02 08

Extended essay example economics

extended essay example economics

Some useful web sites to get you thinking about choosing your topic / question, and your overall approach to the EE:

General EE advice:
The official IBO diploma Programme Extended Essay Guide can be downloaded from a variety of websites, such as the following:

It is well worth reading the Economics section in the above guide (check the book marks on the left hand side, Details – subject specific).

Other economics specific advice:





Using these web-sites you can view real examples of IB Economics Extended Essays. Take care to see what standard they are:



Now, when you get around to planning your essay, you might consider using this interactive planner:

extended essay example economics Extended Essay in Economics - Lanterna Education

extended essay example economics IB Extended Essay Examples | North Battleford.

It allows students to develop research skills, to apply economic theory to real-world situations, and to analyse and evaluate the outcomes of their research. The outcome of the research should be a coherent and structured analytical essay that effectively addresses the particular research question.

Choice of topic

Students should undertake an essay that uses the core principles of economics as a basis for researching a particular topic. Students should use a combination of primary and secondary research as the basis for their extended essay, and should apply the accepted theories, tools and techniques of the subject to the topic chosen.

Essays should not be historical. They should be related to economic information that is no more than three years old. Essays that are too retrospective, for example, "What was the impact of the South-East Asian crash on Thailand during 1990-1995?", almost invariably become descriptive.

Students should ensure that their research question can be answered using economic concepts and theories, and that the question does not lean too heavily towards business and management.

  • "What is the effect of the recent imposition of a minimum wage in Austria on unemployment in the fast food industry in Graz?" is better than "What has been the effect of the minimum wage on unemployment in Austria?".
  • "To what extent has the fall in the exchange rate of the US dollar affected the tourist industry in Carmel , California?" is better than "How has the fall in the exchange rate of the US dollar affected the US economy?".
  • "What has been the economic effect of water privatization on the farming industry in my region of Zambia?" is better than "How has the privatization of water affected Zambia?".
  • It may help if the student further defines the topic chosen for study in the form of a research question, followed by a statement of intent that indicates which broad process is going to be used in answering the question. In this way, the approach to the topic chosen may be even further clarified. Some examples of this could be as follows.

    Topic Pricing at the local supermarket

    Research question : Will the recent policy of cutting bakery prices lead to increased revenue for the Safeway supermarket in Ryde, Sydney?

    This results in a detailed examination of elasticity and its relationship with total revenue.

    Topic The economic impact of privatization

    Research question : To what extent did Matav, a Hungarian telecommunications company,
    become more efficient post-privatization?

    Approach: Primary data is collected through interviews with company management (qualitative research) and secondary data is collected by accessing company reports. Economics texts are used for researching the economic theory of privatization.

    Topic: The impact of monetary policy

    Research question: Has the Kenyan central bank's policy of interest rate cuts led to a rise in new car sales in Nairobi?

    Approach : A consumer questionnaire (quantitative research) is circulated and interviews (qualitative research) are carried out with sales managers of new car firms. Government macroeconomic statistics (secondary research) are also accessed.

    Treatment of the topic

    It is important that the topic and research question reflect a firm emphasis on economics, and that they do not become directed towards another subject area.

    Students must choose a research question that can be treated effectively within the word limit and is not of a trivial nature. Research questions that do not allow a systematic and meaningful investigation using relevant economic theory, and do not demonstrate critical analysis and detailed understanding, are unlikely to be suitable in economics. In some instances, it may become clear at an early stage in the research that too little information is available to permit such an investigation. In such cases, a change of focus should be made.

    Students may be encouraged to carry out original research on a topic within any of the syllabus sections in the current Economics guide.One advantage of doing an essay on a microeconomics topic is the ability to carry out primary research in the form of surveys, questionnaires or interviews. Nonetheless, it is also possible to carry out a highly successful analysis of a question related to macroeconomics, international economics or development economics, as long as the data and information collected are used to construct a clear, reasoned argument in response to a sufficiently narrow research question.


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