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Competition procedure

State-level competitions are the first part of the National Economics Challenge. Teachers register teams of 3-4 students each, for whom they serve as a coach throughout the NEC (up through the International Quiz Bowl Finals unless a substitute is needed), with their local affiliate at the registration portal. Teachers can begin this process even if they have not chosen teams or selected students. Rules for the each state-level competition are determined by the CEE affiliates that organize them. You can find the the CEE affiliate that organizes each statewide competition at the registration portal: econchallenge.unl.edu.

During the statewide competition, teams compete online and in person to determine who will represent their state at the National Semi-Finals. The teams that win the National Semi-Finals will compete in person in Newark, New Jersey at the National Finals, culminating in the International Quiz Bowl Finals.

The competition runs in two divisions:


For first-time Challenge competitors who have taken no more than one economics course


For AP, international baccalaureate, and honors students (as well as any returning competitors)

No team member is permitted to compete in the David Ricardo division more than once. Any returning student who has participated in the National Economics Challenge as a David Ricardo student for one competition must compete in the Adam Smith division in subsequent competitions, regardless of whether student is only taking a general or one-semester economics course.

At the National Semi-Finals students will be individually tested with 3 20-minute rounds of 15 multiple choice questions in writing on microeconomics, macroeconomics, and international economics/current events. A fourth written exam round is to be completed as a team.

At the National Finals, there will also be three 20-minute rounds of 15 multiple choice questions in writing on microeconomics, macroeconomics, and international economics/current events. For the fourth round, called the Critical Thinking Round, students will work as a team to analyze an economic issue and provide a solution. The final stage of the National Finals is the Quiz Bowl Finals, where the top two teams in each division will face off on-stage, answering questions posed by a panel of judges (plus special guests), some of which can be answered after conferring with the team, and others which must be answered individually.

Hotel rooms and meals will be provided for teams participating in the National Finals. Certain CEE affiliate organizations may also offer to help with travel expenses or find sponsorship.

If you think the NEC is right for you, start the process of registration at econchallenge.unl.edu.