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List of Benchmarks for Economics

Standard 1.Understands that scarcity of productive resources requires choices that generate opportunity costs
  Level Pre-K (Grade Pre-K)
   1. Knows that people in the community have different jobs and responsibilities (e.g., firefighters, doctors, bus drivers)
  Level I (Grade K-2)
   1. Knows that goods are objects that can satisfy people's wants, and services are activities that can satisfy people's wants
   2. Understands that since people cannot have everything they want, they must make choices about using goods and services to satisfy wants
   3. Knows that a cost is what you give up when you decide to do something, and a benefit is something that satisfies your wants
   4. Knows that people who use goods and services are called consumers, and people who make goods or provide services are called producers, and that most people both produce and consume
   5. Knows that natural resources are "gifts of nature" because they are present without human intervention
   6. Knows that capital resources are things made by people that are used to make other goods or to provide services  A 
   7. Knows that human resources (i.e., labor or human capital) are the efforts of people who work to produce goods and to provide services
   8. Knows that choices about what goods and services to buy and consume determine how resources will be used.
  Level II (Grade 3-5)
   1. Knows that productive resources are all natural resources, human resources, and capital resources used to produce goods and to provide services
   2. Understands that goods and services are scarce because there are not enough productive resources to satisfy all of the wants of individuals, governments, and societies
   3. Understands that federal, state, and local governments have problems of scarcity also; because they have limited budgets, they must compare their revenues to the costs of public projects their citizens want
   4. Knows that innovation is the introduction of an invention into a use that has economic value
   5. Knows that entrepreneurs are people who use resources to produce innovative goods and services they hope people will buy
   6. Understands that entrepreneurs take the risk that people won’t buy their products or won’t pay enough for them to cover the entrepreneurs’ costs
   7. Understands that when productive resources are used to produce one good or service, the opportunity cost (i.e., what is given up) is other goods and services that would have been made with the same resources if the chosen good or service had not been made  A 
   8. Understands that choices usually involve trade-offs; people can give up buying or doing a little of one thing in order to buy or do a little of something else
   9. Knows that economic specialization occurs when people produce a narrower range of goods and services than they consume
   10. Understands how labor productivity can be increased as a result of specialization, division of labor, and more capital goods such as tools and machines
   11. Understands that the quality of labor resources (i.e., human capital) can be improved through investments in education, training, and health care
  Level III (Grade 6-8)
   1. Understands that scarcity of resources necessitates choice at both the personal and the societal levels
   2. Knows that all decisions involve opportunity costs and that effective economic decision making involves weighing the costs and benefits associated with alternative choices  A 
   3. Understands that the evaluation of choices and opportunity costs is subjective and differs across individuals and societies
   4. Knows that productivity can be measured as output per worker, per hour, per machine, or per unit of land
   5. Understands that increasing labor productivity is the major way in which a nation can improve the standard of living of its people
  Level IV (Grade 9-12)
   1. Understands that marginal benefit is the change in total benefit resulting from an action, and marginal cost is the change in total cost resulting from an action
   2. Understands that optimal levels of output (e.g., production output, output of services provided by a public program) can be determined by comparing the marginal benefits and costs of producing a little more against the marginal benefits and costs of producing a little less  A 
   3. Understands that increases in productivity are affected by incentives that reward successful innovation and investments (e.g., in research and development, and in physical and human capital)  A 
   4. Understands that investing in new physical or human capital involves a trade-off of lower current consumption in anticipation of greater future production and consumption  A 
   5. Understands that technological change and investments in capital goods and human capital may increase labor productivity but have significant opportunity costs and economic risks  A 

 A  = Assessment items available