Economics Extended Essay


Can you tell me more about Economics EE?


An EE in Economics will require you to undertake an investigation of a focused topic from any chapter in the IB economics syllabus. Primary data is necessary, and secondary data is encouraged. Since this is an economics EE, diagrams and economic analysis is also necessary.

For example, an EE evaluating the effectiveness of government intervention in the market for “Green cars” would require a survey of recent car buyers, as well as interviews with the LTA and various car retailers, backed up with statistics. If you happen to be investigating the market structure of hairdresses below your house, you’ll obviously need to conduct primary research (and maybe get your hair cut in the process).

You are encouraged to pick a topic from Microeconomics. You are also encouraged not to reuse/regurgitate any of the “template market structure EEs” found in the library, lest finding your grade capped at a B. Try market failure; it’s fun.


Why did you choose Economics as your EE?


One history IA was enough for a lifetime, and math was out of the question. Also, it was pretty interesting to explore market failure in the real world, other than knowing how to draw MPB/MPC/MSB/MSC diagrams.

The pretty decent A rate helps too, but be prepared to work for it.


I didn’t want to come back to school every day to conduct science experiments, so I chose an Econs EE.

What was the commitment like?


I distributed a couple of surveys online, interviewed 3 people, and read the newspapers everyday. Finding secondary sources was a particularly onerous task, however, as a bulk of my EE comprised evaluating a relatively recent policy (it had only been in effect the year I started research).

Actual essay writing shouldn’t take longer than 4 days to complete.


I went downstairs everyday to chit-chat with the hairdressers at the market.

I had to cut my hair too.

What are some benefits of doing Economics EE?


Know that your EE is probably the easiest to complete. Forget about trips to NLB/labs/fieldwork. All you need is a computer, word processor, and decent internet connectivity.

Provided you have the necessary contacts, it’s pretty interesting to gain an insight into the market you’re investigating; in my case it was the market for “Green” cars. It was particularly fulfilling when an article in the Straits Times late last year supported my findings J.

I heard that getting data for market structure EEs might prove to be somewhat of an adventure.


I ate at the same fishball noodle shop everyday during the holidays until the auntie recognized me and gave me extra fishballs.

I typed the phrase “monopolistically competitive” on my phone so many times, I can type it with my eyes closed.

I befriended this adorable cat that hangs out near the Singapore Pools outlet.

What are some common pitfalls of students who have chosen Economics EE?


1.   Not qualifying for Econs EE. Demand usually outstrips the supply of available places for Econs EE, hence a suitable rationing mechanism – in this case, Term 3 Common Test results – is needed. In other words, don’t be lazy. Pls study and get your high grade 6/7.

2.  Giving up after getting rejected for an interview. It’s pretty common for businesses to decline your interview requests or even ignore you totally. Government agencies are much nicer though. Be persistent, or be creative and look to other means of obtaining data.

3.  Picking an RQ that is unlikely to yield results, possibly due to an overextended scope or simply failure to obtain primary data. In which case many resort to changing RQs late in year 6. Be sure to plan ahead, and start with the end in mind.


If you’re doing a market structure EE, don’t choose something on the opposite side of the island. Choose somewhere near your place, to save time.

If your mentor isn’t Ms. Alice Tan, your deadlines will always be later than her students. And they will laugh at you when you’re struggling to finish the draft you were procrastinating on because they submitted their stuff 2 weeks ago.

If your mentor is Ms. Alice Tan, your deadlines will be at least 2 weeks before everybody else. Have fun.

If you’re doing a market structure EE, never write a market structure essay during your exams unless you’re 130% confident. This applies to all the topics. If you mess up your essay, you’re gonna get mocked until the day you graduate.

If you’re doing a demand/supply EE, be it demand for chocolates or demand for bubble tea, you’re gonna get mocked anyway.

Jeria studied History, Economics, and Mathematics, while Ashley took Physics, Chemistry, and Economics at Higher Level. Both are from the graduating batch of 2014.

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