What is a current event that is an example of microeconomics?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Microeconomics is the study of economic issues that are relevant to one industry, one business, or one family.  They do not include the study of things like the unemployment rate of the nation as a whole.

In terms of current events, we can look at such things as the upcoming release of Windows 8.  We can ask what caused Microsoft to want to release such a radically different operating system.  We can ask how the release of Windows 8 has affected or will affect the demand for various sorts of computers (PCs vs. tablets, for example).  Since the release of Microsoft 8 impacts only specific industries and companies, it is an example of microeconomics. 

Another example is a current event that has to do with microeconomics is the news that the magazine Newsweek will stop publishing a print edition and will henceforth exist only online.  This is an example of microeconomics because it has to do only with one firm and one industry.  Newsweek is failing in part because of the fact that the internet is eroding the profitability of almost all print media.  It is, however, failing more rapidly than some other magazines that occupy similar niches.  This shows that Newsweek’s management has also made some decisions that were worse than decisions made by other magazines.  This is an example of microeconomics because it is about one firm and industry, not the entire US economy. 

Another current event that has to do with microeconomics is the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.  Of course, much of this event (like how much it will cost the country to recover from it) is macroeconomic.  But Sandy has had impacts that are clearly microeconomic as well.

For example, there has been a major decrease in the supply of gasoline.  This can be seen in the long lines of people waiting to get some gas.  Related to this is an increase in the demand for public transit.  Since it is much harder to get gas for a private car, the demand for the competing good (public transit) has gone up.  Supply and demand for individual commodities like gasoline is a classic microeconomic issue.