An Economic Problem

Journal Assignment Guidelines and RubricOverview: The final project for this course asks you to select and analyze a case study that presents an economic problem facing a company that operates withina particular market structure.The following companies are at the focus of these case studies:• American Airlines• Heinz• MicrosoftThe American Airlines case addresses how a company manages revenue, the Microsoft case looks at how a company maintains market power, and the Heinzcase exemplifies how a company deals with competition. All three cases involve a company’s executives and managers looking for ways to increase profits. Theparent companies of Heinz and Beech-Nut entered into a merger agreement, which was blocked by the Federal TradeCommission. American Airlines attemptedto navigate the mind-numbing pricing structure that created the risk of being considered predatory. Microsoft’s anticompetitive actions in the browser marketresulted in legal problems.For the final project, you will select one of these case studies and counsel the CEO on an alternate strategy.Imagine that the CEO has tasked you, the corporateeconomist, with researching the issue and reporting on a possible plan of action. To begin this process, you must clearly understand the problem at hand and beable to identify the root cause. Selecting the appropriate economic model to drive your analysis will be important inguiding your research.Journals are private between the student and the instructor.Prompt: Compose a preliminary problem statement in which you identify the company you have selected to research and describe the problem at hand. In thisstatement, you should:• Identify and articulate the problem as presented in the case study, describing any relevant contextual factors that may influence it.• Use your background knowledge in economics and your critical thinking skills to deduce possible root cause(s) of the problem• Identify the appropriate economic model(s) that should drive the analysis of this problem. Is this a demand-side problem? Or is it a supply-side problem?In business scenarios such as this one, problem statements are needed to describe the problem in a concise way. These statements provide a clear and focusedanalysis of objectives and offer a method that will be followed to find possible solutions. To help you craft your problem statement, see the following resource:What Is an Effective Problem Statement?You may find it useful to gather information about the organization or company’s current initiatives and processes, general policies, and stated goals.Information can generally be found in the organization’s main website, annual report and mission statement, and articles authored by the company or byoutside analysts. Additionally, you might consider accessing relevant company and market information on the following sites:• U.S. Bureau of Labor StatisticsThis is a good source for costs information (i.e., producer price index [PPI]), labor market conditions (i.e., employment and unemployment by industry),and prices of various goods (i.e., consumer price index [CPI]).• Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval (EDGAR)This is the database compiled by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).• U.S. Census BureauThis site houses useful business and industry data programs.Once your journal response is submitted, you will receive instructor feedback that will ensure that you are on the right track and will help guide your research forthe upcoming milestone assessments.

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