The Importance of Economic Education

By Poole, William | Regional Economist, July 1998 | Go to article overview

The Importance of Economic Education


Poole, William, Regional Economist


This year marks two significant anniversaries in the Eighth District's economic education arena: the 20th anniversary of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Economic Education at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and the 30th anniversary of the Missouri Council on Economic Education. I congratulate the members of each of these organizations for their tireless efforts in the field of economic education during the last half century.

As a former educator of over 25 years, I have firsthand experience with teaching people-especially young people-about economics. The importance of economic education goes far beyond the goal of improving understanding of the basic principles of supply and demand and the workings of our nation's economy. Economics is the study of how people make sound choices. By studying how markets work, our young people also learn how to make efficient choices in managing their own scarce resources, such as time and money. Along the way, we teach them a decision- and choicemaking process that they can apply to all aspects of their lives. These same skills are necessary to make informed choices as citizens-to decide which public policies to support and which to oppose.

As participants in a global economy, the young people of today and tomorrow will face a plethora of possibilities that our generation could only dream about. It is our duty to give them the tools they need to make the best choices among these seemingly infinite possibilities. And, although I am perhaps a bit biased (probably more than a bit! …

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