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AS Level

Cambridge AS Economics

Summary of Cambridge AS Economics course content

Understand the impact of economics on our society and how it influences our everyday life. There are several career opportunities open to you with this Cambridge AS Economics course. You will learn how to evaluate, present, organise and communicate ideas in one of the most followed areas in the world.

The syllabus aims to enable candidates to develop:

  • an understanding of the factual knowledge of economics
  • a facility for self-expression, not only in writing but also in using additional aids, such as statistics and diagrams, where appropriate
  • the habit of using works of reference as sources of data specific to economics
  • the habit of reading critically to gain information about the changing economy we live in
  • an appreciation of the methods of study used by the economist, and of the most effective ways economic data may be analysed, correlated, discussed and presented.

All candidates for Cambridge International AS & A Level Economics study the topics below. Candidates for Cambridge International A Level Economics also study the highlighted topics:

1. Basic economic ideas and resource allocation

  • Scarcity, choice and opportunity cost
  • Positive and normative statements
  • Factors of production
  • Resource allocation in different economic systems and issues of transition
  • Production possibility curves
  • Money
  • Classification of goods and services
  • Efficient resource allocation
  • Externalities and market failure
  • Social costs and benefits; cost-benefit analysis

2. The price system and the micro economy

  • Demand and supply curves
  • Price elasticity, income elasticity and cross-elasticities of demand
  • Price elasticity of supply
  • Interaction of demand and supply
  • Market equilibrium and disequilibrium
  • Consumer and producer surplus
  • Law of diminishing marginal utility
  • Indifference curves
  • Budget lines
  • Types of cost, revenue and profit, short-run and long-run production
  • Different market structures
  • Growth and survival of firms
  • Differing objectives of a firm

3. Government microeconomic intervention

  • Maximum and minimum prices
  • Taxes (direct and indirect)
  • Subsidies
  • Transfer payments
  • Direct provision of goods and services
  • Nationalisation and privatisation
  • Policies to achieve efficient resource allocation and correct market failure
  • Equity and policies towards income and wealth redistribution
  • Labour market forces and government intervention:
    • Demand and supply of labour
    • Wage determination in perfect markets
    • Wage determination in imperfect markets
  • Government failure in microeconomic intervention

4. The macro economy

  • Aggregate Demand and Aggregate Supply analysis
  • Inflation
  • Balance of payments
  • Exchange rates
  • The terms of trade
  • Principles of absolute and comparative advantage
  • Protectionism
  • Economic growth, economic development and sustainability
  • National Income statistics
  • Classification of countries
  • Employment/unemployment
  • The circular flow of income
  • Money supply (theory)
  • Keynesian and Monetarist schools
  • The demand for money and interest rate determination
  • Policies towards developing economies; policies of trade and aid

5. Government macro intervention

  • Types of policy: fiscal, monetary and supply side policy
  • Policies to correct balance of payments disequilibrium
  • Policies to correct inflation and deflation
  • Government macro policy aims
  • Inter-connectedness of problems
  • Effectiveness of policy options to meet all macroeconomic objectives

How the course is assessed

For Cambridge International AS & A Level Economics, candidates:

– take Papers 1 and 2 only (for the Cambridge International AS Level qualification)


– or follow a staged assessment route by taking Papers 1 and 2 (for the Cambridge International AS Level qualification) in one series, then Papers 3 and 4 (for the Cambridge International A Level qualification) in a later series


– or take Papers 1, 2, 3 and 4 in the same examination series (for the Cambridge International A Level qualification).

Guided Learning Hours

Guided learning hours give an indication of the amount of contact time teachers need to have with learners to deliver a particular course. Our syllabuses are designed around 180 guided learning hours for Cambridge International AS Level, and around 360 guided learning hours for Cambridge International A Level.

Level AS Level
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Book a call Syllabus

Required textbook

Cambridge International AS and A Level Economics Second Edition, Peter Smith, Adam Wilby, Mila Zasheva, ISBN 9781398308220. You can find the textbook here.

Course Code: 9708