John Maynard Keynes, perhaps the greatest Economist of the modern era, once stated that an Economist must be a “mathematician, historian, statesman, and philosopher – in some degree. He must understand symbols yet speak in words.”
Economics uses a wide variety of tools to understand how people behave when faced with the economic problem of scarcity; there is not enough to satisfy everyone’s wants, so difficult choices must be made.
The IB course covers the determination of prices using demand and supply analysis. Business costs and decisions about price and output are explored in the theory of the firm. Macroeconomics covers the economy as a whole, considering major issues such as unemployment, inflation and growth. The reasons why countries trade, the determination of exchange rates and economic integration are considered as part of international economics. The programme concludes by studying developing countries and the ways in which economic development occurs.
The economy and economic decisions affect all of us and an understanding of economics is a useful attribute in any career. Boys undertaking the course should feel they are better able to interpret the world around them, in particular being able to engage in debates of critical importance to them in a new global economy.