P.O. Box 3447
Little Rock, AR 72203

Arkansas Economics Challenge

Grades 9-12

2024 Competition: Tuesday, March 12, 2024 (Tentative)

Time TBA

University of Central Arkansas, College of Business

The Arkansas Center for Research in Economics and Economics Arkansas will be co-hosting an in-person state-level competition for Arkansas high school students this April 2023! Teachers can register teams of 3-4 students who will compete against other teams from around the state. Winning teams will receive cash prizes up to $500, scholarships, and the chance to move on to the later stages of the National Economics Challenge. 

The competition will consist of three components:

A testing portion: During the Challenge, students will have one hour to complete an economics exam focused on key concepts from micro, macro, and global economics. Students test individually and their scores are added together for a team total. Prizes are awarded to highest scoring individuals & teams!

Team Presentations: During the Challenge, students will have one hour to create 7-10 minute presentations that they will present to a team of judges. The theme for this year's event is The National Debt. Students are presented with a scenario where they have control over U.S. discretionary spending. During their presentation, students will explain how they would allocate tax dollars and the trade-offs of their decisions. This activity is inspired by and uses resources from the Teaching Free Enterprise lesson plan on the National Debt.

A writing submission: For this event, students submit responses to an essay prompt in advance of the competition. The prompt for 2023 is:

In 500-750 words, explain the key differences between mandatory and discretionary government spending. If you were a member of Congress, what would you need to consider when discussing changes to national spending? What steps would you take to make a change in government spending? Which spending categories would you consider your highest priorities? What trade-offs must be considered when making changes?

Essay Deadline: TBA

Registration coming soon!

Questions? Contact Terra Aquia at tvotaw@uca.edu


Econ Challenge Prize Amount
1st Place Overall Team $500 (split among team members)
2nd Place Overall Team $250 (split among team members)
1st Place Team Presentations $100 (split among team members)
2nd Place Team Presentations $100 (split among team members)
1st Place Writing Submission $100
2nd Place Writing Submission $50
Student OTY (highest scoring student overall) $100
Teacher OTY (selected by event organizers - teacher whose students show the most success) $100



Congratulations to Our 2023 Winners!

Click here to see a full list of 2023 Econ Challenge winners. 



ADE Crosswalk

The Arkansas Economics Challenge aligns with the following Arkansas Department of Education-approved courses, topics and events:

Business & Marketing Course(s):

  • 492290 - Financial Planning & Wealth Management



Special thanks to the Arkansas Center for Research in Economics at the University of Central Arkansas for co-hosting this annual student competition! 

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P.O. Box 3447
Little Rock, AR 72203

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