Economics and Business

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As mass global flows of people, resources, finances and information produce social, economic, political and environmental complexities and challenges, Australia needs enterprising individuals who can make informed decisions and actively participate in society and the economy as individuals and more broadly as global citizens.



The Australian Curriculum: Economics and Business aims to aims to ensure students develop:

enterprising behaviours and capabilities that can be transferable into life, work and business opportunities and will contribute to the development and prosperity of individuals and society



The Australian Curriculum: Economics and Business is organised in two related strands: economics and business knowledge and understanding, and economics and business inquiry and skills.


PDF documents

Resources and support materials for the Australian Curriculum: Economics and Business are available as PDF documents. 
Economics and Business: Sequence of content 7-10
Economics and Business: Sequence of achievement 7-10  




Year 8

Year 8 Level Description

The Year 8 curriculum gives students the opportunity to further develop their understanding of economics and business concepts by exploring the ways markets – including traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander markets – work within Australia, the participants in the market system and the ways they may influence the market’s operation. The rights, responsibilities and opportunities that arise for businesses, consumers and governments are considered along with the influences on the ways individuals work now and into the future. The emphasis in Year 8 is on national and regional issues, with opportunities for the concepts to also be considered in relation to local community or global issues where appropriate.

The economics and business content at this year level involves two strands: economics and business knowledge and understanding, and economics and business skills. These strands are interrelated and have been developed to be taught in an integrated way, and in ways that are appropriate to specific local contexts. The order and detail in which they are taught are programming decisions.

Students are expected to be taught the content through contemporary issues, events and/or case studies. Teachers will design programs that cover appropriate contexts and meet the needs of their students.

Key inquiry questions

A framework for developing students’ economics and business knowledge, understanding and skills at this year level is provided by the following key questions:

  • Why are markets needed, and why are governments involved?
  • Why do consumers and businesses have both rights and responsibilities?
  • What may affect the ways people work now and in the future?
  • How do different businesses respond to opportunities in the market?

Year 8 Content Descriptions

The ways markets in Australia operate to enable the distribution of resources, and why they may be influenced by government (ACHEK027 - Scootle )
  • identifying who is involved in the market system in Australia and explaining how the market operates through the interactions of the participants (for example, household, business, finance, and government sectors)
  • identifying different types of markets that operate in Australia such as retail markets, labour markets, financial markets, stock markets
  • explaining how the interaction between buyers and sellers influences prices and how markets enable the distribution and allocation of resources (that is, how do businesses answer the questions of what to produce, how to produce and for whom to produce?)
  • identifying examples of government involvement in the market through reallocation of resources, regulation of economic activity or redistribution of income (for example, providing some types of goods and services not being provided sufficiently by the market, such as health care)
  • identifying reasons government intervenes in the market (for example, to improve economic performance and remedy market failure)
The traditional markets of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and their participation in contemporary markets (ACHEK028 - Scootle )
  • exploring traditional practices that enabled fast and expansive exchange in technology, ideas and rare and valuable goods within and between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities (for example, through trade, songlines and ceremony), and how this reinforced personal and group relationships
  • recognising that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities participate in contemporary markets (for example, employment, social contribution) and identifying the barriers to access to contemporary markets (for example, distance, poverty)
  • investigating the innovative ways Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples utilise their cultural knowledge in contemporary contexts in enterprising ways (for example, cultural tourism and other business ventures that harness traditional knowledge of art, medicines and food derived from the environment)
The rights and responsibilities of consumers and businesses in Australia in terms of financial and economic decision-making (ACHEK029 - Scootle )
  • distinguishing the difference between rights and responsibilities and creating a list of the rights and responsibilities of consumers and businesses
  • investigating the ways the rights of consumers are protected through the law (for example, warranties, cooling off periods)
  • identifying examples of how businesses are required by government to protect the safety of consumers (for example, mandatory and voluntary standards, product safety recalls)
  • discussing different financial and economic decisions that consumers and businesses make
Types of businesses and the ways that businesses respond to opportunities in Australia (ACHEK030 - Scootle )
  • comparing different forms of business ownership (for example, sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, cooperative, franchise)
  • explaining why a person or group of people would choose to establish one type of business rather than another
  • exploring different external factors that influence business opportunities, such as government and government policy, competitors in the market, demographics, technological innovations in production processes and product design, economic conditions, globalisation, and changing social attitudes and trends of the target market
  • identifying examples of the different ways businesses respond to opportunities in the market (for example, developing a new product to satisfy demand, changing the way they deliver their products or services to consumers)
  • exploring different internal factors that influence business opportunities, such as the product, location, resources, management and business culture including ability to be adaptable and demonstrate enterprising behaviours and skills
Influences on the ways people work and factors that might affect work in the future (ACHEK031 - Scootle )
  • investigating present influences on the ways people work, such as technological change, outsourced labour in the global economy, rapid communication changes, casualisation of the workforce
  • identifying changes to the workforce over time, such as the jobs available, the way individuals or communities value particular work, career length and human resource development, changing demography, corporate social responsibility and sustainability practices, changes to workplace laws
  • predicting changes to work in the future and possible outcomes (for example, ‘What could be the effect of a changing attitude to work–life balance or the decline of some industries?’)

Questioning and research

Develop questions about an economic or business issue or event, and plan and conduct an investigation or project (ACHES032 - Scootle )
  • developing targeted questions to form the basis of an investigation of an economic or business issue or event (for example, ‘How are the prices of products determined through the interaction of participants in the market?’, 'How should a business respond to an opportunity in the Australian market?', 'How are consumers' rights and responsibilities protected when they make purchasing decisions?')
  • devising the steps needed for an investigation and modifying as required
Gather relevant data and information from a range of digital, online and print sources (ACHES033 - Scootle )
  • organising and categorising data and/or information (for example, constructing a table showing the differences between types of businesses)
  • accessing reliable information (for example, from departments of fair trading) to access advice on the rights and responsibilities of consumers and businesses, or finding information on strategies to resolve consumer and business disputes

Interpretation and analysis

Interpret data and information displayed in different formats to identify relationships and trends (ACHES034 - Scootle )
  • interpreting data in tables, charts and graphs to identify relationships (for example, correlations between the location of groups and access to work opportunities)

Economic reasoning, decision-making and application

Generate a range of alternatives in response to an observed economic or business issue or event, and evaluate the potential costs and benefits of each alternative (ACHES035 - Scootle )
  • identifying opportunities in the market for a business and proposing alternative ways to take advantage of these
  • undertaking a cost-benefit analysis of alternative ways for a business to respond to opportunities in the market and making a decision about which one to recommend
  • exploring an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander business or enterprise, analysing how it has responded to an issue or opportunity, and applying a cost-benefit analysis
Apply economics and business knowledge, skills and concepts in familiar and new situations (ACHES036 - Scootle )
  • applying informed decision-making skills to familiar and new situations (for example, helping the family decide what products they need to purchase during the week)
  • applying enterprising behaviours to everyday activities (for example, by taking on a leadership role in a project, accepting responsibility for decisions made, or setting a goal for the week and developing a plan to achieve it)
  • demonstrating an understanding of their rights as consumers when buying an item or returning it to the store

Communication and reflection

Present evidence-based conclusions using economics and business language and concepts in a range of appropriate formats, and reflect on the consequences of alternative actions (ACHES037 - Scootle )
  • constructing appropriate displays of information and data to show trends and relationships (for example, preparing a data show which includes visual displays including graphs and charts as well as text to present findings and conclusions)
  • developing different presentations for different audiences such as peers, businesses or the public, and for different purposes (for example, to persuade or inform)
  • using economics and business terms and concepts such as interdependence, market economy, market system, price setting, outsourcing, business ownership, rights and responsibilities
  • discussing and reflecting on the consequences of a proposed action, and those of the alternative actions

Year 8 Achievement Standards

By the end of Year 8, students explain how markets operate and recognise why governments may influence the market’s operation. They explain the rights and responsibilities of consumers and businesses in terms of financial and economic decision-making. They explain why different types of businesses exist and describe the different ways businesses can respond to opportunities in the market. Students describe influences on the way people work and factors that may affect work in the future.

When researching, students develop questions and gather relevant data and information from different sources to investigate an economic or business issue. They interpret data to identify trends and relationships. They propose a range of alternative responses to an issue and evaluate the costs and benefits of each alternative. They apply economics and business knowledge, skills and concepts to familiar and unfamiliar problems. Students develop and present evidence-based conclusions using appropriate texts, subject-specific language and concepts. They identify the effects of an economic or business decision and the potential consequences of alternative actions.