The purpose of the DP Economics SL course is to encourage students to analyze how individuals, institutions, and societies deal with the central problem of scarcity. In the first year of the course, students will examine this issue from a microeconomic level (decisions made by individuals and specific institutions and firms), as well as macroeconomic (decisions made by entire nations/economies). In the second year of the course, students will explore issues in international economics (free trade, trade protectionism, exchange rates, balance of payments, etc.) and investigate global challenges in achieving economic development. SL students learn much of the same material as the HL students, with some topics in less detail than the HL students. The two-year program concludes with an external examination worth 80%, and with an internal assessment (Economics Portfolio) worth 20% constructed throughout the course.