Economics Extended Essay

The Extended Essay (EE) is a compulsory requirement of the IB Diploma programme and attaining a grade below a D results in the failure to be awarded the Diploma.

Students who undertake an EE in Economics should:-

  • study a recent economic event
  • study an economic issue or policy
  • gather data and apply economic theories related to the issue
  • apply economic models and tools to evaluate it
  • Use theories and topics within the IB syllabus, but should not necessarily be restricted to only these theories and topics

Importantly, the EE should not diverge into other subject areas such as Geography or Business & Management. Indeed, given the similarities and overlaps between the two subjects, it is quite common for students wanting to to do an EE in economics to come  up with a research question which is essentially a Business & Management question. This should be avoided. If the topic is all about one or two  companies, their strategies, policies etc. and does not link to any economic theory studied in the syllabus, then the essay is probably too ‘ business focused’.

The research question should be sharply focused, not too backward looking ( based on a situation that has happened no more than 5 years ago) , and should be rooted in a real world setting, i.e. about a local, national market, industry, or economic situation or scenario.

Also, an EE in Economics should not be an extension of a piece of Internal Assessment in Economics that the student has already done.

The table below shows the similarities and differences between a piece of Internal Assessment and the EE:-

Differences and Similarities between Internal Assessment and Extended Essay

= the Economics guide to the EE says that primary data collection is optional, and can be conducted provided it adds ‘substantial value’  to the EE. For example, if a survey is to be conducted then the questions have to be well thought out, directly relevant to the research question and the sample size has to be be big enough to give statistically meaningful results.
= any diagrams used should not be placed in one section of the essay but should be used throughout the essay.

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