IGCSE Economics

Topic 1 Basic Economic Problem: Choice and the allocation of resources

define the nature of the economic problem (finite resources and unlimited wants); The Basic Economic Problem – Part 1
define the factors of production (land, labour, capital, enterprise); The Basic Economic Problem – Part 1
define opportunity cost and analyse particular circumstances to illustrate the concept; Basic Economic Problem–Part 2
evaluate the implications of particular courses of action in terms of opportunity cost. Basic Economic Problem–Part 2

Topic 2 The allocation of resources: how the market works; market failure

describe the allocation of resources in market and mixed economic systems;

Economic Systems

demonstrate the principle of equilibrium price and analyse simple market situations with changes in demand and supply;

Introducing Demand

Demand Revisited


Supply Revisited

Supply and Demand Interacting – The Equilibrium Price

Equilibrium Price – How do The Laws of Supply and Demand Interact?

describe the causes of changes in demand and supply conditions and analyse such changes to show effects in the market;

Should Eggs Be Sold At Their Pre-Flood Prices During the Flood Crisis?

Quizzes and an IGCSE Past Paper Question to Assess Your Understanding of Demand, Supply and Market Equilibrium

define price elasticity of demand and supply and perform simple calculations;

Price Elasticity of Demand

Price Elasticity of Supply

demonstrate the usefulness of price elasticity in particular situations such as revenue changes, consumer expenditure;

How does elasticity of supply and demand affect incidence of tax?

describe the concept of market failure and explain the reasons for its occurrence;

Market Failure

evaluate the merits of the market system;  

define private and social costs1 and benefits and discuss conflicts of interest in relation to these costs
and benefits in the short term and long term through studies of the following issues:
• conserving resources versus using resources;
• public expenditure versus private expenditure.

Enquiry–Market Failure and Possible Solutions in Real Life Issues

Topic 3 The individual as producer, consumer and borrower

describe the functions of money and the need for exchange;

Money – Its Characteristics and Functions

describe the functions of central banks, stock exchanges, commercial banks;

Stock Exchange


identify the factors affecting an individual’s choice of occupation (wage factors and non-wage factors);  
describe likely changes in earnings over time for an individual;

Changes in Earnings Over Time For An Individual

describe the differences in earnings between different occupational groups (male/female; skilled/
unskilled; private/public; agricultural/manufacturing/services);

Differences in Earnings between different Occupational Groups

Understanding why wages differ between jobs using supply and demand analysis

Do Women Earn Less than Men?

describe trade unions and their role in an economy;  
describe the benefits and disadvantages of specialisation for the individual;  
analyse the different motives for spending, saving and borrowing;  

discuss how and why different income groups have different expenditure patterns (spending, saving and

Discuss how and why different income groups have different expenditure patterns (spending, saving and borrowing).

Topic 4 The private firm as producer and employer

describe the type of business organisation in the public and private sectors: sole proprietors, partnerships, private companies, public companies, multi-nationals, co-operatives, public corporations;

Types of Firm (Types of Business)


describe and evaluate the effects of changes in structure of business organisations;  
describe what determines the demand for factors of production;  
define total and average cost, fixed and variable cost and perform simple calculations;

Output, Costs, Revenue and Profit

analyse particular situations to show changes in total and average cost as output changes;

Output, Costs, Revenue and Profit

define total and average revenue and perform simple calculations;

Output, Costs, Revenue and Profit

describe the principle of profit maximisation as a goal;  
describe pricing and output policies in perfect competition and monopoly;

Describe pricing and output policies in perfect competition and monopoly

describe the main reasons for the different sizes of firms (size of market, capital, organisation);  
describe and evaluate integration, economies and diseconomies of scale;

Economies of Scale

discuss the advantages and disadvantages of monopoly.  

Topic 5 Role of government in an economy

describe the government as a producer of goods and services and as an employer;  

describe the aims of government policies, such as full employment, price stability, economic growth,
redistribution of income, balance of payments stability;

The Economic Health Of A Country

The Circular Flow Of Income

Business Cycles

Calculating Inflation

What Are Supply Side Policies?

discuss the possible conflicts between government aims;  

describe the types of taxation (direct, indirect, progressive, regressive, proportional) and the impact of taxation;


discuss the government’s influence (regulation, subsidies, taxes) on private producers.  

Topic 6 Economic indicators

describe how the retail price index is calculated;  

discuss the causes and consequences of inflation.

Causes of Inflation

describe the changing patterns and levels of employment;  

discuss the causes and consequences of unemployment.

define Gross Domestic Product (GDP);

Output– Definitions of GDP

describe simple measures and indicators of comparative living standards, such as GDP per head, Human
Development Index (HDI).


Topic 7 Developed and developing economies: trends in production, population and living standards

describe why some countries are classified as developed and others are not;

describe why some countries are classified as developed and others are not;  

recognise and discuss policies to alleviate poverty;


describe the factors that affect population growth (birth rate, death rate, fertility rate, net migration) and discuss reasons for the different rates of growth in different countries;


analyse the problems and consequences of these population changes for countries at different stages of

describe the effects of changing size and structure of population on an economy;  

discuss differences in living standards within countries and between countries, both developed and developing.


Development Economics TED Talks

Developed and Developing Economies – Online Resources and Revision Materials

Topic 8 International aspects

describe why some countries are classified as developed and others are not;

describe the benefits and disadvantages of specialisation at regional and national levels;

Understanding Comparative Advantage

Economics Game: Ricardo, Coconuts and A Desert Island

describe the structure of the current account of the balance of payments;

Understanding the Balance of Payments

define exchange rates;


discuss the causes and consequences of exchange rate fluctuations;

describe methods of protection;

‘Eat Local ‘ Government Advertising Domestic Produce

discuss the merits of free trade and protection.


Overall Revision and Exam Preparation

Revise IGCSE Economics


How Long Should You Spend On the IGCSE Economics Paper 2 Questions?

Here is the syllabus overview for revision purposes (use the tabs at the bottom to explore):

Here is the link to the Google Doc for you to download/ modify:

IGCSE Economics Revision Checklist