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JA Economics®

JA Economics curriculum cover

Classroom Based

Pillars of Student Success
Financial Literacy High Financial Literacy
Entrepreneurship Minimal Entrepreneurship
Work Readiness Minimal Work Readiness
JA Economics is part of the JA High School Experience courses, is a one-semester course that connects high school students to the economic principles that influence their daily life as well as their future.
Through a variety of experiential activities presented by the teacher and volunteer, students better understand the relationship between what they learn in school, their future career, and their successful participation in today's global economy. Volunteers engage with students through a variety of activities that may include subject-matter guest speaking, coaching, or advising for case study and project coursework.
The course addresses each of the economics standards identified by the Council for Economic Education as being essential to complete a high school economics course.

This course has received California A-G approval from High School Articulation, Office of Undergraduate Admissions, University of California.

Following participation in this course, students will be able to:

-- Learn the necessary concepts applicable to state and national educational standards.
-- Apply economic reasoning and skills in the world around them.
-- Synthesize elective concepts through a cumulative, tangible deliverable (optional case studies and/or projects).
-- Demonstrate the skills necessary for future financial literacy pathway success.
-- Integrate College and Career Readiness anchor standards in Reading, Informational Text, Speaking and Listening, and Vocabulary

JA Economics is part of the JA Financial Literacy Pathway. The course is a blended model that includes teacher-led content, volunteer-led opportunities, and self-guided content to support flexible implementation options. JA Economics is available in classroom-based or remote live implementation. Robust support materials are available for teachers, including a pacing guide for semester-long implementation. Your local JA area may have the opportunity to support interested districts that have formed a relationship with post-secondary institutions to facilitate dual credit.

As part of this course, JA teachers and volunteers are encouraged to use the resources available in JA Connect™ Learning Pathways, located at This self-guided experience includes interactives, JA Digital Career Book™, and games and apps for student use.

JA programs support national and state standards in reading, mathematics, social studies, and work and career readiness. See below for more information on alignment with national and state standards.

Program Concepts

Allocation, break-even point, budgeting, business, business cycle, comparative advantage, competition, demand, economy, economic freedom, economic indicators, economic reasoning, economic systems, entrepreneurship, financial institutions, financial markets, free enterprise, government policies, Gross Domestic Product, income, incentives, inflation, innovation, interest, invest, Law of Demand, loss, marginal analysis, marginal thinking, markets, market-clearing price, macroeconomics, market failures, market structure, money, opportunity cost, price-allocation system, price signals, profit, property rights, production, public goods, resources, rule of law, scarcity, SMART goals, specialization, supply, tax, trade, trade barriers

Skills Students Learn

  • Apply economic reasoning
  • Apply mathematical formulas
  • Analyze and evaluate economic systems
  • Analyze national economic indicators
  • Analyze effects of specialization and trade
  • Budgeting
  • Compare and contrast government market decisions
  • Calculate profit margin and explain its importance
  • Evaluate outcomes of limited government
  • Describe the four market structures
  • Describe the importance of profit
  • Describe the effect of competition on price
  • Distinguish between needs and wants
  • Discuss market demand and demand elasticity
  • Explain the relationship between scarcity and opportunity costs
  • Examine how incentives affect decisions
  • Express the advantages and disadvantages of international trade
  • such as trade barriers and trade deficits
  • Identify the impact of self-interest
  • Identify factors that affect revenue and cost and explain how businesses respond to changes
  • Identify the four key productive resources
  • Identify characteristics of entrepreneurs
  • Interpret data and graphs
  • List the outcomes of competition
  • Recognize factors that influence economic freedom
  • Recognize the importance of small businesses
  • Recognize economic growth factors
  • Summarize the laws of supply and demand
  • Track the flow of money and resources through the economy

Virtual Implementation

Remote live implementation is available for JA Economics.


Junior Achievement gratefully acknowledges the Charles Koch Foundation for their contribution to the redevelopment of JA Economics.

JA High School Experience Overview

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