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IB Economics HL: Going Beyond the Basics with Advanced Topics and Assessment

For You Education students delve deeper into economic theory and analysis

For students pursuing the International Baccalaureate (IB) Economics program, the Higher Level (HL) program offers an opportunity to delve deeper into economic theory and analysis. The HL program covers advanced topics in microeconomics, macroeconomics, international economics, and development economics, and includes a rigorous internal assessment and external exams. In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at the IB Economics HL program and explore the advanced topics and assessments that students can expect to encounter.

Part 1: Microeconomics

The microeconomics portion of the IB Economics HL program builds on the topics covered in the Standard Level (SL) program, but goes into more depth and covers advanced topics such as market structures, game theory, and information economics. In order to analyze real-world economic issues, it is essential to have a solid understanding of advanced microeconomic theory. Topics covered in the HL program include perfect competition, monopoly, oligopoly, monopolistic competition, and duopoly. Students will learn about the pricing strategies used by firms in each of these market structures, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each structure.

Another topic discussed at length in the mathematical part of HL program is game theory. Using the assigned games, students will learn about different types of competitions and how to perfect their analysis of the exercises. By the end of the class, students will know how to establish an efficient strategy that leads to optimal results. Information economy fits as another core idea to be taken up in the HL curriculum. Students will first briefly touch on the importance of Information and its relevance to decision-making and resultant market outcomes.

Part 2: Macroeconomics

The HL part of the IB Economics Macroeconomics consists of the modules which include advanced topics like Growth and Development, International Trade, and Exchange Rates. Students will be educated on the multiple theories of economic growth and the role that these are playing in the duration of economic growth. Besides, students will conceive the breadth of internationalization and trade on economic growth and development. Other practical issues that the students shall be learning as advanced resources for the HL program include balance of payments, exchange rates, and monetary policy.

Part 3: International Economics

The international economics portion of the IB Economics HL program covers advanced topics such as global financial markets, trade blocs, and currency unions. Students will learn about the benefits and challenges of globalization and international trade, as well as the role of international organizations such as the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Other advanced topics covered in the HL program include comparative advantage, tariffs, and quotas.

Part 4: Development Economics

During the IB Economics HL program in the field of development economy, students will learn advanced subjects regarding like poverty, income gap and environmental sustainability. Students will get to know what those factors that bring about economic growth depend of as well as the circumstances that make it hard for low income nations to enforce economic development. Furthermore, during this training, they will also understand more of the role that the international aid plays in the economic development of a country and the impact of globalization too.

Summary of IB econ SL vs HL


IB Economics SL

IB Economics HL

Depth of content



Required topics

Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, International Economics

Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, International Economics, Development Economics

Required microeconomics topics

Market failure, demand and supply, elasticity, market equilibrium, price controls, market failure

All SL topics, plus theory of the firm, market structures, factor markets

Required macroeconomics topics

National income, economic development, international trade, exchange rates

All SL topics, plus economic growth, fiscal policy, monetary policy, supply-side policies

International Economics

Balance of payments, terms of trade, exchange rate systems, trade policy, globalization, economic integration, development issues

International trade theories, trade policies, protectionism, balance of payments, exchange rates, trade blocs, globalization

Development Economics

Definition of development, characteristics of developed and underdeveloped countries, the role of the state, strategies for economic development, international aid, debt relief, poverty reduction

Theories of economic growth and development, strategies for economic development, international aid, debt relief, poverty reduction, the role of the state, income inequality

Internal Assessment

The internal assessment for the IB Economics HL program is an individual research project that comprises 20% of the final grade. Students are required to conduct independent research on an economic issue of their choosing, using economic theory and analysis to draw conclusions. The internal assessment provides students with an opportunity to apply their knowledge of economics to real-world issues and develop critical thinking and research skills.

External Assessment

The external evaluation of the IB HL Economics which comprises of three papers and each is two hours in duration. The paper 1 covers microeconomics, paper 2 covers macroeconomics, while paper 3 covers international economics and development economics. The exams are used to assess student's knowledge of economic theory and quantitative skills required to analyze economic issues using economic models and data.

For You Education: IB Economics HL Tutoring

At For You Education, we provide one on one IB Economics HL tutoring services to ensure students succeed. Our dedicated tutors use a personalized approach, assisting students with the understanding of economic theory, development of the data analysis techniques, and preparation for the internal assessment and external exams. Our tutoring sessions are designed keeping in mind the unique needs of every student, which provides personalized assistance to help students attain their objectives.

With our personalized IB Economics HL tutoring services, students can build their confidence and develop the skills they need to succeed in the program. Our tutors have a deep understanding of the IB Economics HL syllabus, and can help students to navigate the advanced topics and assessments with ease. We also provide valuable feedback and support for the internal assessment, helping students to develop their research skills and produce high-quality work.


The IB Economics HL program offers students an opportunity to explore advanced economic theory and analysis, and to develop the critical thinking and research skills they need to succeed in the field. By mastering the advanced topics and assessments covered in the HL program, students can prepare themselves for success in university-level economics programs and careers in the field. With the support of For You Education's personalized tutoring services, students can achieve their full potential in the IB Economics HL program and beyond.


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