Economics International Baccalaureate Course Overview

Economics is a stimulating and intellectual course that enables students to develop an understanding of the how our world is shaped by complex and interrelated economic activity. The fundamental problem of scarcity – the gap between limited resources and theoretically limitless wants – underpins the subject as students explore how choices are made about what is produced, how much is produce and who receives it.

Students consider the theories, processes and models used by decision makers to make choices from consumers and producers right up to governments and muti-national organisations. The nine key economic concepts covered include:

  1. Scarcity
  2. Choice,
  3. Efficiency
  4. Equity
  5. Economic well-being
  6. Sustainability
  7. Change
  8. Interdependence
  9. Intervention.

These concepts are explored at both the microeconomic (individuals, firms) and macroeconomic (international, national) level, leading students to examine how our globalised world is increasing our interdependence.

Beyond theory, students will cover real-world issues, examining the values and limitations of economic models in explaining real-world behaviour and outcomes. In the process they will develop the knowledge and attitudes that will enable them to become responsible global citizens.

Example course units

Unit 1: Introduction to economics

  • 1.1 What is economics?
  • 1.2 How do economists approach the world?

Unit 2: Microeconomics

  • 2.1 Demand
  • 2.2 Supply
  • 2.3 Competitive market equilibrium
  • 2.4 Critique of the maximizing behaviour of consumers and producers
  • 2.5 Elasticity of demand
  • 2.6 Elasticity of supply
  • 2.7 Role of government in microeconomics
  • 2.8 Market failure—externalities and common pool or common access resources
  • 2.9 Market failure—public goods
  • 2.10 Market failure—asymmetric information (Higher Level only)
  • 2.11 Market failure—market power (Higher Level only)
  • 2.12 The market’s inability to achieve equity (Higher Level only)

Unit 3: Macroeconomics

  • 3.1 Measuring economic activity and illustrating its variations
  • 3.2 Variations in economic activity— aggregate demand and aggregate supply
  • 3.3 Macroeconomic objectives
  • 3.4 Economics of inequality and poverty
  • 3.5 Demand management (demand-side policies)—monetary policy
  • 3.6 Demand management—fiscal policy
  • 3.7 Supply-side policies

Unit 4: The global economy

  • 4.1 Benefits of international trade
  • 4.2 Types of trade protection
  • 4.3 Arguments for and against trade control/ protection
  • 4.4 Economic integration
  • 4.5 Exchange rates
  • 4.6 Balance of payments
  • 4.7 Sustainable development
  • 4.8 Measuring development
  • 4.9 Barriers to economic growth and/or economic development
  • 4.10 Economic growth and/or economic development strategies

Assessment overview

The course is made up of both externally assessed examinations and an internally assessed portfolio. King’s InterHigh will support with guidance around where external exams may be sat. These exams are sat at the end of the two year programme.

Internal Portfolio:

Three commentaries based on different units of the syllabus (except the introductory unit) and from published extracts from the news media, analysed using different key concepts.

External Exams:

  • Paper 1: Extended response paper based on all units of the syllabus
  • Paper 2: Data response paper based on all units of the syllabus
  • Paper 3: Policy paper based on all units of the syllabus (Higher Level only)

 

Sample questions:
Paper 1:
  • Explain two reasons why a government might set a price ceiling (maximum price) on a good.
  • Using real-world examples, discuss the consequences of a price ceiling on stakeholders.
Paper 2
  • Using a poverty cycle diagram, explain how the net increase in foreign direct investment (FDI) in Mexico between 2010 and 2015 might lead to an improvement in economic development

Studying online

Learning IB Economics online allows students to enjoy the following features:

  • 24/7 access to course resources and lessons, recorded and catalogued.
  • A flexible, international, high energy learning experience.
  • Experienced, subject specialist teachers to both Standard and Higher level.
  • Live, responsive teaching and feedback in small classes.
  • High academic standards and levels of support.
  • Positive learning culture and systems for communication.
Economics
International Baccalaureate
Online, real-time classrooms, 24/7 access to curriculum
September

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