Economics subject outline
First examinations 2013
This document explains the major features of the course, and outlines the syllabus and assessment requirements. More detailed information about the course can be obtained by referring to the guide for this subject, which is available on the subject page of the IB online curriculum centre (OCC) website (http://occ.ibo.org) and can also be purchased from the IB store (http://store.ibo.org).
© International Baccalaureate Organization 2010
Nature of the subject
Economics is a dynamic social science, forming part of group 3—individuals and societies. The study of economics is essentially about dealing with scarcity, resource allocation and the methods and processes by which choices are made in the satisfaction of human wants. As a social science, economics uses scientific methodologies that include quantitative and qualitative elements. The IB Diploma Programme economics course emphasizes the economic theories of microeconomics, which deal with economic variables affecting individuals, firms and markets, and the economic theories of macroeconomics, which deal with economic variables affecting countries, governments and societies. These economic theories are not to be studied in a vacuum—rather, they are to be applied to real-world issues. Prominent among these issues are fluctuations in economic activity, international trade, economic development and environmental sustainability. The ethical dimensions involved in the application of economic theories and policies permeate throughout the economics course as students are required to consider and reflect on human end-goals and values. The economics course encourages students to develop international perspectives, fosters a concern for global issues, and raises students’ awareness of their own responsibilities at a local, national and international level. The course also seeks to develop values and attitudes that will enable students to achieve a degree of personal commitment in trying to resolve these issues, appreciating our shared responsibility as citizens of an increasingly interdependent world.
The economics course requires no specific prior learning. No particular background in terms of specific subjects studied for national or international qualifications is expected or required. The specific skills of the economics course are developed within the context of the course itself. The ability to understand and explain abstract concepts and the ability to write in a logically structured manner are distinct advantages in economics.
Links to the Middle Years Programme
The development of certain skills in the Middle Years Programme (MYP) humanities course of study is excellent preparation for a Diploma Programme course in economics, which requires the student to undertake research, to demonstrate understanding and knowledge of concepts, and to exhibit the capacity to think critically. The following specific skills, for example, which are identified and developed in the MYP humanities course, are encouraged in the Diploma Programme economics course. • • • The ability to use sources such as graphs and tables in a critical manner The ability to analyse and interpret information from a wide range of sources The ability to make well-substantiated decisions and to relate them to real-world contexts
Economics subject outline
Group 3 aims
The aims of all subjects in group 3, individuals and societies are to: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. encourage the systematic and critical study of: human experience and behaviour; physical, economic and social environments; and the history and development of social and cultural institutions develop in the student the capacity to identify, to analyse critically and to evaluate theories, concepts and arguments about the nature and activities of the individual and society enable the student to collect, describe and analyse data used in studies...