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Prep for 2013 : How much Economics does a student need to know for General Paper ?

What happens if I do not take Economics at A-levels ? Would I be at a great disadvantage ?

The answer is : A General Paper candidate does need to know something about economics, but this can be streamlined by looking at some past questions. You don’t need to to remember most of the jargon, but you do need to understand and re-express, in simple terms, how things work – and then make sense of whether economic perspectives clash or coincide with social or political perspectives.

Economics for General Paper :

What is economics ?  It is the social science that studies the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.

GP Topics : Government, Poverty & Exploitation, Standard of Living & Quality of Life concerns
The history of money
The circular flow of money
How national income is computed
Economies of scale vs diminishing returns on input
Labour & Other Resources : Availability & Cost (Scarcity)
Globalisation & Industrialisation & the Knowledge age
Globalisation : free trade vs protectionism & pricing of imports and exports
Globalisation : comparative advantage & specialisation
the impact of migration
how to measure standard of living & quality of life
private good vs public good
open market system vs state control
how debt works : for individuals/firms & countries
how real is the problem of scarcity
profit maximisation
inflation
crisis of confidence

(to be continued, with some detail)

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2 thoughts on “Prep for 2013 : How much Economics does a student need to know for General Paper ?

  1. I generally start by teaching basic concepts – starting with Adam Smith’s (& Ricardo’s) work on Specialization & Comparative Advantage – advancing on to the need for trade – terms of trade and “money” – then, broadening the dicussion by extending the earlier concepts to cover more than a pair of countries – a multitude of trading partners (international trade) – which will then bring us to the concepts of Free Trade & Globalization – internationalization organizations like WTO, SWIFT – and then to more advanced topics like outsourcing, employment and protectionism issues. This approach seems to work well with students because appears to be a logical progression. Finally, we can integrate Economic issues with political and cultural considerations (in answering questions like “The world is flat – discuss.”)

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