Economics for Leaders

Economics for Leaders (EFL) is the flagship program of The Foundation for Teaching Economics and is designed specifically to address the twin goals outlined in the Foundation’s mission statement:

The mission of the FTE is to introduce young individuals, selected for their leadership potential, to an economic way of thinking about national and international issues, and to promote excellence in economic education by helping teachers of economics become more effective educators.

The curriculum materials – including background outlines for teachers and classroom-ready simulations and activities to engage students – support the teaching of critical thinking skills by equipping students with the tools of the economic reasoning.


Click here for information about EFL summer programs for teachers

5 Economic Reasoning Propositions (ERPs)

Economic Reasoning Proposition #1:

People choose, and individual choices are the source of social outcomes. Scarcity necessitates choices: not all of our desires can be satisfied. People make these choices based on their perceptions of the expected costs and benefits of the alternatives.

Economic Reasoning Proposition #2:

Choices impose costs; people receive benefits and incur costs when they make decisions. The cost of a choice is the value of the next-best alternative foregone, measurable in time or money or some alternative activity given up.

Economic Reasoning Proposition #3:

People respond to incentives in predictable ways. Choices are influenced by incentives, the rewards that encourage and the punishments that discourage actions. When incentives change, behavior changes in predictable ways.

Economic Reasoning Proposition #4:

Institutions are the “rules of the game” that influence choices. Laws, customs, moral principles, superstitions, and cultural values influence people’s choices. These basic institutions controlling behavior set out and establish the incentive structure and the basic design of the economic system.

Economic Reasoning Proposition #5:

Understanding based on knowledge and evidence imparts value to opinions. Opinions matter and are of equal value at the ballot box. But on matters of rational deliberation, the value of an opinion is determined by the knowledge and evidence on which it is based. Statements of opinion should initiate the quest for economic understanding, not end it.

Download 5 Economic Reasoning Propositions

EFL Lessons:

Lessons are designed to stand alone, or to be used together as the framework for a semester course. Applicable economics content standards are identified. FTE curriculum materials may be copied in whole or part for noncommercial educational classroom use only.

Web pages for each lesson listed below include links to download lesson outlines and presentation slides.

EFL Classroom Activities:

The links below include demonstration videos with instructional voice-over, summaries of materials and procedures, and download links for full activity guides including all handouts, visuals, procedures, debriefing questions and answers, and teacher guide.  See link below for presentations slides.

*Presentation slides for select activities above.

Debbie Henney, FTE Director of Curriculum Receives Bessie B Moore Service Award

  Foundation for Teaching Economics is proud to announce that Debbie Henney, director of curriculum for the Foundation for Teaching…

FTE Pays Tribute to Jerry Hume

It is with deep sadness that we announce the loss of William J. Hume, known as Jerry Hume, former Chairman…

Why We Should Be Teaching Students Economic Literacy

Ted Tucker, Executive Director, Foundation for Teaching Economics October 26, 2022 More high schools are offering courses on personal finance…