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Paper 1 Part B essay on Behavioral Economics and sample response!

Hey everyone!

Here is a sample 15-mark question related to topics from behavioral economics (specifically: rational consumer choice), along with a sample essay response to the question!

Enjoy 😉

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Real-world examples for part b essays: Labor Markets and Unemployment

Paper One part (b) essays now require fully developed real-world examples. I always advise my students to weave the examples into their analysis and evaluation.

I have created a discussion of real-world examples of changes in labor markets in the US as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. These can be used to respond to Paper One part (b) essays about topics related to labor markets and unemployment.

How to respond to a paper 1 part a essay question in the new IB Economics syllabus?

The paper 1 part a essay for the new IB Economics syllabus (first exams 2022) is not that different from the old syllabus.

The only difference in the 10-mark essay question in paper 1 is less of an emphasis on real-world examples. Also, students can now spend up to 30 mins on the essay, as opposed to about 20 mins in the old syllabus.

Focus is given to understanding the specific demands of the question, as well as effectively explaining relevant economic theory and drawing/fully explaining a relevant diagram.

Because of that, I teach my students a DEDU framework (which contrasts with the old DEED framework).

Here’s my video explaining how I teach my students to structure their essay:

Paper 1 Part A Practice Question – The Production Possibilities Curve (PPC)

I have decided I’m going to build a series of practice questions for the extended response-type questions in the new IB Economics syllabus: paper 1 parts a and b, paper 2 part g, and paper 3 part b!

So here’s my first attempt! It’s from the first unit, the foundations of economics unit, and it’s about the Production Possibilities Curve!

Enjoy and please feel free to like, share, comment, and subscribe!

Paper 2 Assessment Advice?

IB Economics Paper 2 Advice

When reading the text and data provided, I always suggest using a highlighter to highlight key parts related to the questions. I also often ask my students to read the questions first, followed by the text, so they know what info from the text is necessary to highlight.

Part a i) and ii)

These are usually definition questions or simple explanation questions out of 2 marks, and are often words that are written in bold in the text.

=> zero marks awarded for incorrect definitions or explanations

=> 1 mark awarded for a vague or imprecise definition, or a limited explanation in the context of the article

=> 2 marks awarded for an accurate and precise definition, or an accurate explanation in the context of the article

Parts b and c

These are usually either questions that require a diagram and explanation, or just a slightly longer explanation of a concept (longer than a part a questions). Part b and c questions are always out of 4 marks and are somewhat related to part of the text/s provided.

=> Diagram and explanation questions:

==> 1-2 marks are awarded when there’s a correct diagram or an accurate explanation in the context of the article

==> 3-4 marks are awarded when there’s a correct diagram and an accurate explanation in the context of the article

==> a ‘correct diagram’ needs to be drawn correctly, accurately labeled and fully explained in the written response => explain all curves and shifts in the diagram using words in the written response (e.g. as shown in diagram drawn, the demand curve shifts from d1 to d2 when income rises…)

=> Longer explanation questions:

==> 1-2 marks are awarded for limited or inaccurate explanations

==> 3-4 marks are awarded for accurate and detailed explanations

Part d

This is always a discussion/evaluation essay question out of 8 marks. This is where you CLASPP!

=> To access level 3 (6-8 marks), you need to do the following:

1- Cite explicit evidence from the text/s provided to support your analysis and discussion. You can take a quote from the text and write something like “As mentioned in paragraph #3 of the text ‘Blah blah blah..’” Be explicit, mention the paragraph number, don’t be vague about it! Also, make sure you use the cited parts of the text to analyze and discuss, rather than just quote text for quoting’s sake (do not just use parts of the text to finish off your sentences)!

2- Provide a balanced discussion/evaluation which is not one-sided. You are not arguing for a stance on the topic, but required to write a balanced discussion. Balance between pros vs cons, long term vs short term, discussing stakeholders gaining vs stakeholders losing, identifying assumptions behind analysis vs explaining the limitations of these assumptions etc…

For teachers => you can download a template to share with your students here:

Sentence starters to help with IB Econ Essays?

I prepared this PDF to help my students think about how to actually write paragraphs for DEED in part A essays and DEED + CLASPP in part B essays for Paper 1.

The PDF consists of sentence starters for each paragraph, and many of my ESL students have found it very helpful as they struggle to find the words to begin writing their essays!

I hope you find it useful too, you can download it here: