How to best approach the HSC economics case study

by Maria Baker,

An essential component of the HSC economics course is the case study in topic one, the global economy. This case study consists of students choosing a country and studying the key aspects in which make up that economy. This individualised case study is usually but not specifically limited to countries such as China, India or even Jamaica. A student has the choice of country though in general students will follow a schools advice as to which one is chosen to study in class.

This intense study of the specific country is aimed at allowing students to gain a deeper and more comprehensive knowledge upon the global economy. The case study allows for students to fully appreciate how Australia fits into the business cycle through the other chosen economy. Furthermore, it allows students to gain an appreciation for the business cycle and the full effects of the business cycle on the global economy. Students will be able to reflect on how a decision made by a certain economy can affect another country interconnected with it. For example if Australia choose to raise its prices for commodities this would result in China reducing its purchases from Australia and therefore affecting the overall links between economies.

Thus, when students begin this case study they must consider specific details and overall policy choices of the economy. Specifically, this can be seen through for instance a student who studies China as their case study would have to be aware of major policies in which has begun the process of globalisation. Such policy would include the Open the door policy in which was a discretionary policy to allow external forces to gradually be allowed into the market.

The case study in turn focuses on students being aware of both the economic development and growth of the chosen country in relation to the global economy. Specifically in relation to economic growth this relates to students being aware that with the newly introduced economies are striving towards globalisation. This striving must have resulted from some policy change in the economy and this is what the key focus on the case study will be based on. In a cyclical sense students should be concerned with how the economy has come to become a country, which embraces the concept of globalisation as well as aims to perpetuate it in the global economy. In addition students will also focus on the ability of countries to gain a considerable advantage from switching to a country in which is focussed on the concept of globalisation. These advantages include students being able to identify that a comparative advantage will be held by those economies in which engage in a more competitive trading framework. This will result from students being able to interrelate concepts such as comparative advantage as well as productive capacity. Another key advantage includes a countries ability to have an increased level of product exposure as well as cheaper inputs and cheaper overall products.

Contrastingly, students must also engage with the concept of how their chosen economy engages with economic development in relation to globalisation. This is completed through numerous ways and a key focus in this sense is based on students study of the economy.

Students in the economics case study must have an overall strong understanding of how globalisation works in their chosen economy.