Cambridge IGCSE®

Economics (0455)

Key benefits

Cambridge IGCSETM syllabuses are created especially for international students. For over 25 years, we have worked with schools and teachers worldwide to develop syllabuses that are suitable for different countries, different types of schools and for learners with a wide range of abilities.

Cambridge IGCSE Economics is accepted by universities and employers as proof of knowledge and understanding of economics. Successful Cambridge IGCSE Economics candidates gain lifelong skills, including:

  • an understanding of economic theory, terminology and principles
  • the ability to apply the tools of economic analysis
  • the ability to distinguish between facts and value judgements in economic issues
  • an understanding of, and an ability to use, basic economic numeracy and literacy
  • the ability to take a greater part in decision-making processes in everyday life
  • an ability to use examples from a variety of economies
  • an excellent foundation for advanced study in economics.

Our programmes balance a thorough knowledge and understanding of a subject and help to develop the skills learners need for their next steps in education or employment.


The aims describe the purposes of a course based on this syllabus. They are not listed in order of priority. The aims are to enable students to:

  • know and understand economic terminology, concepts and theories
  • use basic economic numeracy and interpret economic data
  • use the tools of economic analysis
  • express economic ideas logically and clearly in a written form
  • apply economic understanding to current economic issues.

Assessment overview

  • All candidates take two components, Paper 1 and Paper 2.
  • Externally assessed
All candidates take:Extended candidates take:
Paper 1
• Multiple Choice 30 marks Candidates answer all 30 questions Externally assessed
• 45 minutes 30%
Paper 2
• Structured Questions 90 marks
• 2 hours 15 minutes 70%
• Candidates answer one compulsory question and three questions from a choice of four.

Subject content

TopicsSuggested teaching time
1.  The Basic Economic Problem20 Hrs
1.1 The nature of the economic problem
1.2 The factors of production
1.3 Opportunity cost
1.4 Production possibility curve diagrams (PPC)
2. The Allocation of Resources22 Hrs
2.1 Microeconomics and macroeconomics
2.2 The role of markets in allocating resources
2.3 Demand
2.4 Supply
2.5 Price determination
2.6 Price changes
2.7 Price elasticity of demand (PED)
2.8 Price elasticity of supply (PES)
2.9 Market economic system
2.10 Market failure
2.11 Mixed economic system
3. Microeconomic decision makers22 Hrs
3.1 Money and Banking
3.2 Households
3.3 Workers
3.4 Trade Unions
3.5 Firms
3.6 Firms and Production
3.7 Firms’ Costs, Revenue and Objectives
3.8 Market Structure
4. Government and the Macroeconomy22 Hrs
 4.1 - 4.2 The Macroeconomic Aims of Government
4.3 Fiscal Policy
4.4 Monetary Policy
4.5 Supply-Side Policy
4.6 Economic Growth
4.7 Employment and Unemployment
4.8 Inflation and Deflation
5. Economic Development22 Hrs
5.1 Living Standards
5.2 Poverty
5.3 Population
5.4 Developed and Less-developed Economies
6. International Trade and Globalisation22 Hrs
6.1 International Specialization
6.2 Globalisation, Free Trade and Protection
6.3 Foreign Exchange Rate
6.4 Current Account of Balance of Payments