Economic Education

Competence development


In an increasingly complex economic world, one challenge of economic education is to equip adolescents and young adults with competences so that they can act and decide adequately in economically-shaped life stituations (Seeber et al., 2012). In Germany in particular, the situation regarding economic education in schools is extremely heterogeneous: Economic education exists as part of political education, is offered in combination with other subjects, or is only implemented as an elective in some federal states. Recently, however, in the German federal state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, as part of a curriculum reform, economic education is now a seperate school subject from grades 7 (or 8)  to 10 for all general education school types.

The curriculum reform provides the opportunity to examine the effects of a discrete subject in a longitudinal study to accompany students in secondary school grades 7 to 10. In this study (WIKO-BW), initiated by the University of Koblenz-Landau (Prof. Günther Seeber) and funded by the Würth Association ("Stiftung Würth"), we follow students from two distinct cohorts (2016 and 2017) over four years (until 2020 and 2021). The main research goal is the quasi-experimental identification of curriculum effects on cognitive components of economic competence (Seeber et al., 2020). Furthermore, we investigate potential effects on attitudes towards economics and individual behavior.

Another project funded by the Joachim Herz Foundation investigates correlations between financial education, individual behavior, and experimentally elicited time and risk preferences.

Further reseach projects in this area:

  • The psychometric validity of test items measuring financial literacy
  • The unbiased estimation of heterogeneities in financial competences across individual observables, using an appropriate effort measure
  • Evidence syntheses on the effect of educational interventions on (time) preferences in the course of a meta study.



Seeber, G., Retzmann, R., Remmle, B., & Jongebloed, H.-C. (2012). Bildungsstandard der ökonomischen Allgemeinbildung: Kompetenzmodell, Aufgben, Handlungsempfehlungen. Schwalbach/Taunus: Wochenschau Verlag.

Seeber, G., Kaiser, T., Oberrauch, L., Eberle, M., & Walter, C. (2020). Das Schulfach Wirtschaft, Berufs- und Studienorientierung: Effekte auf die ökonomische Kompetenzen und Einstellungen Jugendlicher in Klasse 7 und 8. Künzelsau: Swiridoff.


Recent publications in the area:

Oberrauch, L., & Seeber, G. (2021). The impact of mandatory economic education an adolescents' attitudes. Kiel, Hamburg: ZWB - Leibnis Infomation Center for Economics.

Oberrauch, L., & Kaiser, T. (2020). Financial Literacy and Intertemporal Arbitrage. DIW Discussion Papers 1912. Berlin.

Seeber, G., Kaiser, T., Oberrauch, L., Eberle, M., & Walter C. (2020). Das Schulfach Wirtschaft, Berufs- und Studienorientierung: Effekt auf die ökonomische Kompetenzen und Einstellungen Jugendlicher in Klasse 7 und 8. Künzelsau: Swiridoff.

Oberrauch, L., & Kaiser, T. (2020). Economic Competences in early secondary school: Evidence from a large-scale assessment in Germany. International Review of Economics Education, 35, 100172.

Kaiser, T, Oberrauch, L., & Seeber, G. (2020). Measuring Economic Competences of Secondary School Students in Germany. The Journal of Economic Education, 51(3-4), 227-242.

Oberrauch, L. (2019). Ökonomische Kompetenzen von Heranwachsenden. Entwicklung und Validierung eines Testinstruments. Zeitschrift für ökonomische Bildung, 8, 60-98.