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Course Description

A knowledge of economic institutions and monetary concepts is necessary to be a well-rounded citizen.  The study of economics enables students to learn about the structures, functions, and processes of our economy. This course introduces students to basic economic concepts associated with our free enterprise/capitalistic economy, comparing the US economic system with those in other countries.  Students will learn about scarcity, production, distribution, consumption, supply/demand, inflation, recession, business, labor, and banking.  Students will have the opportunity to learn through independent research and discussion.

Grade Level(s):  10th-12th grades

Related Priority Standards (State &/or National): Missouri Learning Standards (6-12)

Essential Questions

  • How are resources best allocated?
  • Who determines what should be produced?
  • How do you measure the success of the economy?
  • What role does the government play in the economy?
  • Why do countries trade?

Enduring Understandings/Big Ideas

  • Economic decision-making requires making choices about cost, benefits and allocation of resources. 
  • Economic institutions evolve in a market economy to help individuals and groups    accomplish their goals.
  • There is an economic role for a government in a market economy whenever the benefits of a government policy outweigh its costs.
  • Economic systems vary from country to country.

Course-Level Scope & Sequence (Units &/or Skills)

Unit 1 - Understanding Elements of the Economy

  • What is scarcity and how does it drive decision-making and opportunity costs?
  • How are people, governments, and societies constrained by economics in terms of choices they can make?
  • How are the four factors of production in economics used to create goods that are most needed in society?
  • What economic systems are widely used in societies around the world and in what ways do they allocate resources?
  • How does economics analyze (or measure) the efficiency and/or effectiveness of a local or national economy?

Unit 2 - Market Economics

  • How do people interact in market economies to realize the most efficient and least costly use of resources?
  • To what extent do prices send signals to buyers and sellers in a market?
  • How do economic models show change and shifts in particular markets?
  • How do economic models show markets’ abilities to respond to price changes in demand and/or supply?
  • What are the four market structures used in economics to show level of competition?
  • How are production costs in markets used to show a firm’s profitability in each of the market structures?

Unit 3 - Measuring Performance in the United States Economy

  • How is GDP an indicator of economic health and performance?
  • How is unemployment an indicator of economic health and performance?
  • How is inflation an indicator of economic health and performance?
  • What role does government spending and tax policy play in our national economy?
  • What are the sources of government revenue?
  • How is our national debt different from our budget deficit? Is our national debt problematic?
  • What are the historical roots of the Federal Reserve Banking system?
  • How does the Federal Reserve Bank affect economic conditions and stabilize the macroeconomy?

Unit 4 - International Trade & Global Markets

  • What role does comparative advantage play in the international trade of goods and services?
  • What are the barriers to trade in the global economy? 
  • What role do currency values play in international trade?
  • In what ways do international organizations/individual countries promote global economic development?
  • What role does government spending and tax policy play in our national economy?

Course Resources & Materials 

Date Last Revised/Approved: May 2019