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Unit 1: Competitive Markets — How They Work and Why They Fail

Unit Description 

This unit provides an introduction to the nature of economics and examines how the price mechanism allocates resources in markets. It analyses the nature of market failure, its causes and possible policy remedies. At the end of this unit, students should be able to apply supply and demand analysis to real world situations; to understand why markets might not allocate resources efficiently and the methods of dealing with market failure, together with an evaluation of their effectiveness. 

Students are expected to:

Interpret data presented in different forms, for example, tables, graphs and index numbers; carry out simple calculations, for example, percentages and percentage change; distinguish between real and nominal data. 

Assessment Information

Examination length: 1 hour 30 minutes 
Supported multiple-choice questions where students write a short justification of why they chose that answer and/or why the other answers are incorrect. Worth 32 marks. 
One data response question out of a choice of two questions. Worth 48 marks. 
Total for paper: 80 marks 

Unit Content 



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