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economics case study HSC

Wondering how to best approach the HSC Economics case study? Many students find this assignment overwhelming. To help you, let’s break it down one step at a time using the example of China to better illustrate what to do.

1. Understanding the Assignment

This case study consists of students choosing a country and studying the key aspects in which make up that economy. A student has the choice of the country, though in general students will follow a school’s advice. For this example we will be using China as it is a popular choice, but the points are still relevant if you decide to focus on another country.

The syllabus says:

“Undertake a case study of the influence of globalisation on an economy other than
Australia, including an evaluation of the strategies used to promote economic growth and development in this economy.”

So we can see that in order to achieve top marks we will need to specifically look at the impacts of globalisation, and strategies that have been used for growth and be able to determine how successful they have been.

2. Research

To begin we need to gather some core facts from trustworthy sources.

Websites like the world bank provide a basic snap shot into changes over time. For example here we can see that GDP per capita has risen significantly over the last 20+ years, from $959 in 2000 to $12,720 in 2022. So obviously China’s recent economic story is one of growth.

We can read more detailed information such as this article from the International Monetary Fund, as well as walking through the power point presentation and summary Economic Survey of China 2022 from the OECD.

3. Summarise As Dot Points

While you are researching, keep simple dot point notes. Once you have read a few articles you may want to review your notes and rearrange them into an easy to understand structure. For example:

Strategies taken:

  • opened up its previously protected economy in 1979
  • Free trade agreements with many countries
  • large amount of state owned enterprises
  • large amount of foreign investment
  • government invested heavily into renewable energies


  • extreme growth
  • was fastest growing economy in the world for many years, now slowing to a more sustainable pace
  • currently second biggest economy in the world
  • lifted population out of extreme poverty (from 88.1% of population living on less than $2.15 a day in 1981 to just 0.2% in 2015)
  • still has inequality with the economy with rural workers and women earning less (gini coefficient of 0.4 in 2021)
  • state owned enterprises have high level of debt which is risky

This is just a simple example, you may end up with more detailed notes including siting where you found that information. Aim for about a page or so of notes.

3. Write Out Your Case Study

Once you have a page or so of notes, you will need to write out your case study in complete sentences using an introduction, as well as a conclusion.

Remember one of the objectives is to evaluate that strategies used, and in the case of China we would certainly say that opening up the economy has had a significant impact on the lives of citizens, dramatically improving their standards of living. The strategies used have been, in most cases, high effective.

We also need to spell out how globalisation has impacted the countries economy, for example China has relied heavily on exporting manufactured goods to other countries which it developed trade agreements with. Globalisation has been a key ingredient in its growth.

Once written out you may have two or three pages with a bibliography.

4. Review

After writing out your case study, you will want to review it with fresh eyes. Re-read your work after taking break or ask a friend or family member to review it for you. This will help you pick up small mistakes and make sure it is coherent and easy to read.

Once you’ve done that, you are ready to hand in your case study to your teacher.

Want More Help?

HSC Economics Tutor

Master Coaching offers one on one tutoring for HSC Economics. We are located in Hurstville, Sydney and also offer online tutoring students across NSW.

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