P.O. Box 3447
Little Rock, AR 72203

Arkansas Economics Challenge

Grades 9-12

2024 Competition: Tuesday, March 12, 2024 

Time 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

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.

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 2024 is:

Write a 2-3 page essay in response to the question “Where do prices come from?”  You may choose to investigate the price of a specific good or service, prices throughout history, or a unique idea related to the question. Your essay should not read like a series of definitions. While it should be clear from your word usage that you understand the definition of each term, you should use the body of your essay to explain the ways the words and phrases relate to each other and provide additional examples to apply the concepts. Essays should contain at minimum (6) concepts from the word bank. Excellent essays will include all provided words from the word bank, a well developed thesis statement, as well as examples that support that thesis. Cite any outside sources using in-text or footnote style citations. Learn more here.

Questions? Contact Marsha Masters at marsha@economicsarkansas.org.


Econ Challenge Prize Amount
1st Place Overall Team - Adam Smith $500 (split among team members)
1st Place Overall Team- David Ricardo $500 (split among team members)
1st Place Team Presentations-Adam Smith $100 (split among team members)
1st Place Team Presentations-David Ricardo $100 (split among team members)
1st Place Essay Winner- Adam Smith $100
1st Place Essay Winner- David Ricardo $100
Student OTY (highest scoring student overall) $100
Teacher OTY (selected by event organizers - teacher whose students show the most success) $100



Congratulations to Our 2024 Winners!

Click here for a full list of 2024 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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