Economics

Presentation of the 4-period programmes

 

These optional courses take place in S4-S5 and in S6-S7. During the first 2 years (S4-S5), the aim is to provide students with the basic tools and economists’ ways of thinking. In S6-S7, the analysis is both broader and more in-depth and is based on more diverse and realistic situations.

Following the course in S4-S5 is a prerequisite for taking the option in S6-S7. However, passing a preliminary exam at the end of S5 allows students to directly access the option in S6-S7. More information on this exam organised once or twice a year can be obtained by the Economics coordinator (Q. Wibaut). Note that there is also a lighter 2-period Economics option organised in EEB1 from S6 to S7 for which there is no prerequisite.

These 4 hour-option courses are harmonised among the school’s Economics teachers. It is available both in French and English (and in German in S4-S5).

In S4-S5, the course relies on classroom role playing games and pupils’ personal economic experiences. The curriculum covers both micro and macro aspects (the official curriculum can be found here), among others:

  • Micro : incentives as driver of economic agents’ behaviour, centrally planned versus market economy, the functioning of a competitive market and how it avoids waste, law of supply and demand, elasticities, taxation and dead-weight loss, competitive firm’s behaviour, role of financial markets, comparison of firms’ financing means (bank loans, bonds and shares), the role of money and banks, joint money creation by central bank and commercial banks …
  • Macro : description of the broad economic agents, the different approaches to measure GDP, the macroeconomic equilibrium and circular flow diagram, measuring purchasing power and inflation, fiscal policy and progressive tax system, income/wealth distribution and fairness, international trade and comparative advantages, balance of payments and exchange rate regimes, cause of different living standards across countries, …

In S6, the curriculum (available here in french or english) mostly covers microeconomics with the consumer choice theory (income and substitution effects) and market failures which show when markets are no longer efficient and must be complemented or replaced by the State. The course first compares the competitive and the monopolistic firms’ behaviour (deadweight loss, discrimination) as well as several other imperfectly competitive cases (oligopoly, monopolistic competition,…). At that occasion, we introduce a few basic concepts of game theory (dominant strategy, Nash equilibrium,…) that will be re-used in several other contexts where strategic interactions between agents (like firms, individuals or countries) lead to an inefficient outcome (where everyone loses).

The other market failures (externalities, public goods, common resources, imperfect information) are also presented to deal with issues such as global warming or justify the role of the State or of financial intermediaries.

In S7, the whole year is devoted to macroeconomics in order to prepare for the Bac exam. The main chapters of the curriculum are: economic growth (with the Solow model), business cycles (with the AS-AD model), the functioning of the labour market and unemployment, inflation and monetary policy, the open economy (with international trade already studied in S5, international macro interactions, the current account and international capital flows, exchange rate regimes and the euro).

As a broad guideline, here are 4 resources covering most of the 4-year curriculum:

For further information, you can adress your questions to Q. Wibaut (economics coordinator).

Economics teachers at EEB1

Andreas Haslinger S4 – S5
Neil Massinon S4 – S7
Abdel Naanaa S4 – S7
Quentin Wibaut S4 – S7