JA Economics®

JA Economics examines the fundamental 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. It also introduces students to career opportunities, consumer issues, and helps reinforce important academic and leadership skills which include 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. The JA Company Program, JA Titan, or JA Banks in Action can be taught in conjunction with JA Economics.

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.

The students will be able to:

  • Describe the nature of human wants and how they are satisfied
  • Identify and define the four factors of production
  • Define the meanings of scarcity and opportunity cost
  • Describe the choices businesses face and a major goal of business
  • Identify the basic economic decisions facing all societies

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.

The students will be able to:

  • Explain why private property, specialization, voluntary exchange, the price system, market competition, and entrepreneurship are considered the pillars of free enterprise
  • Describe the nature of command, traditional, and mixed economic systems
  • Describe how the circular flow of money, resources, and products explain the function of a free market economy
  • Identify the goals of the U.S. economic system

Chapter 3: Demand

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

The students will be able to:

  • Explain the role prices play in a market economy
  • Define demand and describe how it illustrates the price effect
  • Explain why people buy more of something at lower prices and less at higher prices
  • Describe the relationship between individuals’ demands and market demand
  • Define price elasticity of demand and explain what determines it
  • Describe differences between price effect and change in demand

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.

The students will be able to:

  • Describe how supply is related to opportunity cost
  • Define supply and explain the price effect related to supply
  • Explain why producers want to sell more of something at higher prices and less at lower prices
  • Describe the relationship between market supply and the supplies of individual sellers
  • Explain the price elasticity of supply and what determines it

Chapter 5: Market-Clearing Price

A market-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.

The students will be able to:

  • Describe how competitive markets “clear” the amount buyers want to purchase with the amount sellers want to sell
  • Explain the nature of shortages and surpluses and how market competition eliminates them
  • Describe how market-clearing prices motivate people to produce goods and services
  • Describe the kinds of changes that occur in demand and supply, and how these changes affect market-clearing prices

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