The National Economics Challenge (NEC) is the country’s only economics competition of its kind for high school students. It tests micro and macroeconomic principles as well as knowledge of the world economy.   This motivating and fun team learning experience begins with competitions at the state level. The winning team from each state moves on to the National Semi-Finals from which the top-scoring teams advance to compete for the National Title. For spring 2021, Semi-Finals and Finals competitions will be held entirely online. 


Teachers register teams of three-to-four high school students.

There are two divisions in the Economics Challenge:

  • David Ricardo: For first-time competitors with no more than one course in economics.
  • Adam Smith: For returning competitors, AP, IB, and honors students (as well as any returning competitors).

State-level competitions are run by the Council for Economic Education affiliates that organize them. For information on your local/state competition, contact your state coordinator, who can be found through the registration page.

National Semi-Finals will be scheduled by region to be held on one day between May 3-May 20. This round will be conducted as an online test.

National Finals will include a critical thinking round and virtual quiz bowl where students have the opportunity to present to and answer questions from economists and financial professionals. This round will be held May 22-24.  


Each student team member as well as one coach from the top four USA teams will receive a medal and certificate of their accomplishment as well as a cash prize corresponding to their team’s rank in the National Finals:  1st place: $1,000 2nd place: $500 3rd place: $250 


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