March 19, 2018 Print

The Lithuanian Free Market Institute (LFMI), an Atlas Network partner based in Vilnius, Lithuania, held its first annual National Economics Exam to measure the economic literacy of Lithuanian students and the general public.

The exam was hosted online in a partnership between LFMI, Lithuanian National Radio and Television, the Lithuanian Ministry of Education and Science, and leading Lithuanian universities and public schools. Over 11,000 individuals registered, and more than 6,600 students and citizens took the exam.

“We wanted to demonstrate that economics consists of everyday individual decisions, rather than aggregated abstractions,” said Žilvinas Šilėnas, president of LFMI. “Moreover, with the publicity campaign running on national TV and the largest news portal we generated an overwhelming interest in this exam. We are definitely going to repeat the exam next year.”

The National Economics Exam followed the publication of a study by LFMI, which showed that economic knowledge was lacking among Lithuanians: in the survey, as many of 81 percent of respondents rated their own economic knowledge as insufficient. The results of the exam paint a more optimistic picture — the average score of the exam participants was 18 out of 29 multiple-choice questions correct. The final question was an open-ended written response on economic fundamentals, judged by a panel of renowned Lithuanian economists. Sixty-six of the exam participants received a perfect score.

Stressing the importance of economic literacy in the modern world, LFMI has committed to offering more of the exams in the future.

“A strong public engagement and enthusiasm in taking the exam gave us great cause for confidence that our new initiative is relevant and people are interested in economics,” said Marija Vyšniauskaitė, head of the education center at LFMI. “After all, we take economic decisions on a daily basis as we make choices and take up challenges.”

The Lithuanian Free Market Institute, based in Vilnius, Lithuania, is an Atlas Network partner. The organization is a recipient of LIFE and LEAP project grants to support its work in free-market education and research, and it won the Templeton Freedom Award in 2014 and 2016.