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Version date: 10 May 2013
Key changes: Version 4
Subject facilitator email: seniorsecondary@tki.org.nz

What's new - May 2013

What is economics about?

Economics examines the choices people make about the use of limited resources to satisfy unlimited wants.

“A simple decision to buy a milkshake in an economist’s eye is seen as players in an intricate game of signals and negotiations. The game is for high stakes; some of the people who worked to get the milkshake in front of you made a lot of money, some of them made very little and some of them are after the money in your pocket right now.

Economics student.


Some of the producers involved used sustainable production techniques and others used the cheapest methods they could, some sell their products on global markets and others deliver it to your local dairy.”

Adapted from Tim Harford’s The Undercover Economist (Little Brown, 2006)

Economics helps to explain and predict how goods and services will be produced and consumed. It will tell you who gets what, how, and why.

Economics explores issues of:

  • sustainability (efficient use of scarce resources)
  • enterprise (identifying profit-maximising levels of output)
  • citizenship (economic decisions affecting New Zealand society)
  • globalisation (the benefits of international trade).

Economists are interested in the factors that influence the well being of people and aim to find solutions to improve people’s standard of living.

Economics curriculum guide content

Use the links below to access the sections of this guide. To navigate through the guide's web pages, select from the section and sub-section menu in the left-hand navigation.

Teaching and learning guides are produced in HTML. They have been designed to be viewed online.

To print individual pages, select the 'Print' button at the top right of each page.

Last updated May 13, 2013