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Learning Activities

Positive and Normative Statements [Head Start in A-Level Economics]

  • Levels: AS, A Level, IB
  • Exam boards: AQA, Edexcel, OCR, IB, Eduqas, WJEC

One of the first concepts that you will come across in your studies of Economics will be positive and normative statements.

In order to understand the key theory, watch the following video produced by Geoff Riley:

What is the significance?

It is important to understand positive and normative economics because one part of an economist’s job is to conduct research into why certain things happen. For example:

How much will unemployment increase in the North West if tourists are not allowed back into the Lake District during the summer months?

Here an economist is aiming to provide objective, value free analysis, that can be tested.

Another part of their role involves making policy recommendations. One of the significant features you will explore during your course relates to exploring interventions at a national government level. When a policy is designed and ultimately recommended, this usually involves a value judgement. For example:

HS2 is the most effective policy for the helping to bridge the North-South divide.

This is the judgement of the policy maker and is subjective.

An important skill throughout your A-level course is to be able to differentiate and use this theory to analyse data and evaluate arguments.

Click here to download a resource to test your knowledge and understanding of what you have watched and read so far. The statements are from news articles concerning recent events. Some suggested answers will be posted shortly.

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