The Rules

The Economics Challenge is an opportunity for students to demonstrate their knowledge of economics by competing with other students across the state in written and "Quiz Bowl" examinations.

Divisions & Eligibility

All middle and high school students are eligible. No formal courses in economics are required. Any team of students interested in economics is encouraged to compete. Schools may enter multiple teams in their qualifying divisions.  However, no more than 5 teams from any one school will compete in the Adam Smith or David Ricardo division at the state finals.

          The "Adam Smith" Division is for Economics veterans. It is restricted to students enrolled in any  two semester econ macro and micro course sequence or any course labeled as AP, IB, honors, or differentiated. If you previously participated in the David Ricardo Division, you must register for Adam Smith in this year's competition.

          The "David Ricardo" Division is for those new to Economics. It is restricted to students enrolled in a one-semester or less high school course not labeled as AP, IB, honors, differentiated, or college level.

          The "Milton Friedman" Division is restricted to middle school students. Students in this division do not compete at the state level. Separate prizes are awarded for the top two middle school teams.

Round One

Students and teachers in Iowa begin the challenge by participating in a preliminary first round of the Challenge online. Teachers and Students throughout the State will be able to participate regardless of travel or budgetary constraints. In the first round each team of three to four students in three divisions will complete online exams that cover topics in macro, micro and international economics.

The top 10 high school teams in the Adam Smith and David Ricardo divisions will be invited to participate in the State Finals online. However, no more than 5 teams from one school will be permitted to advance to the State Finals.


Registration for the EconChallenge ONLINE!, which includes a chance to participate at the state competition, begins February 1, 2021.

Once registered, teachers will be able to create their student teams.

You will find more details in the "How It Works" tab.