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Economics is an exciting, dynamic subject that allows students to develop an understanding of the complexities and interdependence of economic activities in a rapidly changing world. At the heart of economic theory is the problem of scarcity. Owing to scarcity, choices have to be made. The economics course, at both SL and HL, uses economic theories, models and key concepts to examine the ways in which these choices are made: at the level of producers and consumers in individual markets (microeconomics); at the level of the government and the national economy (macroeconomics); and at an international level, where countries are becoming increasingly interdependent (the global economy). The DP economics course allows students to explore these models, theories and key concepts, and apply them, using empirical data, through the examination of six real-world issues. Through their own inquiry, students will be able to appreciate both the values and limitations of economic models in explaining real-world economic behaviour and outcomes. By focusing on the six real-world issues through the nine key concepts (scarcity, choice, efficiency, equity, economic well-being, sustainability, change, interdependence and intervention), students of the economics course will develop the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes that will encourage them to act responsibly as global citizens.
The aims of the DP Economics course are as follows:
- develop a critical understanding of a range of economic theories, models, ideas and tools in the areas of microeconomics, macroeconomics and the global economy
- apply economic theories, models, ideas and tools and analyse economic data to understand and engage with real-world economic issues and problems facing individuals and societies
- develop a conceptual understanding of individuals’ and societies’ economic choices, interactions, challenges and consequences of economic decision-making.
Unit 1: Introduction to economics
1.1 What is economics?
1.2 How do economists approach the world?
Unit 2: Microeconomics
2.1 Demand (includes HL only sub-topics)
2.2 Supply (includes HL only sub-topics)
2.3 Competitive market equilibrium
2.4 Critique of the maximizing behaviour of consumers and producers (HL only)
2.5 Elasticity of demand (includes HL only sub-topics)
2.6 Elasticity of supply (includes HL only sub-topics)
2.7 Role of government in microeconomics (includes HL only calculation)
2.8 Market failure—externalities and common pool or common access resources (includes HL only calculation)
2.9 Market failure—public goods
2.10 Market failure—asymmetric information (HL only)
2.11 Market failure—market power (HL only)
2.12 The market’s inability to achieve equity (HL 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 (includes HL only calculation)
3.4 Economics of inequality and poverty (includes HL only calculation)
3.5 Demand management (demand side policies)—monetary policy (includes HL only sub-topics)
3.6 Demand management—fiscal policy (includes HL only sub-topics)
3.7 Supply-side policies
Unit 4: The global economy
4.1 Benefits of international trade (includes HL only subtopics and calculation)
4.2 Types of trade protection (includes HL only calculations)
4.3 Arguments for and against trade control/protection
4.4 Economic integration
4.5 Exchange rates (includes HL only sub-topic)
4.6 Balance of payments (includes HL only sub-topics)
4.7 Sustainable development (includes HL only sub-topic)
4.8 Measuring development
4.9 Barriers to economic growth and/or economic development
4.10 Economic growth and/or economic development strategies
What to expect from the teacher:
- To be prepared for every class.
- To make students engage in this subject, by connecting theory to real world situations
- To be supportive and help students as much as possible to successfully prepare for the exam.
- To provide feedback in a timely manner for students’ formative and summative work.
- To make classes dynamic and interesting for all students.
- To engage students as much as possible in class discussions, encouraging them to give their opinion; arguments for and against.
- To develop students’ critical skills.
What is expected from the student:
- To be prepared for all classes.
- To take notes from material discussed in class as well as material outside of class.
- To be actively involved in class discussions.
- To complete homework regularly.
- To ask questions and advocate for their own learning
- To respect others.
- Be on time for class, with homework, assignment related duties.
- To read as much as possible (on a regular basis) economic related articles, to develop their ability to apply and connect academic theory to real world events.
- Writing, writing, and writing: To be able to articulate in writing a well-substantiated and reasoned argument in response to broadly framed essay questions.