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Income and Wealth (Economics A-Level): Minimum Wage

Overall discussion question: To what extent should the government prioritize a fairer distribution of income and wealth?

Recommended Reading: You must read and make notes on these articles

BBC News article on minimum wage image

 

Quarter of minimum wage workers underpaid, says study (BBC news, January 2020) 

Excellent introductory article from a Left-centre source rated high for factual reporting. Worth clicking through on the article links, such as "What is the minimum wage?" and "Is the minimum wage enough to live on?"

 

Resolution foundation image

Ain't no minimum high enough (Resolution Foundation, November 2019)

A more in-depth read from focusing on the 2019 General election. The Resolution Foundation is a Think Tank which has been accused of being left-leaning and while it does have people from both ends of the political spectrum in senior positions it is probably true that it leans more towards the left.

 

Further Reading: You might choose find some further articles to explore

There is a lot of accessible material out there on the minimum wage. When looking further sources, why not try to find some more right-leaning sources, such as articles from the Telegraph or Times? A good place to start would be the Infotrac Newspaper Collection (see box to the right).

Right-wing Think Tank sources such as CapX and the Institute for Economic Affairs have a lot to say about the minimum wage - but make sure you balance these with left-wing sources such as the New Economics Foundation. You could also try 'least biased' sources such as the Financial Times and Reuters.

Access to Infotrac

InfoTrac Newspaper Collection (password for access from home here) contains the full text of articles from:

  • The Daily (and Sunday) Telegraph
  • The Guardian and Observer
  • The Independent and Independent on Sunday
  • Mail on Sunday
  • The Times and Sunday Times

as well as a range of local papers. This can be useful for finding newspaper articles which are otherwise hidden behind pay walls.

Infotrac logo

Access to the Financial Times

myFT logo

The Financial Times offers free access to school students aged 16-19 (and their teachers/Librarians). Sign up for an individual account while you are logged on using a school wi-fi (or wired) connection:

  • Click here.
  • Scroll down to Check if your school is registered for free access to FT.com
  • Type Oakham in the search box
  • Click on Request your signup link in the Oakham School line, and follow the on-screen instructions

Once you have created your account, you can then use these log in details anywhere - in or out of school.

Notemaking and summarising resources

Use this journal to make notes as you read each article. One page per source.

  • First note key ideas and quotes in the left hand column
  • Then reread these and explain how they relate to the inquiry question in the right hand column.
  • Don't forget to comment on the quality of the source.

You should make notes like this on both the Recommended Reading articles for each section. (If you choose to make notes by hand rather than on screen, use a shortened URL in the source description e.g. bbc.co.uk rather than the full URL of the article).


Once you have completed your reading for each area you can start to transfer your ideas to this summary sheet, which you will use as your notes for the Spiderweb discussion. Don't forget to explain the key Economic ideas for each area in the "basic explanation" box on the left hand side of the sheet, and highlight any key vocabulary so that you can make sure you use it in the discussion.

This sheet should be printed double sided on A3.


You may wish to use this sheet to collect a list of technical terms as you progress through this topic. You might find it helpful to have this list to refer to during the discussion.

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