IB Economics

The International Baccalaureate Programme offers economics at both Higher and Standard Level. Both courses focus on understanding economic theories and developing reasoning and evaluative thinking skills in looking at how society uses factors of production to produce goods and services. Students develop arguments using economic models to understand better how to balance competing interests such as production, development, sustainability, and equity.

Course Structure and Content

Whether at Standard Level or Higher Level, the course covers four units: Foundations (a brief introduction to economic thought), Microeconomics (how markets work), Macroeconomics (how governments manage economies to achieve economic objectives), and The Global Economy (an in-depth look at international trade and Economic Development). Throughout these units, Higher Level students will study additional subtopics.

All students complete an internal assessment, which is a portfolio of three commentaries about an economic event chosen by the student. External assessment for both SL and HL includes Paper 1 (an extended response paper) and Paper 2 (a data response paper). Students have a choice of questions to answer in both papers. HL students will also complete Paper 3 (a policy paper). HL students must complete both questions in Paper 3.

Tips for success

  1. Be ready to think differently. Economics has a lot of very specific vocabulary. Additionally, IB economics stresses the importance of understanding and manipulating diagrams to analyse a given theory.
  2. Economics theories can be abstract, and sometimes, applying economic theories to the real world isn't a perfect fit. Studying economic theories alongside real-world contexts helps to create meaning and facilitates mastery of the relevant theories.
  3. Individual topics in IB Economics are interconnected. To understand one theory—especially later theories—you need to understand others. You can use the various tools we have available to help you target particular concepts you find difficult.

RV Economics is designed to maximise your academic results by providing various tools that address all elements of the syllabus and the assessments. To bring your skills to the level of the assessment criteria, Newton AI gives targeted feedback. Using this feedback and the provided markschemes will help you achieve your goals for economics in the International Baccalaureate Programme.