Economics 3

Course Description

Teacher in Charge: Mr M. Orchard


If you did not take a pathway course at Level 2, or achieved fewer than 14 credits in that course, you will need HOD approval

Economics examines the choices people make about the use of limited resources to satisfy unlimited wants.

Economics helps to explain and predict how goods and services will be produced and consumed. It will tell you who gets what, how, and why.

Economics explores issues of:
- sustainability (efficient use of scarce resources)
- enterprise (identifying profit-maximising levels of output)
- citizenship (economic decisions affecting New Zealand society)
- globalisation (the benefits of international trade).

Economists are interested in the factors that influence the well being of people and aim to find solutions to improve people’s standard of living.


What is the difference between Accounting and Economics?

Even though they are both “businessy” subjects, they are completely different. 

Decision making in business can be assisted using financial information. 

Accounting helps us to understand financial information and make important decisions like improving profitability or investment decisions. Topics include; Xero, Cashflow, Spreadsheeting, Forecasting, Financial Documents and of course Financial Statements.

Economics is more about the environment that our business operates in. Studying this subject helps you to understand how the markets work that you sell your product to, and how the economy around you impacts your business. 

Q. Can I do both?

Yes. If you have space in your timetable, students find that they complement each other really well and are completely different to each other. None of the achievement standards overlap.

Q. Can I move between subjects over 3 years?

Yes, they can be picked up at any stage, if you are dedicated enough to catch up on the content from the previous years.

Q. Where does it lead to?

Both subjects operate in the context of the “real world” and are highly relevant to what is actually happening “out there”.

Many Year 13 students that go on to tertiary study, study a Business/Commerce degree. These require both Economics and Accounting in the first year, thus the student is well positioned to move to the tertiary level content.

For those that don’t carry on to tertiary study, the learning and knowledge about the way in which the economy/business works and how both individuals and organisations can make good financial decisions is invaluable. As are the practical skills developed in both courses.

Q. Why accelerate study of Economics?

Students that have completed the Accelerate Business Studies course in Year 10 are able to enter the Level 2 Economics course in Year 11 and the Level 3 Economics course in Year 12. This allows them to study the University of Waikato Economics course in Year 13. This will cross-credit to a university commerce degree.

Q. Are Accounting and Economics becoming redundant with the improvement of software to complete many jobs previously completed manually?

No. While software may complete many jobs more quickly and accurately than in the past, this has shifted the work of accountants and economists into consulting and advocate roles where a deeper understanding of the underlying concepts is essential. Sound commerce advice will always be in need.

Course Overview

Term 1
Topic of study: Microeconomic Concepts
- Economic modelling of supply and demand
- Concepts of utility, elasticity and diminishing returns are introduced
- Analysis of the actions of the rational consumer and producer
Students begin to learn by online quizzes with immediate feedback, accurate graphing skills, and adoption of key economic terminology.

Term 2
Topic of study: Market Failure
- Learning the economic history of New Zealand
- Differentiating between inequality and inequity
- Economic modelling of the labour market and Lorenz curves
- Analysing the Government policies to counter the market failure of inequitable wealth and income distributions
Students learn with research and written argument outlining the subjective nature of fairness or equity in society, using economic modelling and reasoning

Topic of study: Allocative efficiency
- Economic modelling of demand and supply to determine the welfare or benefit of markets
- Analysis of allocative efficiency and the causes of inefficiency in the market by making one party worse off while not making another party better off
Students analyse all Government interventions in markets to understand the impact on allocative efficiency

Term 3
Topic of study: Macro-economic influences on the New Zealand economy
- Government goals of price stability, economic growth, balanced trade, and full employment are introduced
- Economic modelling of circular flow, aggregate demand and supply, foreign exchange market, and the business cycle are introduced
- Government policies including monetary policy, fiscal policy and trade policies are discussed and analysed
Students make sense of the daily business and economic news and its impact on the macro-economy

Term 4
Revision for the NCEA exam of allocative efficiency and macro-economic influences

Learning Areas:


Career Pathways

Business Analyst, Economist, Management Consultant, Accountant, Auditor, Actuary, Finance Manager, Aeronautical Engineer, Debt Collector, Civil Engineer, Quantity Surveyor, Game Developer, Insurance Adviser, Mortgage Broker, Payroll Officer, Data Analyst