Prerequisite: AP United States History or United States History Honors and teacher recommendation
Required tools: TI-84 Plus Calculator or equivalent
Additional Fee: IB examination fees will be incurred the second year of the course
This is the first part of a two year course designed to prepare students for the IB Economics HL exam. The course presents a college-level survey of both microeconomics and macroeconomics. The microeconomics section is designed to give a thorough review of the principles of economics that apply to the functions of individuals as decision-makers, both consumers and producers, within the economic system. It places primary emphasis on the nature and functions of product markets and includes the study of factor markets, theory of a firm and of the role of government in promoting greater equity in the economy. The macroeconomics section gives students an understanding of the principles of economics that apply to an economic system as a whole.
The course reviews the study of national income and price-level determination and develops students’ familiarity with economic performance measures, the financial sector, stabilization policies and economic growth. Emphasis is placed on the different types of fiscal and monetary policy that governments may pursue with historiographical coverage of major economic schools of thought. In addition to the principles of microeconomics and macroeconomics, IB Economics students will also delve extensively into international economics including international trade theory and growth, economic development, exchange rates, economic integration and balance of payments. Students will learn how the mixed economies of other countries that have more government involvement operate. Another goal is for students to understand the problems faced by developing countries and to develop an awareness of possible solutions. A variety of real world examples will be used to illustrate and explain these principles and a culminating project in the second year is a case study in how a specific developing country should pursue economic development.
IB Economics also entails a significant quantitative component as students learn how to derive and graph supply and demand functions, compute consumer and producer surplus, evaluate the effects of taxes and subsidies, adjust economic data for inflation, evaluate the effects of macroeconomic policy by using a variety of multipliers, and study and use marginal cost theory. Students learn this material through lecture, class discussion, oral presentations, article analysis, group projects, essay portfolio development, graphing, and case studies. Document analysis and basic research skills are a must and higher order thinking skill use is mandatory as essay writing involving graphing, analysis, synthesis, evaluation, and historical and economic argumentation skills are paramount. Students that want to understand why national economies and markets boom and bust, understand personal investment strategies for their future, understand the process of globalization, understand government’s role in the economy, and why individual firms succeed or fail, merge or do not merge, should take this course. To do well students must complete all work on time as skill sets and theory combine to form building blocks on which future understanding rests, be strong advocates and attend tutorial as needed for difficult concepts, possess strong reading comprehension skills, and have a strong math background through Algebra II/Trigonometry.
Units of Study
How to Think Like an Economist
Basic Supply and Demand Theory
Elasticity, Taxes, Subsidies and Market Failure
Linear Demand and Supply Functions-Quantitative Analysis
Aggregate Demand, Aggregate Supply, Inflation, and Unemployment
Keynesian, Classical and Neo-Classical Fiscal and Monetary Policy
Quantitative Macroeconomic Analysis: Fiscal and Monetary Multipliers