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Economics Year 11 ATAR Course Study Guide

Economics Year 11 ATAR Course Study Guide
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Written by Andrew Tibbitt

CONTENTS

Unit 1 - Microeconomics

Chapter 1 – The Market Economy

Chapter 2 – Demand and Supply

Chapter 3 - Elasticity

Chapter 4 - Efficiency

Chapter 5 – Market Failure

Chapter 6 – Government Intervention

 

Unit 2 – Macroeconomics

Chapter 7 - Macroeconomics

Chapter 8 – Business Cycles

Chapter 9 – Economic Growth

Chapter 10 - Inflation

Chapter 11 – Unemployment

Chapter 12 – The Balance of Payments

Chapter 13 – The Public Sector

Chapter 14 – Objectives and Performance

 

This book is a Study Guide designed to help students meet the requirements of the WACE Economics ATAR Course Year 11 syllabus.

 

Organisation

Economics is one of a number of human or social sciences whose aim is to investigate, understand and predict human behaviour. The central theme of economics is how societies go about raising the material standard of living or wellbeing of their members given a limited supply of resources.   

 

The syllabus is divided into two units; Unit 1 is a Microeconomics Unit and Unit 2 is a Macroeconomics Unit. Both units focus on the central theme of wellbeing and resource scarcity but approach the problem from a different perspective.

 

The focus of the Microeconomic Unit is the operation of individual markets. The unit covers what markets are, how they operate and whether or not they lead to an efficient, fair and sustainable way of allocating scarce resources. The unit also looks at what the government can do to prevent and fix up situations where markets fail to work in a satisfactory way.

 

The focus of the Macroeconomic Unit is the operation of the economy as a whole. The unit includes a study of economic growth, unemployment, inflation, income distribution and international trade and shows how the combined performance of the economy affects the wellbeing of members of society.

 

Three general outcomes

Outcome 1 – Economic Inquiry: Students will be able to find and use economic information to show they understand economic events, issues and decisions, using appropriate economic terms, concepts and models

Outcome 2 – The Operation of the economy: Students will develop an understanding of the key factors that affect the way the economy operates and the consequences of economic choices.

Outcome 3 – Economic policy and action: Students will be able to explain how Government intervention affects the performance of the economy.

 

The subject framework

There are a number of parts to the framework of Economics.

Concepts and language: Concepts are thoughts, ideas or notions on which knowledge can be built. There are a number of key economic concepts such as opportunity cost, elasticity and a market. It is important to use correct economic terms when you share your economic understanding. 

Mathematical and statistical techniques: Simple mathematical and statistical techniques are used to measure and communicate economic information but the results are not always as precise as economists pretend.

Methodology: Some economic knowledge is based on models that are simplified versions of the real world based on assumptions about how people behave and other factors affecting the situation. For example, economic people are assumed to be rational and to aim for maximum wellbeing. Economic theories are developed from these models, and, if the theories can be shown to be valid, they become economic laws. Be prepared, however, to come across exceptions to a number of economic laws. Other economic knowledge is based on generalisations made from the direct observation of human behaviour.

Personal knowledge: Economists are directly involved in their subject, being both economic agents, as consumers and producers for example, and as individual members of society, so the observer is part of the system.

Knowledge issues: Be prepared to find exceptions to many economic laws, for people to exercise their free will and to act less predictably than economists assume will be the case, for people to be biased and to have opinions and for rival models of economic behaviour to produce contradictory theories and predictions. These issues are what make economics interesting.

 

The Author

The author is an experienced economics teacher and author, having taught both WACE Economics and the International Baccalaureate Diploma at year 11 and 12 levels and written a number of economics textbooks and journal articles. He is a life member of the Western Australia Economic Teachers’ Association and has been involved with both syllabus development and as an assistant examiner over many years.


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