Burnside High School Burnside High School

NCEA Level 3 Economics

Course Description

Teacher in Charge: Mr M. Terry.

Recommended Prior Learning

12 credits in Year 12 Economics or Mathematics or English or by HOD approval.

13ECO - Economics

The Level 3 course enables students to attain economic literacy and to develop a continuing interest in contemporary economic issues. The skill of reasoning clearly using analytical techniques allows students to present and interpret economic data in a clear, coherent manner. The course is divided into three sections: Whenever possible, specific examples are drawn from the New Zealand economy.


This is an analytical study of how consumers behave and how producers decide to use resources and sell their output. The ‘theory of the firm’ goes into detail of costs and output decisions in a range of market situations, ranging from perfect competition to monopoly. Microeconomics also looks at individual markets in relation to trade, taxes and government regulation.

Resource allocation modifications.

The free market does not always provide effective or equitable outcomes, and this section examines the case for government intervention. Areas of study include public goods, externalities, natural monopolies and equity issues.


Macroeconomics looks at broad strands across the economy, and topics include national income, money and prices, trade and foreign exchange. These form part of the Aggregate Supply and Demand Model which is used to show the effect of government monetary and fiscal policy.


Economics can be studied right through university towards a bachelor degree, masters degree and doctorate. There are several areas to specialise in in later study. Macroeconomics which is relevant to careers with the Reserve Bank, Treasury, various economic institutes, domestic and international banking and finance companies. Econometrics leads to opportunities in Statistics NZ, actuary firms, insurance and polling firms. Microeconomics and Management science are branches of economics of interest to industry, health, airlines and freight logistics firms.

Course Overview

Term 1
Economic terms
Marginal Utility / Demand/ Shifts
Elasticity of demand - price
Elasticity of demand – cross, income
Diminishing returns, supply and elasticity
Role of prices in resource allocation
Markets and Allocative Efficiency
Applications of Supply & Demand

Term 2
Applications of Supply & Demand continued
Market failure and externalities
Income distribution - equity & efficiency
Perfectly competitive firm - cost curves / profit max
Monopoly firms and output decisions

Term 3
Natural monopoly
Economic indicators (Growth inflation etc)
Monetary policy
Money and the NZ Financial System
Foreign exchange NZD market
International trade and the balance of payments
Aggregate Demand / Supply model

Term 4
Aggregate Demand / Supply model continued
NCEA examination

Learning Areas:

Social Science

Contributions and Equipment/Stationery

Workbook $30