IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

A Survey of Economic Understanding in U.S. High Schools


  • Roger B. Butters
  • Carlos J. Asarta


The recent widespread adoption of online competitions in economic education provides a unique opportunity to make frequent assessments of economic literacy in U.S. classrooms. In this survey, student responses to test items from the Test of Economic Literacy (TEL) are used to create economic concept and content area achievement benchmarks. These benchmarks provide an interim renorming of the TEL and allow the authors to gauge the status of economic understanding among high school students. The data also allow the authors to compare learning outcomes between regular and advanced economics classes. Finally, the authors find that students in advanced economics classes significantly outperform students in regular classes.

Suggested Citation

  • Roger B. Butters & Carlos J. Asarta, 2011. "A Survey of Economic Understanding in U.S. High Schools," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(2), pages 200-205, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jeduce:v:42:y:2011:i:2:p:200-205 DOI: 10.1080/00220485.2011.555723

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sheryl B. Ball & Charles A. Holt, 1998. "Classroom Games: Speculation and Bubbles in an Asset Market," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 207-218, Winter.
    2. Plott, Charles R & Sunder, Shyam, 1988. "Rational Expectations and the Aggregation of Diverse Information in Laboratory Security Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(5), pages 1085-1118, September.
    3. Martin Dufwenberg & Tobias Lindqvist & Evan Moore, 2005. "Bubbles and Experience: An Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1731-1737, December.
    4. Oechssler, Jörg & Schmidt, Carsten & Schnedler, Wendelin, 2007. "Asset bubbles without dividends : an experiment," Papers 07-01, Sonderforschungsbreich 504.
    5. Forsythe, Robert & Palfrey, Thomas R & Plott, Charles R, 1982. "Asset Valuation in an Experimental Market," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 537-567, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Butters, Roger & Asarta, Carlos & Thompson, Eric C., 2013. "The Production of Economic Knowledge in Urban and Rural Areas: The Role of Student, Teacher, and School Characteristics," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 45(01), February.
    2. Robert G. Valletta & K. Jody Hoff & Jane S. Lopus, 2014. "Lost In Translation? Teacher Training And Outcomes In High School Economics Classes," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 32(4), pages 695-709, October.
    3. Carlos Asarta & Ken Rebeck, 2011. "Measurement Techniques of Student Performance and Literacy: College and High School," Chapters,in: International Handbook on Teaching and Learning Economics, chapter 29 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Carlos J. Asarta & Roger B. Butters & Eric Thompson, 2013. "The Gender Question in Economic Education: Is it the Teacher or the Test?," Working Papers 13-12, University of Delaware, Department of Economics.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:jeduce:v:42:y:2011:i:2:p:200-205. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.