IB Economics

Head of Department: Ms L Smith (BA Hons) (Lancaster) PGCE (IOE)

IB Course Outline

The IB Diploma Programme Economics course aims to provide students with a core knowledge of economics, encourage students to think critically about economics, promote an awareness and understanding of internationalism in economics and encourage students’ development as independent learners. Alongside the empirical observations of positive economics, students of the subject are asked to formulate normative questions and to recognise their own tendencies for bias.

In addition, the course is designed to:

  • encourage the systematic and critical study of human experience and behaviour; physical, economic and social environments; and the economics and development of social and cultural institutions
  • develop the capacity to identify, analyse critically and evaluate theories, concepts and arguments about the nature and activities of the individual and society
  • enable students to collect, describe and analyse data used in studies of society; test hypotheses; and interpret complex data and source material
  • promote an appreciation of the way learning is relevant to both the culture in which the student lives and the culture of other societies
  • develop an awareness that human attitudes and beliefs are widely diverse and that the study of society requires an appreciation of such diversity
  • enable the student to recognise that the content and methodologies of the subjects in group 3 are contestable and that their study requires the toleration of uncertainty.
Course Description

Introduction to economics

  • Microeconomics
  • Markets
  • Elasticities
  • Theory of the firm
  • Market failure.

Macroeconomics

  • Measuring national income
  • Introduction to development
  • Macroeconomic models
  • Demand-side and supply-side policies
  • Unemployment and inflation
  • Distribution of income.

International economics

  • Reasons for trade
  • Free trade and protectionism
  • Economic integration
  • World Trade Organization (WTO)
  • Balance of payments
  • Exchange rates
  • Balance of payment problems
  • Terms of trade.

Development economics

  • Sources of economic growth and/or development
  • Consequences of growth
  • Barriers to economic growth and/or development
  • Growth and development strategies
  • Evaluation of growth and development strategies.
Assessment

Examination weighting of final grade 80%

Paper 1
Four extended-response questions based on all five sections of the syllabus.

Paper 2
Six short-answer questions based on all five sections of the syllabus.

Paper 3
A data-response paper on all five sections of the syllabus.
Coursework weighting of final grade 20%
A portfolio of four commentaries.