Foundations of Economics

BUS171 Optional Essay Outline

TMD 2021

Due Date:  9am Wednesday, 7th July


The United Kingdom (UK) intends to ban the sale of all new cars that use either petrol or diesel by 2030, allowing new hybrid vehicles until 2035. The intension is that only zero emission vehicles will be sold after 2035.

Explain, with the use of a relevant economics model (graph), the type of market failure that this policy seeks to address. Discuss and evaluate this policy, and also include a discussion, using demand and supply diagrams, of related markets that would likely be effected. Your evaluation should include issues of effectiveness, cost, ease of administration and equity.

[Note: This topic is largely based on material covered in Topics 6 and 2, although other topics may also be relevant.]

Before submitting your essay:

  • Use the Essay Checklist on the LMS website.
  • Check that your Ouriginal (formerly called Urkund) similarity Index is below 30%.
  • Ensure that you have referenced your essay throughout, and that you have included a Reference List at the end.

Before submitting your essay:

  • Use the Essay Checklist on the LMS website. If you can tick every box you will be reducing possible marks deducted for errors that can be easily corrected. J

The Essay Checklist for this assignment is available on the LMS under the Assessments section.

  • Check that your Ouriginal similarity index, previously called Urkund, is below 30%. Essays with a text matching score of >30% will be cross-checked by the marker with the relevant Ouriginal report. This may not be a problem, but markers will check for any plagiarism or copying, and if detected, this will be reported. It is best to ensure that your text-matching similarity index is below 30%.
  • Please check that all direct quotes are in quotation marks and that all work is written in your own words.
  • Reference list: Ensure that you have referenced your essay throughout (in text citations), and that you have included a Reference List at the end. You should have 6-10 references (more is fine).
  • Use the Chicago referencing style. Although Chicago style does not include access or view dates for electronic citations, please add this information into your reference list.
  • Word limit, font and document type: Ensure that it is 1,500 words (10% either way is okay), typed using Times New Roman size 12 font, double-spaced with normal margins and uploaded as a Word document via LMS.

·         Marking criteria: A feedback key/marking guide for this assignment is available on the LMS under the Assessments section. Please refer to this when writing your essay.

  • Late essays: Note that the Business School has implemented a 10% marks deduction per day late.  If you are ill or have extenuating circumstances, please send the documents or details (e.g. medical certificate) to the Unit Coordinator (Vanessa Grida) to apply for an extension before the due date.


Optional Essay Outline

The following is a guide only.  It is not prescriptive. You may choose to approach the essay differently - just ensure you address all aspects of the question. 

1  Introduction

  • Brief outline of what the essay will be covering (thesis statement) and some context regarding the issue.

2  Define market failure and explain externalities

  • Define and explain market failure, and define any other relevant terms.
  • Discuss why negative externalities occur and why they are an example of market failure.
  • Clearly distinguish between negative consumption externalities and negative production externalities. Explain that a ban on new petrol or diesel cars is largely to address a negative consumption externality (people driving their own cars is a consumption activity). However, it could also involve a negative production externality if the cars are used for a production activity, e.g. a sales company has its own fleet of vehicles.

3  Specific details and diagram related to this topic

  • You should focus on the negative consumption externality.  You do not need to include the negative production externality in your analysis, but you can if you wish to.
  • In more detail, explain the negative effects that the ban on new petrol and diesel cars is aiming to reduce. Provide some evidence/data.
  • Explain the effects of this negative externality, specifically referring to inefficiency and market failure.
  • Include and explain a diagram illustrating a negative consumption externality (see your text book).
  • Clearly label your diagram and explain your graph by referring to specific points on the graph.

4  Policy evaluation

  • Include a theoretical diagram/graph to demonstrate how this specific policy – banning of new petrol and diesel cars – will reduce the negative externality. (Note: there will still be a large volume of petrol and diesel cars, but the number of them will gradually decline as worn out vehicles are replaced with electric vehicles).
  • When evaluating the policy, consider issues such as the ease of implementation, cost of implementing the policy, effectiveness (the advantages and disadvantages; will it work?), equity concerns, other issues that impact the effectiveness of the policy. Are there other alternative policies that could be used to address this negative consumption externality, instead of a ban, that you think would be better? If so, include theory and evidence.
  • Evidence from similar policies in other countries can be used, if there is any.
  • Short discussion of markets related to the petrol and diesel car markets that will be affected by this proposed policy. You should include demand and supply graphs of these markets.

5  Conclusion

Briefly restate (summarise) key ideas/points/conclusion.

6  Reference list

Chicago style.  Include date accessed for online material.

Foundations of Economics
Foundations of Economics