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Extended Essay in Economics

Hey guys.

I have chosen to do my EE in Economics. Initially i had planned on making the essay about house prices and how the price elasticity of demand varies within different areas of Stockholm. However, I'm starting to have second thoughts on the topic as it will be quite difficult to gather the appropriate Primary data required for this investigation. I'm kind of at a cross roads right now and have been pondering about whether to switch the topic to " How negative advertising affects the demand for cigarettes." Reason being is that it is much more straight forward and it would be much easier to gather primary data for this topic. What are your thought?

Thanks in advance guys!

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What do you include as primary data? IB is very strict about it, YOU have to collect the data for it to be primary, it can't be collected by someone else.

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That is exactly my point and it is the reason why I've decided to switch my topic. By using the smoking title instead, i can use questionaire's as my primary data amongst other things. However, if you or anyone one else has any other suggestions i would really appreciate it.

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I honestly would recommend against your backup plan. I think the answer to your research question is pretty obvious and it's not really worth investigating.

I think your first topic is a lot more interesting. However, is primary data even necessary for this extended essay? Can't you just find the prices of houses in different areas of Stockholm from newspapers and evaluate the price elasticity of demand for them?

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That's the problem with the first title. Most of the marks you get are based around your primary data. You get very few marks for secondary data seeing as the information would not be my own.

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If you want to do the first option (house prices), go to several different real estate agents in Stockholm, explain to them that you're doing a school project and need data on house prices in different areas. There's your primary data collection. There must be lots of different real estate agnets there- It's a lot harder to get data for your cigarette EE, and I think the house pricing one is more original.

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Thanks a lot for the advice guys. One more thing, does anybody know it it is at all possible to find quantity demanded for housing in a particular area? I'm assuming firms could potentially be pretty secretive about those kind of details IF they are available. What are your thoughts?

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I don't know how it works where you live, but around here at least some of the housing in nearly every area is owned by the town council, and people rent the houses out from the council if they don't have the money to buy their own. If you could limit your EE to council houses, I'm 100% sure they'd be happy to give you all the information about how long their waiting lists are and what the demand is in an area - and as it'd be a poorer demographic who'll all be going pretty much on the same lines financially, the actual area would probably have a very big impact, so in a sense it might even help your EE by eliminating a variable. I never did economics, so I don't know if it'd be feasible, but certainly it'd be a good way to get results :P

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You won't know if firms are secretive or not unless you go and ask them yourself. And I'd think they wouldn't be, since that kind of information should be freely available to the public. They might be concerned about you publishing the results, but if you explain that it's for a school project I'm sure they'll see no hamr in it. Start by asking, and if that doesn't work then change your research question slightly to deal with government-allocated housing (e.g. for new immigrants or refugees) and ask the municipality to give you statistics on that. Real estate agents aren't the CIA though, I'm sure they have no legal right to withold information. Or you could just pretend to be house-searching and get different prices for houses (you could do the same by picking up any real estate magazine and jotting down figures, although that's not primary data collection).

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Yeah thanks a lot guys. I've been emailing the real estate agencies but no response, I'll swing by this weekend when i arrive in Sweden again.

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Email is not the way to do it. You should know from personal experience that it's very easy to ignore an email. It's less easy to ignore a call, and it's very hard to ignore someone who actually comes to see you in person. Swing by some real estate agencies - that should get their wheels spinning.

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