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Explain the main factors which might determine the elasticity of supply of labour to an occupation such as computer specialist (10)

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Introduction

Explain the main factors which might determine the elasticity of supply of labour to an occupation such as computer specialist (10) The elasticity of supply of labour measures how a change in wage rate will affect the amount of labour supplied to a given market in this case computer specialists, it shows how flexible a labour market is to enter and exit. Both elastic and inelastic labour markets are shown below. As you can see a inelastic labour market has a steeper supply of labour curve as it is not easy to enter the market usually due to the high skill levels needed and how long the investment in human capital will take before the economic agent can enter the market with the required skill, however an elastic labour market has a much less steep labour supply curve showing that the market is easier to enter and exit due to the lower levels of skill needed and is usually jobs such as waiting or shop assistants. ...read more.

Middle

and being "home taught" or taking shorter college based courses, however this still takes time which means the market is inelastic however it is becoming less inelastic as the population becomes more IT literate. The time taken to train in IT brings with it many opportunity costs and so can be very off putting to students, the average IT Specialist goes through compulsory education, a levels, a higher level degree and even sometimes courses after this, this means that in total it can take a student 6/7 years after compulasar7y education to become a IT specialist which means that a lot of people will prefer to enter the labour market and starting earning an income rather than spending the time investing in their human capital. This is true within all high skilled labour markets and so the more highly skilled the labour market is the more inelastic the supply of labour is. ...read more.

Conclusion

unemployed and looking for low skilled jobs making the lower skilled jobs even more elastic as these unskilled workers will not be able to move into markets such as specialised computing markets and so will move into lower skilled markets. The extent to which these factors affect the elasticity of demand for labour depends upon the government and its policies, the government are trying to combat inflexibility in the labour market by introducing schemes such as the new deal and training and educational councils which help low skilled workers become more highly skilled and reduce the inelasticity of certain labour markets, and as the main reason for inelastic labour markets is the skill level I believe that the market failure of unskilled workers will be best solved by the government policies of increased training and education be it Tec's or even at the lower levels of new vocational training in secondary schools. ?? ?? ?? ?? 3 ...read more.

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Response to the question

This question responds to the question strongly, going beyond the analysis required by evaluating the extent to which factors determine elasticity of supply for labour. It was nice to see the concept applied to a real-life market - I was ...

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Response to the question

This question responds to the question strongly, going beyond the analysis required by evaluating the extent to which factors determine elasticity of supply for labour. It was nice to see the concept applied to a real-life market - I was pleased to see that rather than aimlessly explaining all the factors, they focused on the ones which would affect the computer scientist market most.

Level of analysis

The analysis in this essay is strong. When mentioning elasticities, a key word I always use is responsiveness. In this case, I would define elasticity of labour supply as "the responsiveness of the supply of labour to a change in the wage rate". It was nice to see clear diagrams showing the significance of the elasticity of supply in determining wages. The main determinants were well explained, such as qualifications required, training duration and the high-skilled nature of the job. If the essay wanted to explore elasticity further, they could've discussed transfer earnings and economic rent to ensure they reach the top marks. There is a small slip in the conclusion where they say elasticity of demand instead of supply. I would've liked to have seen the government intervention point explained further, as this is not a common point.

Quality of writing

This essay is structured well, having a clear introduction and conclusion. The conclusion, however, is poorly written and the one sentence is much too long. It is key to end on a strong note, with a justified judgement if evaluating, and poor grammar will only hinder its effectiveness. Technical terms are used well throughout.


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Reviewed by groat 25/02/2012

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