Introduction to Positive Economics

Economic literacy

You are at an exciting stage, where the study you do now will have an impact on the rest of your life. Economics is a subject that will give you a different perspective on how you view the world. It enables you to develop skills, knowledge and values that are relevant to your daily life. After all, economics forms the basis for governments to make decisions, companies to employ people and for people to spend or not to spend their money. It affects how much VAT you pay on phone credit, how easy it is for you to get a summer job and also the points you will need to get your college course. We wrote this book with your needs as a student very much in mind. The practical implications of economics really affect our lives. Being economically literate enables you to develop and use critical thinking, data analysis and decision-making skills. You will be prepared and empowered to contribute to society and manage future challenges confidently. We wanted to reflect that, so each colourful chapter is packed full of vibrant examples, case studies and class tasks. We have also included a glossary of economics terms and definitions.

Positive Economics New Leaving Certificate Economics Specification

How this book deals with the new specification

The new specification was designed to build your competency to reflect a more modern economy as well as the required skill set of a practising economist. We want to enable everybody in the classroom to achieve this to their highest potential. For example, we have included a wide range of suggestions around how to delve further into a subject, leverage technology or pursue self-directed research for the project part of the assessment. In addition, we understand that economics is a dynamic subject and the world is full of exciting developments. This book is full of suggestions on how you can stay up to date. We have minimised the time that you and your teachers need to spend finding the right sources of information by detailing everything you need to know and telling you where you can find it. We know that our chosen outlets, such as the Central Bank and ECB, are likely to continually update their own respective resources. All of this feeds into the dynamic nature of what we wanted to offer, in line with the ethos of the new specification. Similarly, we want to help you learn how to analyse data, observe trends, comment on developments and source the information to do all the above. This is an important part of the specification and we sought to strike a balance between substance and form and between dynamism and evergreen content. For clarity and consistency, the specification learning outcomes are listed at the front of every chapter. We ensure that each point, sub-point and nuance are incorporated right into the core of the text, while relevant examples add context and richer learning for you.

The new curriculum specification was clearly designed to reflect on an era of our economic history whereby lessons about the economy and the financial markets were to be embedded into our national consciousness. We sought out international examples of best practice, comment from the Central Bank and ways in which we could encourage students to find effective solutions by drawing on readily available data in order to answer exam and real-life questions. In addition, we are aware that this course is to be taught in every corner of the country. The Ireland
of today, for which this new specification has been designed, is a vibrant place that is full of diversity and opportunity, is globally focused and domestically proud. We sought to draw on all those themes within the book, from referring to Irish entrepreneurs who have obtained worldwide success, the enterprise infrastructure upon which our diaspora stands as well as the melting pot of cultures that our country welcomes.

How this book will help you to succeed in the exam

Finally, we understand that your ultimate goal is to achieve the best possible mark in your Leaving Certificate exam and that there is one key way to do that: by maximising your performance. While we three authors come from different backgrounds, we were all once economics students ourselves. As a result, we have structured every chapter so that your learning and revision are as seamless as possible. Economists are often expected to predict the future. In terms of Leaving Certificate Economics, take this book, add your effort and work with your teachers’ guidance to create your own future.

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