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The IB Economics Internal Assessment - Mr Woods - www.timwoods.org
What is an IA?<br />An internal Assessment in Economics is a written commentary based on an economics article that you have chosen. <br />The article you choose should allow you to explain and analyze economic events.<br /><ul><li>For Economics SL, your IA represents 25% of your total IB score.
For Economics HL, your IA represents 20% of your total IB score.</li></li></ul><li>What to do?<br />Pick an article that will allow you to use what we have learned in class.<br />For your first IA, you mostly need to find an article that will allow you to use the concepts of supply/demand, elasticity, and market failure.<br />In your internet search, it would be useful to search for the price of a commodity.<br />price of coffee, price of oil, price of cocoa, etc.<br />
Where can I find an article?<br />You might browse the New York Times International Edition in the school’s library.<br />You can use any article you find anywhere, as long as you have a hard copy to hand in.<br />You can show me your article so that can let you know if it is appropriate.<br />
As your IA’s are a part of your formal assessment, teachers are not allowed to provide as much assistance with IA’s as we might like to.<br />
Teacher Feedback<br />“Written feedback should generally be limited to reflecting on and explaining the instructions in the syllabus --define, label, explain, etc. <br />Tell students what doesn't make sense, etc. Do not give detailed instructions to students about how to improve their IA. But you may ask them, for example, to explain what this paragraph was intended to mean, if a paragraph does not make sense.<br />You may also mention, for example, ‘background theory notes needed here!“’<br />
Then What?<br />Once you have picked an article, you need to analyze it. If your article is about a change in the price of a commodity, ask yourself:<br /><ul><li> Why did the price change?
Can I use a supply and demand diagram to explain what happened?
Who was affected by price change?</li></li></ul><li>Your IA<br />Write an economics commentary of 650-750 words, where you explain and analyze what happened in the article you have picked.<br />In your commentary, you should:<br /><ul><li> Define economic terms
Evaluate (more to come on this)</li></li></ul><li>Format and Submission<br />Commentary First Draft Checklist<br />The ISB Economics Coversheet<br />Commentary<br />Number your pages and write your name as a header on the top right hand side of each page<br />Use footnotes for definitions of key terms (optional)<br /><ul><li>The Article</li></ul>If the article is long, you need to highlight the sections you use<br />Submission<br />Also submit an electronic copy of the commentary and the article, for ISB records.<br />
Your articles have to be recent. <br />It should be no older than 6 months from the start of the course.<br />
How else I can Help<br />I cannot choose an article for you, but for your first IA, you could show me the article and I will tell you whether it is appropriate or not.<br />You will get feedback on the first version and will be allowed to make changes once.<br />The second version you submit will be your final version. <br />Your IB Score will be based on this version.<br />
The assessors appreciate variety. With each article you choose:<br />Cover a different part of the world (i.e. Not only the US and the UK), <br />And Use a different source <br />
Assessment<br />There are 5 IB Criteria on which your commentary will be assessed:<br />A: word limit+ IAs cover more than 3 sections of syllabus. [2 marks]<br />B: 4 different sources + appropriate use of diagrams. [4 marks] <br />C: Economic terms are used and are defined correctly. [5 marks]<br />D: Theory explained and applied [5 marks]<br />E: Evaluation [4 marks]<br />
Homer Simpson on Evaluation<br />Copy and paste this: <br />http://fliiby.com/file/132144/ay0fjcdh9o.html <br />Shopkeeper: [Homer has agreed to purchase a Krusty doll for Bart's birthday] Take this object, but beware it carries a terrible curse! Homer: Ooh, that's bad. Shopkeeper: But it comes with a free frogurt! Homer: That's good. Shopkeeper: The frogurt is also cursed. Homer: That's bad. Shopkeeper: But you get your choice of toppings. Homer: That's good! Shopkeeper: The toppings contain potassium benzoate. [Homer looks puzzled] Shopkeeper: ...That's bad. We start with Homer's simplistic evaluation and then use it as a base for a more detailed evaluation that includes specific details as to why it's good or bad. Don’t be a being passive receptacle of information; rather, passing judgment on what they are learning simply doesn't occur to them.<br />
IA’s are your chance to show that you have a clear grasp on economic theory. <br />Economists structure their thinking, so you should as well. Apply the theories in a structured, considerate narrative.<br />
EVALUATION<br />1. Short term versus long term implications<br />2. Effects on different stakeholders<br />3. Prioritise the arguments<br />4. Question validity of a theory/data presented<br />
5.Can you detect contradictions/limitations between economic theory and the real world problem at hand.<br />6. Are there winners and losers<br />7. Is there any bias in the way the article was written<br />8. Can you predict what will happen in the future based on what happened in this article?<br />
Short Term Versus Long Term<br />Examples:<br />“in the short run, abnormal profits can be earned.<br />however, in the long run this is not possible.”<br />or<br />“in the short run, it is possible to justify the<br />infant industry argument. however, in the long<br />run, the industry could be inefficient.<br />
The Validity of Assumptions<br />Most economic theory is based on assumptions. Identify the assumptions in the article and question their validity. For example:<br />“The assumption of perfect competition that there is perfect knowledge. This is unrealistic in globalised markets dominated by advertising.”<br />“The theory of comparative advantage fails to take transport costs into account (from the producing country to the country buying the good). this is clearly a weakness of the theory.”<br />
Stakeholders<br />Consider the issue from the points of view of different stakeholders:<br />Examples<br />Domestic producers<br />Consumers<br />Government<br />Foreign producers<br />High income people<br />Low income people<br />
Prioritise the Arguments<br />For example, you might structure your reasoning like this:<br />The most important argument against protectionism is…. <br />The least effective argument forprotectionism is….<br />On balance, the strongest argument in favour is…<br />
Good answers make connections between topics <br />Be aware that economic events never occur in isolation<br />Question the reliability of any subjective (normative) statement.<br />Consider short and long-term consequences<br />
Drop the “ceteris-paribus” assumption and see where it takes you.<br />Challenge views and statements.<br />Consider the Fallacy of Composition –that what is good for one person is good for the whole<br />Consider the Single Causation Fallacy –that only a single factor is the cause of an economic situation.<br />
Remember you’re showing the same skills here that you’re showing in your exam answers.<br />