Bellerbys Economics - Mr Stephenson

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Mark Schemes

Just a reminder that there is a link to all the past papers and mark schemes in the March 2006 section of this blog. Reading the mark schemes is helpful - not because they are directly relevant (you won't get the same questions again, so don't waste time trying to memorise them) - but because they show you the type of ideas and thinking the examinaer will be looking for. You will also notice that the examiner actually has a great deal of freedom in awarding marks during an essay - providing what you say makes sense, you will get marks. The standard approach to writing an essay is: define any economics terms in the question (quickly); divide your answer into two or three sections; produce two or three statements in each section; deliver a conclusion.

The conclusion can be either:

a) On balance, it could be argued that...............
b) From analysing the arguments, the most important argument appears to be......
c) In the short-term, we would expect ....to happen - but in the longer term, we might find.....
d) Without having more information about......it's not possible to reach a firm conclusion at this stage but the evidence appears to suggest....

The importance of Kazakhstan as a world-player has been underlined by an EU delegation to Astana to discuss the building of a gas pipeline underneath the Caspian direct to Europe - bypassing Russia. This could break Russia's monopoly of gas supplies to western Europe from the east. By 2015, Kazakhstan will be one of the world's biggest suppliers of natural gas and is destined to be a fast-growing economy for at least the next 25 years.

It's perhaps too soon to say for sure but it could be that Japan's Great Stagnation (15 years of almost no economic growth) may just be coming to an end. Interest rates are 0% in Japan - but inflation has finally crept up to 0.5% so now that inflation > interest rates, there's hopes that the Japanese will now start spending again giving the economy a welcome boost.

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