JA Economics®


JA Economics reinforces concepts of micro- and macro-economics by having students explore the basic characteristics of the U.S. economic system and how economic principles influence business decisions.

The program also introduces students to career opportunities and consumer issues, and it helps reinforce important academic and leadership skills, including research and data analysis, problem solving and critical thinking.

JA Economics is a one-semester course and is recommended for students in grades 11 and 12. Instructional materials include textbooks and study guides. JA Company Program and JA Titan are supplementary programs.

All JA programs are designed to support the skills and competencies identified by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. JA programs also correlate to state standards in social studies, English, and mathematics, and to Common Core State Standards.

Pillars of Student Success Entrepreneurship:  Financial-Literacy:  Work-Readiness: 
Program Implementation Program Grade-Level
Classroom-Based High School
Program Concepts Program Skills
Advantage, Demand, Economic systems, Exchange rates, Fiscal policy, Gross domestic product, Government, Income distribution, Inflation, Investment, Labor, Markets, Opportunity costs, Productivity, Scarcity, Supply, Trade Applying information, Classifying, Critical thinking, Decision making, Giving reports, Graphing, Interpreting data, Math computation, Reading, Research, Taking notes, Writing

Program Sessions

Chapter 1: What Is Economics?

Economics is a social science that studies how people, acting individually and in groups, decide to use scarce resources to satisfy their wants.

Chapter 2: Free Enterprise in the United States

A key content of this chapter is the pillars of free enterprise—private property, specialization, voluntary exchange, the price system, market competition, and entrepreneurship.

Chapter 3: Demand

In economics, demand is the various qualities of something consumers are willing and able to buy at many different prices at a particular time.

Chapter 4: Supply

Supply is the various quantities of a product that producers are willing and able to sell at different prices at a particular time.

Chapter 5: Market-Clearing Price

A marketing-clearing price exists when the amount of a product that buyers want to buy at that price is the same amount that sellers want to sell at that price.

Chapter 6: Consumers, Savers, and Investors

People earn most of their income from jobs. They also earn some of it by putting their wealth to work. Over time, people increase their wealth by saving and investing. It pays for individuals to become familiar with the options available to investors and to shop for investments that offer the return, safety, and liquidity they desire.

Chapter 7: The Business of Free Enterprise

Enterprising individuals who put their creative talent to work in both large and small companies drive innovation in the U.S. economy.

Chapter 8: Financing a Business

Financial markets play an important role in a free enterprise economy by channeling money from savers to businesses, which use it to invest in new capital resources.

Chapter 9: Production and Productivity

Production of goods and services is important because it determines people's incomes and their consumption of goods and services.

Chapter 10: The U.S. Labor Force

The U.S. labor force has changed over the years. Beginning in the late 19th century, the percentage of all workers in agriculture began to drop while the percentage of workers in goods-producing and service-producing industries rose. The percentage of workers in service-producing industries has continued to rise in recent years, while the percentage in manufacturing and other goods-producing industries has fallen.

Chapter 11: Competition Among Businesses

In a free enterprise economy, businesses compete by coordinating their efforts with one another to produce things that others value and are willing to pay for.

Chapter 12: Government and the United States Economy

People debate the proper role and size of government in our free-market economy. The federal government has assumed a referee role in the economy to establish and enforce private property rights and the law, deal with external costs and benefits, ensure market competition, and protect consumers. The federal government also has taken on the management tasks of stabilizing the economy, promoting economic security, and providing public goods and services.

Chapter 13: Money and Financial Institutions

Money can be anything that is generally accepted as final payment for goods and services. Financial institutions such as commercial banks, savings and loan associations, and savings banks are essential to the smooth operation of the U.S. economic system.

Chapter 14: Economic Stability

United States economic activity is monitored carefully by government officials, members of the business community, and economists. Statistical measurements—called economic indicators—are used to assess the economy's health.

Chapter 15: International Trade

Instead of each of us trying to produce everything we consume, we concentrate our work on tasks we do best. We specialize. Then we use our earnings to buy the goods and services we want. World trade takes place in the same way.

Chapter 16: Our Globalized World

Our world is becoming more and more globalized. Globalization is the process of increasing interdependence among countries and their citizens.