozone. Two other countries of the union namely, Spain and Italy, now appear posed to go the Greece way. The economic decline of the EU comes in the wake of a new global economic order. Under this dispensation, there is now economic decline of the two world’s economic powerhouses, the United States of America (USA), and the European Union, but the rise in Asian and African economies. These economic realignments already threaten the social cohesion, and both the economic and political stability of the Eurozone (Kelegama 110-131). In the wake of these crises, the European Union’s status as the viable model of regional economics now is subject to threat. In the event that the European Union recovers from the crises that are threatening to tear it apart, it will emerge even stronger, and continue its role as the global leading model of regional integration.
The European Union Model Insights
The genesis of EU’s integration has its roots in the economic hardships of the early 1950s, following the conclusion of World War II. The success of the European Union as an economic and political conglomerate lies in a number of far reaching principles. First, the continent of Europe boasts of a number of visionary leaders. Among these are Germany’s Konrad Adenauer, and France’s Robert Schuman. The two leaders conceived a political alliance that operated on communal basis, and deviated from the traditional political model whose basis was the balance of power ((Bartolini). The United States’ support played a pivotal role at its conception was also crucial in the early years. Second, the Franco-German partnership was crucial in the integration process. For years, Berlin and Paris continue to be the engine of European amalgamation. Thirdly, the European political elite always share a common vision of sovereignty. This is instrumental in the common institutions that are strong, and legally binding on matters integration. Finally, Europeans share solidarity with their leaders on consensus approach based on tolerance. In this regard, the European decision makers try their best not isolate a member country (Bartolini. This approach saw Greece retain its membership in the wake of its recent economic crisis. The tolerance of policy makers in Europe encompasses an all-inclusive approach when dealing with a member nation. The basis of decisions, often, is on consensus, and political goodwill to offer colossal financial support to poorer member nations to take their rightful place in the union.
The four principles that continue to guide the European Union in crises, enables it to emerge stronger than ever whenever similar situations arise. This enables the union to ward off crises more easily. Some of the historical challenges that the EU warded off in the past include new treaties referendum failures. A case in hand is that of Ireland’s Lisbon Treaty in the year 2008 as well as the French and Dutch constitutional treaty. In each case, a referendum threw out each of the treaty. Another is the case of Charles de Gaulle who used “empty chair” tactic to withdraw his compatriots’ representation the political bodies of the union whenever these introduced the famed qualified majority voting (QMV). Charles de Gaulle ruled French during the 1958 to 1969 period (Dinan).
A more recent development involved the EU’s adoption of the flexible approach that resulted in a Europe divided into multiple layers of integration. However, not all the countries of Europe enjoy the Eurozone status. For instance, the United Kingdom trades in the Eurozone courtesy of the Schengen passport-free agreement. UK, however, continues to use the Sterling Pound as its currency. The EU allowed this arrangement to give leeway to Euro-sceptic nations to renege on certain obligations guarded by the union treaty (Volkens). Nonetheless, the EU remains committed to its core mandate that allows it the freedom to share sovereignty with any committed nation within the continent, while still committed to the values of strong common institutions.
Regional Groupings in Other Parts of the World
Other regions of the world continue to seek regional integration to push forward a common agenda. Notable here include associations such as the African Union (AU), the Mercosur of South America, the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). However, nothing in their progress mirrors the EU’s success. Amongst these the ASEAN model is second to in EU in performance. Perhaps this follows their efforts that saw them send delegations in a number of times to Europe to seek the European Union’s experiences from Brussels. However, throughout its existence, the ASEAN shows no interest in sharing sovereignty, and therefore, continues to be an inter-governmental body (Kelegama 110-131). The same applies for the other bodies mentioned above. Consequently, the EU remains the world’s most successful conglomerate of nations in terms of economic and political cooperation. Therefore, the union remains the globe’s best success story in integration.
Pronouncements on closer cooperation continue to dominate the political scenes in Africa, Latin America, South America, Asia, and the Middle East, but none of the declarations of these groupings matches the EU’s spirit of cooperation, integration, and political goodwill (Kelegama 110-131). Their pronouncements over time remains mere rhetorical expressions, for after these declaration are not matched with equal seriousness in action.
The EU’s success story arises from historical reconciliation over time. This is a vital factor if any political entity wishes to develop the matching good will, and step into the world of cooperation and, eventually, integration. The engine of EU’s success story rests on the historical frequent reconciliation of two Europe’s decision makers – Germany and France (Bartolini). Years of political resilience of the leaders of these two nations, often provide the fodder needed to take reconciliation, and cooperation forward. In sharp contrast, no other regional body, matches the EU’s ambitious efforts when it comes to political goodwill. For instance, in the East Asia case, unless Japan and China show similar commitment, there will never be a genuine integration, and the ASEAN model will always lag behind the European Union (Kelegama 110-131).
Similar reconciliation must also exist between Korea, and Japan. The mistrusts in political leaderships witnessed in East Asia is rife all over the world. Issues remain unsolved because a deeply lingering suspicion by the political players of the day. For instance, when one discusses this, India and Pakistan comes to mind. So is Argentina and Brazil, Iran and Saudi Arabia, and so on. The European Union model shows that cooperation, and integration is only possible after historical reconciliation amongst the warring nations. It only then that they can proceed gradually into the necessary steps crucial for creating a regional community. After this, the regional community can go a step further and create a customs union, a free-trade area, a common passport, a single market, a common foreign-policy, and eventually a common currency (Kelegama 110-131).
The Current State of the EU
The European Union stands tall as a secure, prosperous, and a safe haven in comparison to other regional bodies of this world. Following its recent economic turmoil, however, the European Union needs to tackle its perennial major challenges, if needs to remain a global player and influencer worth emulating. It needs to tackle these challenges now with urgency, and determination. Only then will the European Union remain the world’s leading model of cooperation, integration, and economic union. However, the European Union’s current problems arise from a number of factors. First, the European Union experiences a rapid expansion and integration. The number of member states currently stand at 28. This is in contract to only 12 members in 1972. This is not commensurate with the European Union’s economic, and political strengths.
The emerging differences, and economic gaps between the member nations require urgent attention necessary. The EU must coordinate and institute the expansion of its capacity building efforts to bring all players at the same level. Currently, though, Germany and France seem to be its major beneficiaries. For these two nations, the EU provides a readily available labour force and a vast market for their rapidly expanding domestic industries. The European Union member nations must find equal footing if their model of economic integration is to suggest lessons for other bodies pursuing regional integrations (Volkens). These lessons will remain vital particularly when these regional entities come to the later stages of economic cooperation, and integration.
The second challenge that the European Union must tackle is increased fiscal coordination. This is necessary in the wake a seemingly worsening economic position. The European Union’s financial systems require cleaning, in order to bring them into agreement with the austerity plans that now most member nations embrace. The European Union continues to roll through murky waters, though. The ever persistent present danger of disintegration, and euro collapse remains. More so in the wake of rising national debt situation in member countries. Portugal and Ireland have since found their footing. Greece is reeling out of a life threatening debt situation that almost forced it out of the union. Similarly, the economic situation of Spain and Italy look dim. In addition, dissenting voices are heard in Britain, the Netherlands, and other quarters that threaten the very existence of the union as it is today (Hix and Høyland).
The major factor that seems to deem the influence of the European Union stems from the dismal performances of the euro internationally. The union’s central bank is the European Central Bank (ECB). Presently, 17 of the 28 European Union member nations use the Euro as its currency. The fact is that euro comes second to the dollar in the forex market trading. This gives it an international appeal, and thereby makes it one of the leading global reserve currencies. The euro came into existence on 1 January 1999 (Damian 222-229). Consequently, the account currency placed the European Union member currencies at the same level of strength, and thereby, sent the entire member nations individual currencies into oblivion. At launch, only eleven of the EU states adopted the euro. These included Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, the Netherlands, Ireland, Finland, Luxembourg, Belgium, and Austria. Greece joined the union in 2001, and similarly adopted the euro as its currency. So did Slovenia in 2007. Cyprus and Malta followed suit in 2008, while Slovakia adopted the euro in 2009.
The latest entrant into the union is Latvian who joined the membership on 1 January 2014. A number of other countries outside the Eurozone also use the euro. These include the Vatican City, San Marino Republic, Monaco Principality, as well as the Andorra Principality. In addition, many territories of the Eurozone countries including Madeira Islands, the Canary Islands, the Azores, the Reunion, French Guiana, the Balearic Islands, Europa Island, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Saint Pierre, Mayotte, Juan de Nova, and Saint Martin among many others also use the euro in their day-to-day transactions. Equally, the North Korean Republic, Cuba, and Syria also use the euro. Most currencies of the world similarly exchange their currencies to the euro based on the prevailing market exchange rates (Damian 222-229).
The Eurozone Crisis
The major challenge that the EU faces today is the continued fragile economies of a given Eurozone member nations. These include Italy, Spain, and Greece. Greece recently received a third bailout package to the tune of 85 billion euros. Like before, the bailout came with stringent austerity measures. Spain and Italy faces renewed speculation on the ability to service their national debt portfolios in the financial markets (Hix and Høyland). Even though there appear to be some light at the end of the tunnel for many of the European Union countries, economists warn on possibilities of a “double dip” recession in the Eurozone.
Many attribute the European debt crisis to a number of financial guarantees by the EU nations that feared financial septicity, and by the global moneylender, International Monetary Fund (IMF). When ratings agencies downgrade the Eurozone debt, and even giving the Greek debt a junk status at one point, it creates a panic in the financial markets. Consequently, the basis of the bailout agreements requires the recipient countries to have stringent austerity plans aimed at reducing the national debt portfolio (Hix and Høyland).
The national debt crisis among the European Union member nations began in 2009. It stemmed from the inability of some Eurozone member countries to repay or refinance the nation debt of their countries. The nations affected included Cyprus, Portugal, Ireland, Spain, and Greece. They became unable to foot the loans of the beleaguered banks without European Central Bank inputs. Further assistance became necessary from the lenders such as the International Monetary Fund and the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF). Seventeen of the member countries created the EFSF sometime in 2010 (Hix and Høyland). Its mandate was to offer solutions on the spiraling European debt crisis.
The EU’s debt crisis has its genesis from the financial crisis that plagued the world in 2007 and 2008. This gave rise to the recession in 2008 to 2012. The latter led to the property bubbles in a number of countries, including the United States, and consequently, led to the crisis in the real estate markets. The culmination of the recession was in 2009, and led to the Greece’s discovery that its previous government exceedingly under reported the national budget deficit. The pronouncements signaled Greece’s a violation of the EU treaty policy, and led to fears of the euro collapse, as it eroded investor levels. This led to unsustainable high interest rates in the euro bonds. The fear this sparked in the fiscal world led to beliefs that the Eurozone debts were unsustainable (Hix and Høyland).
In 2010, in the wake of the fear of unsustainable Eurozone sovereign debt, each lender began demanded higher interests on the EU member nations’ loans, and consequently, spiraled the debt out of control. This made most member countries fail to finance budget deficits. In the phase of negative economic growth, and shrinking Gross Domestic Products (GDP), some countries raised taxes to finance the deficit as most governments slashed their expenditures. The negative social vices and economic downturns followed. This even led to votes of no confidence in the leadership, especially in Greece. In view of this, rating agencies downgraded three Eurozone debt statuses to the junk, and thereby, worsened the investor fears. The countries affected included Ireland, Portugal, and Greece (Hix and Høyland).
The Greek Case
In the wake of the upheavals in the Eurozone in 2010, the national bond yields for a number of the EU countries shot up. Those affected included the Federal Republic of Germany, Portugal, Ireland, and Greece. The escalation in bond yields forced the Greek government to seek the country’s first assistance in May 2010 (Hix and Høyland). Now, Greece got two bailouts. All the assistance came from the EU over a five years period. During this time, the country undertook the EU-led austerity measures. It aimed to reduce costs in the phase of a biting economic recession, political, and social unrest. Come June 2015, the Greek government in a phase of political divisions amid the never ending recession, faced a default on its national debts amid calls to leave the EU altogether. To save the day, the Greek parliament voted for further austerity on 5 July 2015. This led to the third bailout to the country totalling 85 billion euros.
Ireland went the Greek way in its request for a bailout late in 2010, while Portugal came in next in the month of May 2011 (Hix and Høyland). Spain and Italy also found themselves in the rather precarious situation, and therefore, Spain put in her request to the EU for a bailout in June 2012; and so did Cyprus. Portugal also followed suit. However, come 2014, Spain, Portugal, and Ireland exited the bailout plan in the wake of domestic austerity actions, these countries’ fiscal reforms, and other favourable economic factors. Full economic recovery may still be far, but at least they are able to stand on their own. However, for Spain, a recent economic development in the country pushes it toward a second bailout plan.
For the European Union, the economic turmoil within the union comes amid momentous wealth shifts toward Asia and Africa. In the wake of this, the EU’s global GDP share dropped from 24 percent in 1990 to 22 percent in 2010. The emerging markets as those of China, India, Russia, and Brazil all compete the European Union for foreign direct investments, and growth resources like oil and gas. In addition, the European labour force ages drastically and now seeks leisure than work. Furthermore, the European Union lags behind in resource allocation to innovation. Innovation is the engine of growth, and where it lacks, stagnation quickly follows. The European Union’s Lisbon Strategy that aimed to turn the European Union into an economic powerhouse is conspicuously missing in action (Hix and Høyland). In addition, its latest 2020 plan, operating in an environment of lofty ambitions, certainly will not fare any better.
In this era of declining oil and commodity prices amid rising food prices economic recovery prospects for the European Union look grimmer. Simply put, future forecasts for the European Union paint a rather dark picture of the European Union, in the wake of its largely aging and immobile population. This gives the Union a competitive disadvantage in the wake of cheap labour markets in Asia and Africa, which now forces the union’s domestic enterprises to relocate to the two continents (Kelegama 110-131). This leaves the European Union economy overburdened by high unemployment rate amid rising health costs. In addition, the Asian communist and socialist development models now pose great challenges to the capitalist model of the Anglo-Saxon cooperation. Consequently, fewer Asian nations are eager to implement the American and European Union led reforms on environmental, labour, and social strata arguing this would greatly disadvantage their development plans at this critical juncture.
The third and critical challenge in the European Unionrevolves around finding a common identity. Member nations never speak with one voice, turning the union into a misdirected entity where opposing forces pull in different directions (Dinan). The current Syrian refugees’ crisis and the subsequent divisions it continues to cause in the leadership of Eurozone is a case at hand. Academicians describe it as one the greatest paradoxes of the European Union, in the phase of a widening and deepening rift. We have a European Union that progressively moved from the unification of its customs departments into a single-market economy, and currently boasts seventeen nations in its monetary union. We also have an EU that gradually increased the number of membership nations from just six at its onset to the current twenty-eight members. In this diversity that spans almost the entire continent, a common identity continues to be a great challenge.
Consequently, the European Union finds itself unable to strengthen the union’s political institutions further, in order to keep abreast with the deepening needs of this integration, in the wake of a heterogeneous membership. In the phase of a widespread public scepticism on the European Union’s vision of cooperation and integration, the citizens remain hooked to individual national values, and consequently, are reluctant in letting Brussels usurp the national powers. In addition, the two bearers of the EU’s vision, France and Germany are now openly divided on matters of economic governance (Hix and Høyland). Therefore, the union needs to find a common European voice in all matters that touch on global economic governance.
Many in the EU looked upon the Lisbon Treaty as a provider of the necessary impetus for deepening the economic prospects of the European Union, but the struggle seems to bare any fruit presently. As a result, national politicians are now reluctant to push forward the agenda for strengthening the European Union. The strongest proponent of the union, Germany, now relaxes its voice on closer integration (Hix and Høyland). This gives the sceptics raw fodder to publicly doubt the euro prospects. In this front, however, a number of European Union politicians, such as the former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, and Belgium’s former prime minister, Guy Verhofstad, who lead the liberals minds to the argument that the European Union now requires radical steps to best respond to its myriad political and economic crisis. This group believes that the European Union’s handicap stems from the weak central institutions of the European Union. Consequently, they assert that the European Union needs sufficient regulation that governs its energy and financial sectors. Unfortunately, for the group, lukewarm reception from Germany and a number of member nations continue to meet their recommendations.
The Validity of this Model
Recent political and economic crisis in the Eurozone puts heavy challenge on the European Union’s model of governance as an implantable system of governance. However, some scholars argue that this fallout is only temporary. History is rife with instances where the EU rebounded from the ashes. This group argues that the European Union will leverage its present day adversity, and move forward in its integration efforts. This group cite as an example, the 1954 case where the plan mooted for a common European defence system failed. It is this plan, however, that gave birth to the EEC in three years’ time. Another common point of reference is the empty-chairs crisis under the then French president Charles de Gaulle in 1965. His theatrical actions later resulted in the Single European Act in 1986 through a unilateral acceptance of QMV (Bartolini). In addition, the 1980s currency tribulations gave rise to the common European Monetary System, and eventually the euro.
In the wake of regional blocs’ dominance in the global economic and financial agenda, the European Union as a single player is unlikely to achieve much on its own. A long time ally, the United States, now presses for a reduction in the number of seats the European Union occupies in the Group of 20 (G20), and the global lending houses, including the World Bank, and the IMF (Hix and Høyland). In due course the changes could trigger stronger for the integration process.
In the phase of these crises, the EU continues to attract negative media attention. However, despite the critics, most governments of the member nations, and other regional groupings continue to show strong faith in this union. Of significance is the fact that despite the crises, neither the next door Russia, nor the now Asian economic giant China nor Russia sold their holdings of euros (Hix and Høyland).
Neither has the European Union’s problems dimmed other regional groupings’ quest for greater cooperation, and eventual integration. For instance, ASEAN continues to push forward its proposals for the establishment of its ambassadorial steering committee, in line with the arrangement in Brussels. They call theirs Coreper. Consequently, South Korea, China, and Japan continue to intensify the regional trilateral ministerial meetings. The aim is to establish closer ties in the East Asian cooperation (Kelegama 110-131).
Consequently, a lot exists for the benefit of many from the European Union model of integration. At the core of the matter is the fact that the European Union is a heterogeneous organization. Therefore, how the member countries manage crisis serves as a pointer to the emerging regional bodies. For instance, if one considers monetary union objectively, it becomes clear that an integrated economic and political system is necessary to evaluate the national debt of a member country, and consequently, defers speculation. This serves well those nations aspiring to forge a customs union and adopt a free market economy, which finally leads to a common currency (Kelegama 110-131).
Experts assert that the process of integration is very difficult indeed, as invariable setbacks and crises often arise. However, as one evaluates the European Union case, data available proves such sceptics wrong. The EU as a regional union boasts of an excellent record in tackling crises, and move forward ever strongly than previously. Experts attribute this to a very strong political will. Consequently, the valuable lessons from the European Union model gives an impetus on investment benefits member nations accrue from their goal to integrate regionally. In as much as the system may not prove politically convenient, however it is a platform that time testifies have great advantages to regional economies. Moreover, it is prudent to understand that integration only succeeds, in the arena where the citizens and governments believe in the cause as vital above national interests (Hix and Høyland). Consequently, where commitments lack, the regional grouping crumbles at the first bump on the road to this city called integration.
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Damian, Monica. “The Comparative Analysis of the Monetary Policy Strategies before the Adoption of the Euro Currency and the Impact upon the Maastricht Criteria.” Journal of Applied Economic Sciences (JAES) 3 (17 (2011): 222-229.
Dinan, Desmond. “Ever closer union: an introduction to European integration. “Boulder, USA–2005 (2004).
Hix, Simon, and Bjørn Høyland. The political system of the European Union. Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.
Kelegama, Saman “South Asia and other regional economic groupings.” South Asia (2010): 110-131.
Volkens, Andrea, et al. Mapping policy preferences II: estimates for parties, electors, and governments in Eastern Europe, European Union, and OECD 1990-2003. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006.
Moving towards a New Economy. Traditionally an economy was defined in terms of deciding factors influencing the distribution of limited and scarce resource among the competing forces in highly competitive environment. The scope of the subject was limited to efficient performance of production processes. The agenda of fairness has been rarely incorporated in the economic system. Economic theories were not contributing enough to resolve the economic and practical problems. Freedom of mind lost its connection with reality and introduced hypothetical theories to resolve the economic issues prevalent in the environment. These theoretical frameworks present comprehensive and ample method of evaluating the individual behaviors but at same time produce variety of testable issues which demand extensive and profound scrutiny.
Behaviors of individuals are examined and analyzed by numerous economic endeavors and economic agents. It is very difficult to define culture as it implies numerous meanings, transformed into various aspects without any mutually agreed definition. Culture is associated with the subject of humanities and social sciences and its meaning varies widely across disciplines. It ascribed different meanings in different centuries and the most recent one focused on the intellectual development of entire civilization and entire lifestyles of individuals which supplement the cultural values. Culture is social frame work which defines the attitudes, beliefs, norms values shared by large group. The main objective of relating economy with cultural dimensions is to investigate the role of cultural instruments in economic development and economic performance of the society (Throsby, 2001).
New Economy and New Culture
Some of the extremists believed that new economy would be free of all the inflationary problems which would lead to recession or economic downturn because of technological development. According to (Wired, 1998) new economy would evolve with the help of technological change, globalization in the economy and skills and creativity of individuals in the society. Development in information technology would largely impact the work in production industry. Technological change is revolutionary change which enhances the workers ability and skills and affects the social choices of individuals (Zuboff, 1988).
Globalization would narrow down the geographical boundaries and expand the market across the borders and scope of the new economy would be globalized. This globalization would redesign the rules of competitiveness in the economy. It has differential effect in the society and has enabled to achieve free market mechanism against protectionism (Brink Lindsey, 2001). The effect of globalization has also deprived local culture from its unique cultural factors. So the cultural factors have also evolved along with the economy because of dramatic changes in the world. New economy demands completely new skill set among workers. Ne economy values creativity and innovation of the individuals to compete in global market.
New economy capitalizes on the value of intangible assets and provide dynamic and information rich environment for operation to its workers. (Malone, 1999) New economy has produced heterogeneity and flexibility in cultural instruments of the society and has established unique relationship between culture and economy. Contribution of creative sector in the economy has highlighted that the problems of cultural policy are almost the same as problems of economic policy. New economy is described as global, networked and information rich economy with creative and innovative workforce. It generates niche- marketed goods and services staffed by intelligent and culturally rich workers and satisfy the creative and cultural needs of individuals. Cultural needs of individuals evolve with the growth in creative sector of the society (Healy, 2002).
The focus of cultural values has shifted from direct economic contributions produced by creative industries towards indirect economic benefits like creativity and innovation, employability and social inclusion. Social and cultural values, capital and human characteristics are highly considered factors in the formulation of cultural policy which is associated with the economic policy (Böhm & Land, 2009). Development in the work life and labor markets demands the understanding of motivational factors of workers. Creativity and innovation has generated new appeal for culture in the new economy. Cultural context of economics can be easily explained as economic agents observe and breather in the cultural environment which regulates their behaviors and outline their preferences. Cultural economy helps to scrutinize the social and economic dimensions of the society.
Contemporary Business and Economy
Evolution in the economy and international standards have created intimidating business environment for several multinational companies and their brands operating globally. Newly evolved business environment poses challenges of economic downturn, high cultural sensitivity because of cultural shifts in the society, lack of motivation and job satisfaction among the workforce and corporate scandals leading to lack of trust in capital markets. These challenges are attributed to globalization of market, development in information and technology and diversity in the workforce. Organizations operating in this highly unpredictable working environment are struggling to restore their trust in the corporate world. Some organizations are trying to regain their position in this hostile environment by setting ethical standards, strict rules, establishing transparent processes, addressing public concerns, performing cultural audits and by establishing social challenging performance targets. All these efforts pave path towards the formation of new economy and new culture collectively described as cultural economy (Goodman, 2004).
Organizations in contemporary business environment are highly susceptible to social, cultural and moral issues of the society. Changes in the operating environment of businesses largely sway the skill requirement of businesses. Business organizations are adapting and transforming their operating activities according to the cultural, social and moral standards of the society. This transformation largely influences the competitive position of the business in competitive landscape. It also helps in developing positive image and repute of the business in the society. Change agents like economic environment, technology and globalization have forced the organizations to capitalize on the cultural economy in order to adapt and perform landmark success in their industry. Implications of contemporary issues raised by the environment could be easily modified and capitalized by balancing their business environment with new economy and new culture (Crane & Matten, 2010.).
Importance of New Economy and New Culture
Cultural processes and values adapt to material environment. The role of culture in the economic development of third world countries could be effective by identifying their cultural integrity and cultural aspirations of poor people and improving their material circumstances according to their cultural traditions. Development of culture and economic circumstances are intertwined in the society. Development projects introduced by NGOs in under developing countries for raising their living standards and economic conditions largely depend on the understanding of their cultural traditions. This explained that culture determines the scope of material process in economic context (Throsby, 2001). The driving force in international market is culture and creativity. The impact of culture is evident not only to the economy but also to their society. Increase importance of culture in economy and society has transformed the way of creation, consumption and enjoying cultural products. Culture is not only significant mean towards economic growth but also fundamental factor in social cohesion and development of human civilization. Cultural industries deal with the conception, production and commercialization of creative products which have social and economic importance in the market.
From 1999 to 2003, growth in cultural and creative industry in European Union was 12.3% more than economic growth. In 2004 cultural sector employed 5.8 million people in Europe. Moreover the jobs created by cultural and creative sector provide sense of assurance and commitment, job involvement and satisfaction to their workers. Cultural industries contribute towards enhancing the economic performance of the countries. The Great Wall of China as cultural heritage is source of tourist income and attracts national investment. It enhances the value of the brand of the national products and mobilizes the economy. This example illustrated the economic and social contribution of culture in the society (Pol, 2007).
The concept of knowledge-based economy provides economic support to creativity and talent and emphasizes on the framework of cultural growth and development. Traditional production factors have evolved and change in the new economy. Key underlying factors of social and economic growth are knowledge, creativity, innovation and skills. It has not only changed the economic structure but revolutionized the development of economy and society. Economic growth and development largely relies on the application new ideas and creativity in the cohesive economy. Influential component of culture, behavior of individuals and social groups emphasize and lead toward the development of society. The idea of cultural materialism enabled better understanding of the relationship between culture and economic development. Development of society largely depends upon the development of culture and arts. UN is also taking initiatives, passing resolutions and policy papers to ensure that to introduce cultural industries in the policy formation of developing and under-developed countries. This explained that efforts are being done to shift from narrative importance of cultural economy towards the performativity. Realizing the importance of cultural economy, international and national organizations are taking practical initiatives to incorporate cultural dimension in their economy (Anon., 2009).
Qualitative research on arts and culture have exhibited that it positively contribute towards the better health and well-being of individuals, improve the social identity and cohesion, community development and economic benefits to the society. Cultural and art oriented projects enhance the personal motivation of individuals and provide social esteem leading to healthy benefits to the society. Cultural economy fosters intercultural understanding which helps to accommodate diversity in cultures and populations. Cultural exhibitions and festivals played significant role in validating the diversity in the workforce and overcome the problem of social isolation in the work environment (Coalter., 2001). Highly competitive nature of business demands the workforce to be highly motivated and satisfied which in turn would contribute towards the high productivity and improved economic performance. Economic effect of art and culture could be explained by dollar value generated by creating jobs for artists, investment in tourism and revenue generated from the cultural artifacts. Cultural economy helps in the creation of energetic and creative work environment which is very crucial for contemporary business and economy (Azmier, 2002).
Historically business environment was confined to geographic boundaries but globalizations and development in technology has revolutionized the business environment. Human capital is considered as most important asset for the enhancing the productivity and economic activity of the businesses. Cultural economy nourishes the creative and social needs of employees and work as knowledge multiplier in securing sustainable competitive advantage for organizations. Cultural economy has also enlightened the creative insight of businesses to develop products and services matching the cultural traditions and integrity of the people. It is also encouraging workforce to actively participate in contemporary business environment. Policy makers and businesses largely comprehend the significance of cultural industry in the economy and its importance to survive in global and competitive market. In contemporary business environment market value of the products largely rely on the uniqueness of products its performance and innovative appeal in establishing unique competitive edge from the market. Customers highly value the innovative and unique product which is coherent with their cultural identity (Thomasian, 2009).
Twentieth century is dominated by knowledge workers and challenges of global market place. These global challenges demand the creativity and innovation in the business processes and products offered by businesses. Cultural economy serves the dynamic needs of global marketplace and contributes creativity by ensuring the sustainable competitive advantage based on creative and innovative workforce. According to (FREY, 2009) institutional effect of culture on economy is extremely challenging to evaluate. Some of the researchers examine the institutional effect by estimating social value created by cultural institutions. Social value is subjective in nature and cannot quantify the value created by cultural institutions in the society. Cultural economics is considered as branch of economics which incorporates psychological and social elements in economic to influence the intrinsic motivation of individuals. Monetary value of economic effect of cultural economy could be easily evaluated by the revenue generated, creation of new jobs and with the ancillary businesses attached to it. Hence this new term of cultural economics is largely affecting and supporting the contemporary businesses and economy. It helps to overcome the challenges of competitive, global and technologically efficient market place and intrinsically motivate it workforce by fulfilling the cultural and social needs
Relationship with the Banking Industry
The agenda of this study is to investigate the normative assumption which states that cultural economy completely relies on the real economy of the world. The business environment under study is financial services sector or banking sector. Cultural economy has evolved and restructured its long term relationship with the economy and social factors. The basic assumption is that cultural economy is largely substituting the finance and manufacturing industry in the urban society. The research conducted by Pratt in 2012 explained that normative connection between culture and economy is inconsistent. The experience of recent recession has forced the economist to reconsider the relationship of culture with the economy. The assumption that is recession cultural industry would hit a setback was completely rejected when in recent austerity creative industry flourished as compare to other periods. While banking industry was highly leveraged and with risky loans caused failure of banking systems. The problem rose because of over extension of assets which multiplied the problem and state financed the bank’s debt it lead to the issue of sovereign debt (Pratt, 2012).
The relationship of cultural economy and financial institutions like banks are questioned frequently because of financial and sovereign debt crisis. Investigation of this relationship leads to the formation of new economy concentrated on the logical position of cultural economy. Social mobility of people from lower class and middle class towards cultural products to have fun and luxurious aspect of cultural factors forced cultural market modernize the way of entertainment. Banking industry provided finances to Greek state but with the shrinkage in public or state investments cultural consumption by the people remain same. In comparison to financial sector it flourishes and exploits the city resources (Souliotis, 2013). These empirical researches exhibit that cultural economy has more complex and intricate relationship with the banking industry. In case of recession cultural industry and financial service industry move in opposite directions. Prior researches could not clearly identify the underlying reason behind this deviation form normative assumptions of cultural economy. Moreover it is proposed that economic desire is based on the individualistic behaviors while cultural desires are based on collective behaviors of the society.
These evidences explained the fact that banking industry is not influenced or affected by cultural economy. These two parts of economy stand alone. Underlying reason may be the social mobilization of the social classes in economy. Upward social mobilization and luxurious entertainment were some the driving forces which motivated the cultural consumption even in austerity. While at the same time shrinkage of public funds and shortage of bonuses for the employees of financial services in the period of recession explained that it portrays negative relation during crisis. There may be some hidden underlying variables which demand more research on this complicated phenomenon between cultural industry and banking sector.
Anon., 2009. Measuring The Economic Contribution Of Cultural Industries. 2009 Framework for Cultural Statistics Handbook No. 1. Montrea: UNESCO Institute for Statistics.
Azmier, J.J., 2002. Culture and Economic Competitiveness: An Emerging Role for the Arts in Canada. Canada West Foundation.
Böhm, S. & Land, C., 2009. No measure for culture? Value in the new economy. Capital & Class, 33(1), pp.75-98.
Brink Lindsey, 2001. Against the Dead Hand: The Uncertain Struggle for Global Capitalism. New York: Wiley.
Coalter., F., 2001. Realising the Potential of Cultural Services: Making a Difference to the Quality of Life. London: Local Government Association.
Crane, A. & Matten, D., 2010.. Business ethics: Managing corporate citizenship and sustainability in the age of globalization. Oxford University Press.
FREY, B.S., 2009. Cultural Economics. CESifo DICE Report.
Goodman, D.M.B., 2004. Meeting the Global Challenges of the Contemporary Business Environment. New York: Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts.
Healy, K., 2002. What’s New for Culture in the New Economy? The Journal of Arts, Management, Law and Society, 32(2), pp.86-103.
Malone, M.S., 1999. Reflecting on a New World of Business. In Impart, pp.36-42.
Pol, H.v.d., 2007. Key role of cultural and creative industries in the economy. UNESCO Institute for Statistics.
Pratt, A.C., 2012. A world turned upside down: the cultural economy, cities and the new austerity. In Pratt, Andy C. “A world turned upside down: the cultural economy,. Proceedings of the Regional Studies Association Winter Conference., 2012.
Souliotis, N., 2013. Cultural economy, sovereign debt crisis and the importance of local contexts: the case of Athens. Elsevier, 33, pp.61-68.
Thomasian, J., 2009. Arts & the Economy: Using Arts and Culture to Stimulate State Economic Development. Washington: National Governor Association.
Throsby, D., 2001. Economics and Culture. Cambridge University Press.
Wired, 1998. Encyclopedia of the New Economy. Wired Magazine.
Zuboff, S., 1988. In the Age of the Smart Machine: The Future of Work. New York: Basic Books.
Explain the Importance of the Micro-Economic Environment to Business Organizations
Business in a literal term is collective work of bunch of people with similar interests in production of goods and services for trading purpose at any market and draws some monetary reward for this whole exercise”. There are so many factors which effect the business organizations one of them is the Micro-Economic environment. This type of environment basically related to the analysis of small area or the marginal aspects of the any organization. The factors which are analyzed in micro economic environment are as following:
Characteristics of organization’s human resource and their ability to manage the organization are analyzed.
Both types of customers (major and minor) are evaluated.
Dig about the means of generating money by organization.
Information is gathered about the suppliers of raw material and their network.
Analysis of local communities , competitors and their business performance is conducted (Hiriyappa,B, 2008)
From above discussion if we conclude that Micro-Economic environment has direct relation to any business organization then it would not be wrong and we are going to discuss the effect of Micro-Economic environment on the performance of any company that how these micro economic environment affect the performance of any company. The company which would be under discussion is Vodafone which falls in the services sector. Vodafone is included in one of the leading companies in communication sector which is providing services in 30 countries and having partnership networks in over 40 countries. Customer count is 360 million in the world and it is 19 million only in United Kingdom. Vodafone started working on 1 January 1985 at London. Vodafone is having more than 8,000 employees in UK. Until 2013 Vodafone was earning £429 million profit.
Micro economic Environment Importance for Business
Micro-Economic environment is very important for business organizations as it could be said that it is complementary for the business organizations because micro economics studies the basic factors which affect the individual business like consumer behavior, market environment, competition in the market and demand and supply forces prevalent in the market place. For the better understanding and explanation of effects of Micro-Economic environment on business organization it is necessary to discuss it which the help of a case study on Vodafone in terms of services. If Vodafone wants to deliver its services in certain country or area then it has to apply certain Micro-Economic principles in order to check the feasibility of business environment in that area. First of all Vodafone has to evaluate the market environment whether market of that particular area is feasible for that kind of business or not.
Micro-Economic environment also includes the environment of the marketplace which is further subdivided into location and governmental policies. Vodafone has to check whether these both factors are in harmony with their business policies or not. They have to check how much tax and other duties they have to pay if Vodafone starts business in that particular country. Micro-Economic environment also include the location for setting up the office for starting business. Vodafone has to find place where it can target its potential customers easily and customers could have easy access to their services. I deal location could be any business hub where lots of offices are located and have to use the telecommunication services on daily basis and want any company with fastest service, better signals, voice quality and internet services.
Survey of other communication networks working in that country would also help the Vodafone to identify how much competition it has to face if it set up their business at any place.
So identification of Micro economic environment is very important for any business organization if it has to do or start new business at any particular place. Regular survey of the micro economic environment also helps the organizations to do their SWOT analysis and keep pace with the ever growing business in the market (Ejim Esther, 2014).
Business Objectives and Behaviour Analysis
In managerial economics the basic purpose of business organization is to maximize the profit of organization. So in economics terms profit maximizes when certain condition of marginal revenue equals the marginal cost (MR=MC) is met. Diagram below is the analysis of changing circumstances which effect the business objective of profit maximization in an imperfectly competitive market in other words monopoly. Profit maximization is considered most important objective of any business when dealing in any type of market whether competitive, oligopolistic, or monopolistic.
There are different objectives ahead of any organization and they also affect the performance of organization in certain ways.
This kind of behavior is adopted by the business organizations to set and minimum but acceptable level of revenue and profit collection for business for example a firm has set a certain amount for sale growth or return on any capital which it is acceptable for firm if they get it in case of minimum revenue and profit. In other words it is could be called as the scale for measuring profitability of firm.
Optimization of Sales Revenue
Revenue of any business organization is considered maximum when the certain assumption is fulfilled which is Marginal revenue (MR) = 0.
Williamson opined to increase the utility of managerial level through high revenue from sales of firm, a good share achieved in market or through output targets are included in all this.
Constrained Sales Revenue Maximization
Managers would give shareholders free hand to design a constraint which could be minimum profit gaining constraint in order to support their shares worth.
Every business has its own paradigms and at profit maximization level every business organization operates in separate way. If business behavior is summarized then few things are kept in mind while taking decisions such as competitors’ reaction towards policies made by particular organization. Local demands and competitions from rivals make it necessary to give managers authority to set the prices.
Diagram illustrates that how change in objectives affects the business in terms of price and output (Samuelson, 2010).
Market Structures Impact on Business Organizations
Business organizations are categorized on the basis of market structure in which these are serving. Various variables are induced in market which determine its structure and affect the organization’s business working in that market. Variables are costs, mutual dependence, free entry and exit etc (Baumol, 1982; Colton, 1993). Following are the different type of market structure and these variables act under any of these types.
Perfect competition: Gives liberty to many sellers of same product to enter in the market.
Monopolistic Competition: There are lots of sellers in market but also offering different products.
Oligopoly: limited number of sellers but products could be same or different.
Monopoly: Only one seller ruling the market.
Market structure has very profound impact on the business organizations because it has direct effect on different business dynamics such as motivations, opportunities, and business organizations’ decisions. This basic theme of analysis of market structure’s impact on business organizations is to study these effects separately and make the market more predictable for business organizations (McNulty 1968; Broaddus, 1991).
In order to study the impact of market structure on the business organizations, it is very important to define market because product substitutability is important task performed by the market structure which is very key element in the working of any organization (Broaddus, 1991). But any economist from Adam Smith to onwards is not able to crack this hard nut.
Through market structure analysis business organizations become able to predict market and act accordingly in order to generate more revenues and compete with their rivals. Market structure analysis also helps business organizations to keep pace with the changing dynamics and challenges of market.
In case of mobile network performance Vodafone increased its mobile network speed up to Mbps which shows that Vodafone is on track of achieving their target of 3Mbps. Vodafone held maximum market share in year 2013 too according to analysis of its relative market share performance report. Vodafone has increased their dividend up to 7% consecutively three years. Revenue collection was not much satisfactory in year 2013 as it remained -1.9% and £40.9 billion in case of services which was less than last year (Vodafone annual report 2013).
Hiriyappa, B. (2008) Strategic Management for Chartered Accountants, New Age, pp 3, 30 Micro-Economic Environment.
Ejim, H (2014) What Is the Relationship between Micro-Economics and Business? Wise Geek Micro-Economic Environment
Samuelson, (2010) Micro-Economics and the Micro-Economic Environment 19th edition, McGrawhill
Baumol, W J., (1982). Contestable Markets: An uprising in the Theory of Industry Structure. American Economic Review (March): 1-15.
Colton, R D. (1993) Consumer Information and Workable Competition in Telecommunications, Journal of Economic Issues 27(3) (September):775-792.
McNulty, P, J. (1986) Economic Theory and the Meaning of Competition Quarterly Journal of Micro-Economic Environment (November: 639-656.
Broaddus, A (1991) The Structure of the Market for Banking Services. Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond Monthly Review Micro-Economic Environment (November): 35-42
Vodafone Group Plc (2013) Annual Report for the year ended 31 March 2013, the way ahead Introducing Vodafone 2015”.
Office of National Statistics, 2013, Statistical bulletin: Gross Domestic Product Preliminary Estimate, Q2 2013.
The Contribution Of Art And Fashion Industry To The National (UK) Economy
According to a report released by the British Research Council (2014), the fashion industry in Britain contributes £26 billion to the country’s economy. This is a 22 % increase from the contribution made in 2009 which added up to £21 billion. The report was released by the council during the London Fashion Week. These statistics intrigue various questions relating to the contribution of art and fashion to the economy of the country. Although art and fashion have been part of the UK’s culture for many years, their impact on a country’s economy has not been greatly considered over the years. However, in the recent years, the expansion of the global market has greatly impacted the art arena, which has further impacted the economy either positively or negatively.
Research Question: Is the art and fashion industry influential enough in the economy to attract both local and foreign investments in the long-term?
Purpose and objectives
The aim of the research is to assess the impact of the arts and the fashion industry on the economy in the UK in accordance to information revealed by the Arts Council and the British Fashion Council. The main objectives of the research will be to review and collate existing research relating to the economic impact of the arts and the fashion industry in the country. The other objective is to understand the measures and methodologies put in place for assessing the effect of creative industries, programmes, facilities and projects. Assessing the quality and comprehensiveness of the existing evidence is another objective of the research. The research also aims at informing the future agenda for effective research within the sector. It will also include evidence-founded making of policies by the Arts Council and Fashion Council. Identifying fundamental research needs that will assist in improving the research’s robustness is another scope of the research. The proposal will also include a practical resource to help the parties working in the sector.
The Keynesian theory states that the production of goods and services by the businesses is influenced by consumers’ ability to spend. The twenty first century has experienced changes in issues relating to increase in consumer spending, hence the increase in production of various goods and services. The arts and fashion industry has not been alienated from this impact. The rapid expansion of economies that started taking place in the late twentieth century through to the twenty first century has been of great impact globally. It is believed that one of the most impacted is the arts and fashion industry.
The consumption, investment, government and net exports characterize the Keynesian theory. This research will analyse these concepts in relation to the oil and arts industry, and how they have affected the economy in the UK. The research is also sensitive to the impact of the local fashion industry on its economy. It is relevant to assess whether the most impact is evident from exports or products bought by the local consumers. The household disposable income and the general GDP are of relevance to this research. It is relevant to understand the past scenarios relating to the industry and steps that have been taken to heighten the industry to the current position. As evidently put by Keynes, the increase in consumer spending will increase the production of goods. Consequently, a decrease in consumer spending will also decrease production in the industry. It is relevant to understand the individual contribution of the various sectors in an economy. This will allow the relevant parties to make decisions relating to the present and the future of the industry in question. In this case, it will be identified whether the impact on the economy, if any, is long-term. It is relevant to understand whether it can attract investors.
Empirical / Contextual Literature Review
The Art Council England and British Fashion Council provide various reports that reveal the financial/economic impact of the arts and the fashion industry in the economy. Other economic related sources will be assessed in order to realize the share of the industry on the overall economic figure. Research will be carried out in some areas such as the Research Department of the Arts Council. The research may also include email, telephone or postal inquiries from the Culture, Media and sports Department. Other sources include the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Arts Council of Wales, the Scottish Arts Council, among others.
After the research process, a small number of studies will be gotten, read and evaluated with the use of Draft Standards for Reporting on Statistics (Hutton, 2001). Sharp and Benefield (2001) insist that the NFER (National Foundation for educational Research) guidelines to be incorporated in order to present quality research. The researcher will also scrutinize the references in order to assess whether there are other potential materials that are relevant. The review will mainly cover research that is done in the United Kingdom. This will include England, Wales and Scotland. In order to make the research more comprehensive, statistics relating to other countries such as the USA and Australia will be included.
The research will include literature which has information concentrating on the economic contribution of the fashion and arts sectors. The inclusion of the arts sector will also lead to the inclusion of some aspects of the creative industry and culture in the UK. The research will briefly give the social-economic aspect of the industry, due to issues relating to the employment arena and the general impact of the people’s livelihoods. The materials considered are gauged on various levels. They include a widened geographical spread, diversified study foci, diversified methodologies and approaches, research quality and studies target groups. Other issues relate to issues addressed or policy area, research date in question, impact on the sector and best evidence presentation. Blake (2000) reminds researchers that a review does not have to reproduce in detail the articulated claims relating to the economic impact of the fashion or arts industry. This is because they have been covered adequately in these resources. The researchers only need to find the information relevant to their topic and then integrate it accordingly in order to answer their research question (Jermyn, 2001).
The study design that will be used is the historical approach. Babin et al (2012) states that the historical approach is one in which information is collected by reviewing the historical data presented by older reports or valid sources of information. This empirical report should not be altered. In order to place more emphasis on historical study, Gillham (2008 state that historical method is something that exceeds simple data-gathering. It involves analyzing, and confirming the information retrieved from these sources by engaging other research methods. For example, interviews will be included in this research method. The true meaning of data collected should be reported from the point of view of the objectives and the basic assumption of the project under way. The facts obtained may be accurate expressions of central tendency, deviation or correlation; but the report is not research unless discussion of these data is carried up to the level of adequate interpretation. Data must be subjected to the thinking process in terms of ordering reasoning. The design also saves on time. The researchers are also able to present factual information from the target resources using cheaper means.
The main method will include reviewing the past and current statistical information available on the materials. However, interviews will be integrated in the research method. The interviews will be done in order to verify some of the unclear data, or place emphasis on the available information. Such technique will be used for target people who may provide more information other than the information available in the report. Since interviews are one-on-one, the researcher is able to read other forms of communication such as body language, hesitations, amongst others (Creswell, 2003). Interviews also limit the time that the information will reach the researcher.
Additionally, questionnaires will be handed to people who will not find time for interviews. It can be passed through emails or other communication channels agreed upon by the researcher and the target person. As indicated earlier, it is used to verify information that is unclear or that which has not been updated. VanderStoep & Johnston (2009) indicate that the measurement quality is highly dependent on the reliability of the instrument used to collect data. In order to follow this statement, the researcher will pre-test the questionnaires being used. Validity entails, whether the spirit of the questionnaires is in accordance with the purpose of the research. In order to confirm validity, selected questionnaires will be given to respondents in order to pre-test data collection. Once the questionnaires are returned, they will enable the accurate assessment of the validity of research instruments. The questions in the questionnaires will also be used to conduct the oral interviews. The questionnaires will not be included in the final analysis.
Babin, B. J., Carr, J. C., Griffin, M., & Zikmund, W. G. 2012,. Business research methods (9th ed.). Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.
Blake Stevenson Limited, 2000, “The Role of the Arts in Regeneration”, Scottish Executive Central Research Unit, Edinburgh.
Creswell, J. W. 2003, Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed method approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications
Gillham, B. 2008, Small-scale social survey methods: Real world research. London: Continuum International Pub. Group.
Hutton, L, 2001, Draft Standards for Reporting on Statistics, The Arts Council of England. 110
Jermyn, H, 2001, The Arts and Social Exclusion: A review prepared for the Arts Council of England, The Arts Council of England, Londo.
Sharp, C and Benefield, P, 2001, Literature Reviews Course Notes, NFER, unpublished.
VanderStoep, S. W., & Johnston, D. D. 2009, Research methods for everyday life: Blending qualitative and quantitative approaches. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.