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IB Economics HL

HL Economics in the IB programme focuses on society's use of resources to meet its needs. Using economic models, students analyse the interaction of producers, consumers, and governments to allocate an economy’s factors of production. Across the scope of the two-year course, students evaluate economic structures and government policies' ability to balance production, development, sustainability, and equity.

Course Structure and Content

Higher Level economics students first study Foundations, which is a brief introduction to economics, and then dive into three main units. In Microeconomics, students study the structures of the market system. They examine how the price mechanism (supply and demand) allocates resources in society, what happens when this goes wrong (market failure), and how the government can intervene to improve these outcomes. Macroeconomics follows, looking at how economies produce and how economic policies help to achieve a set of macroeconomic objectives. Finally, the impact of microeconomics and macroeconomics on international trade and economic development are studied in The Global Economy.

HL assessment includes three papers and an internal assessment. In Paper 1, an extended response, students select one question to answer from a choice of three. Paper 2 has two choices, each comprising a series of short answer questions related to a set of extracts and data. Paper 3 relates to specific HL extension material and is a series of short-answer and mathematical tasks. For each question, students write a policy recommendation balancing the strengths and weaknesses of their position.

Tips for Success

  1. Master the use of economic vocabulary and diagrams. Economics can be a language of its own, but it is easier than it first appears. Developing your ability to speak and think like an economist will help you to succeed in HL econ.
  2. Use real-world examples (RWEs) to help make economic theories more understandable. Remember, Paper 1 requires students to use RWEs in their responses.
  3. Fill in any gaps in your understanding. As the course progresses, new economic theories will be based on previously covered theories. Use our tools to pinpoint the areas of study you need most.

RV Economics is designed to maximise your academic results by providing various tools tailored to your learning needs. You'll find videos explanations of questions and specific mark schemes that help you understand how to best answer specific IB question types. Newton AI is standing by to provide quick and targeted feedback to help you develop your skills.

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