Market Structures (Firms and How They Operate)
In his Economics tuition classes, Economics tutor Mr Koh has structured the above chapter through a features-behaviour-performance view that cuts across all market structures, instead of presenting a discrete summary of each structure.
This is because questions on this topic usually require students to make comparisons across the different market structures. While the preceding guide should prepare students to answer most market structure questions, it is noteworthy that this is still by far one of the most unpredictable topics in the ‘A’ levels. While some students may prefer to give up on this topic in favour of other micro topics in Paper 2 (essay question), they are reminded that market structure questions are almost certain to appear in the case study paper.
Given the number of diagrams present in this topic as well as their relative complexity, students should also ensure they have sufficient practice in drawing them. This is to prevent unnecessary loss of marks.
In contrast to the topic on “Market Structures”, Mr Koh understands that “Market Failure” is a favourite among many A Level Economics students. The reason is simple – many of the questions can be dealt with using standard approaches. For example, the answer structure for explaining why a particular good/activity constitutes market failure is relatively standard. There is a fixed structure for evaluating policies used to tackle market failure as well. Economics tuition students who are well-prepared in these areas would definitely be rewarded for their efforts. Equivalently, students who underestimate the rigour required to answer market failure questions, and try to paraphrase too much of the explanation in their own words often end up performing less than satisfactory.
Note that while Mr Koh’s economics tuition classes endorse the use of standard approaches or frameworks, we do not believe in students memorising model essays. This is because every context in a question is different (e.g. different markets exhibiting market failure), and there would be specific nuances to each question, which may require policies to be tweaked in a different way.