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.
Prior knowledgeThe 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.