Why We Need Economic Education

Economics affects everyone in both personal and collective ways. Understanding economics can help you increase your income, decrease your spending and improve your quality of life all at the same time. Moreover, it can allow a society as a whole to do the same thing. These are some of the reasons people need an education in economics.

Economics is not half as difficult as the snobby self-proclaimed experts try to make it seem. Most economic theory can be demonstrated in simple algebra! Despite the beneficial potential and low barrier to entry for education in economics, this article makes it clear that US education policy does not emphasize economics education. No wonder it’s so easy to continually spoon feed the public bad economic policy.

Economics for the twenty-first century
Economics for the twenty-first century (Photo credit: chinadialogue.net)

Here are some facts from the article:

  • In 2005 a standardized test of economics was administered to adults and high school students. The students averaged 53% and the adults averaged 70%. The questions and further analysis are available here. I looked at the questions. These questions hardly even constitute a fraction of what is learned in even an entry level college class or the Khan Academy videos on economics.
  • Fewer than half of the states required an economics class be taken in high school as of 2011.
  • In 2012, only about 5.1% of colleges or universities require an economics course be taken.

The article concludes by recommending that we go check out Learn Liberty. I second that notion and add that Khan Academy and Degreed are other free and quality starting points as well.


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