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Economics Topic Help

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I can't decide on a topic even though I should get everything done in the nearest possible time. I missed my chance to talk with my supervisor, so I'm completely on my own on this one.

Anyway, my proposal is "Is medicine an inferior good in Riga, Latvia?". Now, firstly, isn't it too broad? It is meant to be dealing with drugs sold in pharmacies only and not medical care. Maybe I could edit the topic somehow, so it would be more obvious? Secondly, what primary research could I conduct? Obviously, asking something to the customers of a pharmacy but I can't come up with any ideas. Could you maybe give me some directions? My secondary data would be drug prices and the amount of them sold in the past three months or something in three pharmacies in three different parts of Riga (two in the worst case, that might be too little, though). There are too many drugs. I could arrange them by type but currently I have little idea of how to do it. Drugs that require a prescription and those that don't, vitamins and supplements, drugs against cold, heart diseases are some options.

The thing is our government reduced salaries in the public sector for 20%+ and the pension of working pensioners by 70%, starting from August. There is the income effect. Any help help would be appreciated.

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Firstly - yes it is too broad. Try to find one specific brand of a specific medicine then state that in your question-

To what extent can _____ be considered an inferior good in _____(specific location)___?

You can create a survey asking consumers in a pharmacy things like their income bracket, which brand of that specific item they buy (compare a few), do they stick to that brand, and what kinds of things are important to them when choosing the product or how important they are ( like price, quality etc). Then go on to ask questions like if their income was to drop by 20% or increase by 20% would they switch to/switch away from your brand/product (the one in your reasearch question).

It would be even better if you can actually measure this change, rather that asking the consumer to assume the change occurred - but you probably wont have enough time.

Analyze all this, possibly incorporating cross price elasticity of demand and you should be set. Choose the specific good wisely (it shouldn't require a prescription etc.) to make your task less complicated.

Well thats all I can say from the top of my head for now. Hope it helps.

Edited by master135

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Thanks a lot. How about "To what extent can pain relievers/medicine against cold/anti-depressants [which sadly are mostly doctor prescribed] be considered an inferior good in Riga, Latvia?"?

I will make my decision on the type of medicine when I see an inferior good tendency in this particular type judging from the pharmacy report. However, I will also try to integrate doctor prescribed medicine. Something about substitutes could go there.

Thank you for the input in the survey part. Those questions seem easier to make when you narrow the topic down a bit.

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