Economics (H) 2014: A very challenging paper

Comment/ analysis on Economics paper (Higher Level) by Ray O’Loughlin, Economics teacher at The Institute of Education

In line with last year, this was a very challenging paper, with some very high-end questions, bordering on third level standard. Even well prepared students would have found this paper very challenging. The examiners have continued the recent trend of using quotations from the Irish Times, Forbes magazine etc, as a preamble to many questions. Students were required to have knowledge of a wide range of topical issues outside of their textbooks.


This was a very challenging section, with three tricky questions in particular.

Question 3 was on Structural Unemployment, a term students would be unfamiliar with.

Question 9 on the benefits/ costs of Eirgrid pylons was similarly challenging, as students may not have been familiar with these.

Question 8 on the implications of emerging from the Troika Bailout to the Irish economy was also very demanding and would have required the student to have considerable independent knowledge.



There was better choice here.

The topical issues of mortgage arrears and the consequences of austerity measures appeared- both of which are very challenging areas.

In Question 1, students were asked to apply the concept of Consumer Surplus to market equilibrium. This is the first time the question has been phrased like this and it would have unnerved students.

Question 5 on the National Income and Question 2 on Market Structures were straight forward and manageable and would have been popular with students.