IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Literacia Económica entre alunos Universitários


  • José Manuel Madeira Belbute

    () (Department of Economics, University of Évora)

  • Miguel Rocha de Sousa

    () (Department of Economics, University of Évora)


It is widely recognized the important role played by human capital, knowledge and innovation for the establishment of the basic conditions for permanent economic growth. On particular aspect of this general issue interests us in particular; the level of economic literacy among young students who arrive at the university to get a degree not only in economic sciences (Economics, Management, etc) but also in other sciences. In short, by Economic Literacy we mean the competence of each individual for making personal and social decisions about the multitude of economic issues that he/her will have to face over his lifetime. A firm knowledge of economics fosters, in young people, a highly useful way of thinking which can be applied for the rest of their lives. That is, studying economics can provide young adults with the knowledge and the skills they need to address economic questions and make decisions as consumers, workers, investors, entrepreneurs and, of course, as voting citizens. On the other hand, economic education is essential in all nations to prepare students for a changing, an interdependent and an increasingly more complex world. It is, thus, important to assess the level of economic knowledge (understanding), especially of the young people. This paper presents the results of a study of economic understanding among undergraduate students at the University of Évora, with special focus on first year students of economics. We use a Portuguese Version of the Test of Economic Literacy (PV.TEL) to get a normalized and standardized baseline data of economic understanding of high school students that reach university. Using the Analysis of Variance ? ANOVA, we got a normalized sample, which led to the establishment of norms for different subgroups and factors (gender, age, secondary education, cognitive levels, core economic concepts, etc). The method we developed and the results we got were then used not only to re-organize the syllabus of Principles of Economics, a first year introductory course of Economics, but, most importantly, also to justify the use of active and cooperative learning based practices rather than the ?lectures? and ?chalk and talk? ones that dominates the teaching of Economics.

Suggested Citation

  • José Manuel Madeira Belbute & Miguel Rocha de Sousa, 2004. "Literacia Económica entre alunos Universitários," Economics Working Papers 6_2004, University of Évora, Department of Economics (Portugal).
  • Handle: RePEc:evo:wpecon:6_2004

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    Economic Literacy; Test of Economic Literacy; Undergraduate Students of Introductory Courses of Economics; Analysis of Variance; Multivariate Statistics;

    JEL classification:

    • A22 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics - - - Undergraduate


    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:evo:wpecon:6_2004. 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: (Maria Aurora Murcho Galego). 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.