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AS/A Level Economics 9708

Unit 1: Introductory ideas and the price system

Recommended Prior Knowledge
This Unit starts the course by introducing basic ideas and tools of analysis. Students’ personal experiences as consumer, worker and observer can be drawn into the
exposition of the content.

The material includes demand and supply which will be developed in the following Unit and also used to explain the setting of exchange rates and the effects of some
types of government intervention. Comparative advantage is introduced and will form the basis of international trade in a later Unit.

The Unit considers the basic ideas of economics and its methods with introductory models of demand and supply and comparative advantage explored.

AO Learning outcomes Suggested Teaching activities Learning resources

The outcomes indicate the abilities and The following activities may be incorporated into standard exposition of Book references:
skills candidates need to develop in the subject content Anderton refers to Anderton Economics
relation to each section of the syllabus The activities are intended to encourage student involvement (third edition) (Causeway Press)

Bamford refers to Bamford AS Level

and A Level Economics (first edition)

Gillespie refers to Gillespie AS & A

Level Economics Through Diagrams
(new edition) (OUP)

Stanlake refers to Stanlake`s

Introductory Economics by S J Grant
(seventh edition) (Longman)

Website references:
AO Learning outcomes Suggested Teaching activities Learning resources

Candidates should Survey the weeks news items to establish economic content. Bamford Introduction
• understand the context of
economics Stanlake Chap 1
• be aware of the skills involved
• consider the ‘economist’s toolkit’ Newspapers and magazines:

Business Week

The Economist

The Financial Times

The Guardian

The Independent

The Telegraph

The Times


Students should also be encouraged to

use appropriate newspapers,
AO Learning outcomes Suggested Teaching activities Learning resources
magazines and television programmes
in their own country and region

Review past exam papers to establish nature of approach and content

1e Candidates should distinguish Survey press headlines to identify and contrast positive and normative Anderton Unit 45
between a positive and normative statements
statement Bamford Introduction

Gillespie Page 1

Stanlake Chap 1

Tutor2u Positive and Normative


1d Candidates should understand the Contrast marginal and average idea by use of numerical data e.g. Anderton Unit 47
concept of the margin and relate weekly film attendances, golf round scores or goals scored each game
decisions to marginal changes by footballers Bamford Chap 9

Gillespie Pages 27, 29 and 30

Stanlake Chap 13

S-cool Costs and their curves

Tutor2u Marginal Costs

1g Candidates should be familiar with the Analyse inputs in contrasting production activities e.g. manufacturing Anderton Unit 2
economist’s classification of resources and farming activity
apply the classification to economic Bamford Chap 1
activities Cotton choices activity
Gillespie Page 1
AO Learning outcomes Suggested Teaching activities Learning resources
Stanlake Chap 5

Bized Learning materials Economics

Topic 1, Introductory micro-economics,

Jusbiz The real price of cotton

Tutor2u Factors of Production

1a Candidates should Role play e.g. shipwreck, survival (Economics and Business Education Anderton Unit 1
• understand the nature of wants Association resource}
and resources and the resulting Bamford Chap 1
economic problems Analyse scarcity for individual, company and nation
• recognise the operation of Gillespie Pages 1 and 2
opportunity cost Apply opportunity cost to family e.g. holiday and government e.g. public
• apply opportunity cost to different spending decisions Stanlake Chap 1
Bized Learning materials Economics
Topic 1, Introductory micro-economics

Oheschools Unit 1 The problems of

health care

S-cool Scarcity and Opportunity Cost

Tutor2u Opportunity Cost

Tutor2u Scarcity

1c Candidates should Introduce plotting graphs of ppcs Anderton Unit 1

• understand the nature of the
production possibility curve Examine alternative shapes of curves and significance of movements Bamford Chap 1
• employ production possibility
curves to illustrate the basic Analyse effects of range of changes moving between and within curves Gillespie Pages 2 and 3
economic problem and
opportunity cost Stanlake Chap 2
• interpret the production possibility
curve diagram Bized Learning materials Economics
AO Learning outcomes Suggested Teaching activities Learning resources
Topic 1, Introductory micro-economics

Oheschools Unit 1 The problems of

health care

Tutor2u Production Possibility Frontier

Tutor2u Shifts in the Production

Possibility Frontier

1i Candidates should Role play exchange without money Anderton Unit 82

• understand the functions and
characteristics of money and its Analyse suitability of selected items to serve as money highlighting Bamford Chap 1
importance for economic weaknesses
progress Gillespie Page 67
• recognise the drawbacks of
barter Stanlake Chap 7

Bized Learning materials Economics

Topic 8, Money

Tutor2u Money and its Functions

1h Candidates should understand the pin factory, Ford model T and automated production case studies Anderton Unit 2
nature, benefits and limits of division of student research on division of labour within a selected organisation with Bamford Chap 1
labour report back Stanlake Chap 6
contrast the operation of division of discussion of modern working conditions and motivation Bized Learning materials Economics
labour in different settings Topic 1, Introductory micro-economics;
Topic 3, Firms and virtual developing
country copper field trip

4a Candidates should distinguish Apply to individual’s employment Anderton Unit 14

between absolute and comparative Bamford Chap 4
advantage work numerical example Bized Learning materials Economics
apply the principle to demonstrate the translate to production possibility curve approach Topic 11, International economics and
benefits of division of labour virtual developing country trade field trip
Tutor2u Theory of Comparative
AO Learning outcomes Suggested Teaching activities Learning resources
Tutor2u Comparative Advantage –
Worked Examples

2a/b Candidates should understand the collate student observation of demand/price relationship Anderton Unit 4
nature of individual and market survey factors underlying demand for specified products e.g. oil, Bamford Chap 2
c demand curves holidays, CDs, DVDs etc Gillespie Pages 4, 5 and 6
analyse the factors which influence graph demand schedules and their movements Stanlake Chap 8
d demand curves Bized Learning materials Economics
distinguish between a shift in and Topic 2, Markets
movement along a curve Oheschools Unit 2 The free market
S-cool The Demand Curve
Tutor2u Theory of Demand

2f Candidates should understand the examine producer maximisation motivation Anderton Unit 5
nature of individual and market supply analyse changing supply conditions for different products Bamford Chap 2
g curves graph supply schedules and their movements Gillespie Pages 10, 11 and 13
analyse the factors which influence Stanlake Chap 10
supply curves Bized Learning materials Economics
show the effect of the introduction of Topic 2, Markets
an indirect tax or subsidy Oheschools Unit 2 The free market
distinguish between a shift in and approach
movement along a curve S-cool The Supply Curve
Tutor2u Theory of Supply

1f Candidates should appreciate the consider range of outcomes without assumption Anderton Units 4 and 5
need for ‘ceteris paribus’ in supply and Bamford Chap 2
demand analysis
identify the elements left unchanged in
the application of the assumption

2i Candidates should understand the discuss operation of familiar market e.g. produce or shares Anderton Unit 6
setting of an equilibrium price study price behaviour in a commodity market Bamford Chap 2
use diagrams to represent changing plot changes to equilibrium Gillespie Pages 12 and 13
conditions student analysis of given changes on equilibrium and interrelationships Stanlake Chaps 11 and 12
analyse the effects of changes in between products with report back Bized Learning materials Economics
variables determining the price of a house simulation (virtual learning arcade) Topic 2, Markets; virtual learning
apply the analysis to different products the interrelationship between markets simulation (virtual learning arcade; virtual developing country rural
AO Learning outcomes Suggested Teaching activities Learning resources
and markets arcade) life field trip Oheschools Unit 2 The
recognise the relationships between free market approach
different products and services e.g. S-cool The Equilibrium Price
joint demand and joint supply S-cool Real World Applications
Tutor2u Equilibrium Market Price
2j Candidates should understand the discuss consumer behaviour Anderton Unit 4
concept of consumer surplus examine the demand curve diagram Bamford Chap 2
illustrate consumer surplus Gillespie Page 23
recognise consumer surplus in Stanlake Chap 8
diagrams Tutor2u Consumer Surplus