Facilitating Authentic Practice and Content Acquisition Through Competition: The Econ Games

Darshak Patel, Abdullah Al-Bahrani, Gail Hoyt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Econ Games is a student competition that was first designed as a programmatic ancillary to benefit students majoring in economics at Northern Kentucky University and the University of Kentucky. Initially local, it has grown into an annual international competition, with participation from over forty academic institutions and garners data and financial support from a wide array of private industry and governmental partners. This immersive experiential learning opportunity connects student teams with community partners, where they utilize research skills to tackle real-world challenges. It prioritizes inclusivity, encouraging participation from diverse backgrounds. Participants gain practical experience with data, improve presentation and teamwork abilities, and kickstart their career development. In this paper, we outline the structure of the Econ Games and their institutional evolution, assessing their impacts on students, economics programs, and community partners. Additionally, we provide insights for institutions interested in joining the Econ Games or creating similar student competitions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe American economist
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2024.


  • A20
  • A22
  • community partnership
  • data analysis
  • experiential learning
  • interning for a day
  • undergraduate economics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Economics, Econometrics and Finance


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