Economic Analysis & Decision Making

Category: Collaborative Objective Test & Team Performance (Role Play)
Type: Individual or Team


Two (2) parts: an objective test and interactive role play or presentation. A 60-minute objective test will be administered onsite at the NLC. Team competitors will take one (1) objective test collaboratively.

Objective Test Competencies: Comparative Economic Systems; History of Economic Though; International Trade; Labor Economics; Macroeconomics; Microeconomics; Money and Banking; Public Sector Economics

Case: An interactive role play situation that may include microeconomics and macroeconomics


Collaborative Objective Test & Team Performance (Role Play) Guidelines
Performance Guidelines—Final Round
  • Two (2) 4"x6" note cards will be provided to each competitor and may be used during event preparation and performance. Information may be written on both sides of the note cards. Note cards will be collected following the presentation.
  • No additional reference materials allowed.
  • Turn off all electronic devices.
  • Individuals/teams should introduce themselves, describe the situation, make their recommendations, and summarize their cases.
  • If participating as a team, all team members are expected to actively participate in the performance.
  • All questions raised in the case must be addressed during the presentation.
  • Objective test scores will be used to break a tie.
  • Financial calculators may be used for accounting, finance, and analysis & decision making events; calculators will be provided for all other events.
  • Final performances are not open to conference attendees.
Penalty Points Deducted by Judges
  • Five (5) points are deducted if competitors do not follow the dress code.
  • Five (5) points may be deducted for not following guidelines.
General Performance Guidelines
Performance Guidelines

Fifteen (15) competitors/teams—or an equal number from each section in the preliminary round—will advance to the final round. When there are more than five sections of preliminary performances for an event, two competitors/ teams from each section will advance to the final round.

In the case of team events, all team competitors are expected to actively participate in the performance.

Competitors cannot be replaced or substituted after the name change deadline of 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the first Friday in June.

All competitors must comply with the FBLA‑PBL dress code.

Prejudged materials and résumés will not be returned.

Technology Guidelines
  • Internet access will be provided for:
    • Computer Animation
    • Forensic Accounting
    • Global Analysis & Decision Making
    • Mobile Application Development
    • Network Design
    • Social Media Challenge
    • Website Design
  • Internet access may not be WiFi, so competitors should plan appropriately when selecting laptops/tablets on which to present.
  • All competitors in accounting, finance, and analysis & decision making events may bring and use financial calculators.
Performance Competencies
  • Demonstrate excellent verbal communication.
  • Display effective decision-making and problem-solving skills.
  • Express self-confidence and poise.
  • Work well as a team when applicable.
  • Exhibit logic and systematic understanding.
  • Conduct a professional business presentation.
  • Answer questions effectively (when applicable).
Penalty Points Deducted by Judges
  • Five (5) points are deducted if competitors do not follow the dress code.
  • Five (5) points may be deducted for presentations over the allotted time.
  • Five (5) points may be deducted for not following guidelines.


  • Preliminary and final performances are not open to conference attendees.
  • Recording performances is prohibited.
  • All electronic devices must be turned off.
  • All attendees must follow the dress code and wear their name badges; however, the badge may be removed when presenting.
  • All attendees are requested to remain quiet while in competitive event areas.
General Guidelines

The general event guidelines below are applicable to all national competitive events. Please review and follow these guidelines when competing at the national level. When competing at the state level, check the state guidelines since they may differ.


  • Dues: Competitors must have paid PBL national and state dues by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on April 15 of the current school year.
  • NLC Registration: Participants must be registered for the NLC and pay the national conference registration fee in order to participate in competitive events.
  • Deadlines: The state chair, or designee, must register each state competitor on the official online entry forms by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the second Friday in May.
  • Each state may submit three (3) individuals in all events requiring only objective tests and two (2) individuals or teams for all events that require a pre-judged or performance component.
  • Each competitor can compete in two (2) events.
  • Each competitor must compete in all parts of an event for award eligibility.

Repeat Competitors

Competitors are not permitted to compete in an event more than once at the NLC unless one of the following circumstances applies:

  • Modified Events: A competitor may compete in the same event when the event is modified. Note, if the only modification is a name change, competitors may not compete in the renamed event.
  • Team Events: One (1) competitor of the team may have competed in the same event at one (1) previous NLC; however, they may not compete more than twice in the event at the national level.
  • Chapter Events: Competitors may compete in a chapter event more than once (Community Service Project).
  • Individual Entry: A competitor who competed as an individual entry in a team event at the national level may compete in the same event a second time as part of a team, but not a second time as an individual.
  • Parliamentary Procedure: Two (2) competitors of the team may have competed in this event at a previous NLC; however, they may not compete more than twice at the national level.
  • Pilot Event: Competition in a pilot event does not disqualify a competitor from competing in the same event if it becomes an official competitive event. The participant may compete in another event as well as a pilot event.

Breaking Ties

  • Objective Tests: Ties are broken by comparing the correct number of answers to the last 10 questions on the exam. If a tie remains, the competitor who completed the test in a shorter amount of time will place higher. If this does not break the tie, answers to the last 20 questions will be reviewed and determine the winner.
  • Objective and Production Tests: The production test scores will be used to break a tie.
  • Objective Tests and Performances: The objective test score will be used to break a tie based on the tie-breaking criteria of objective tests.
  • Reports/Projects and Performances: The report/project scores will be used to break a tie.
  • Performances: Judges must break ties and all judges’ decisions are final.

National Deadlines

  • State chair/adviser must register all competitors for NLC competitive events online by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the second Friday in May.
  • All prejudged components (reports, websites, projects, statement of assurance) must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the second Friday in May.
  • All prejudged projects and reports must be submitted electronically.
  • All Statements of Assurance must be submitted online.
  • All production tests must be received at FBLA-PBL by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the third Friday in May.
  • Desktop Publishing—two (2) copies of the finished product must be uploaded as PDF files by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the third Friday in May.
  • All production tests must be uploaded online.
  • State chair/adviser may make name changes only (no additional entries) by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the first Friday in June. Competitor drops are the only changes allowed after this date and onsite.

National Awards

The number of competitors will determine the number of winners. The maximum number of winners for each competitive event is 10. Only one (1) award is given to the schools competing in chapter events (Community Service Project and Local Chapter Annual Business Report).

Additional Materials

Certain events may allow the use of additional materials. Please refer to event guidelines.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

FBLA‑PBL meets the criteria specified in the Americans with Disabilities Act for all participants who submit a special needs form.

Recording of Presentations

No unauthorized audio or video recording devices will be allowed in any competitive event. Participants in the performance events should be aware the national association reserves the right to record any performance for use in study or training materials.

Graduate Students

Graduate students may compete in all PBL events.


Sample Practice Materials

Rating Sheets

Format Guide

Comparative Economic Systems
1. Use basic economic concepts (e.g., supply and demand; production, distribution, and consumption; labor, wages, and capital; inflation and deflation; market economy and command economy) to compare and contrast local, regional, and national economics across time and at the present time.
2. Compare and contrast economic systems (e.g., traditional, market, command, and mixed) based on criteria such as freedom, efficiency, equity, security, employment, stability, and growth.
3. List and define the basic types of economic systems.
4. Discuss the difference between capitalism and socialism.
5. Distinguish between planned economic systems and market economic systems.
6. Give examples of countries that have communism, socialism, and capitalism economies.
7. Describe the characteristics for the Laissez faire free market capitalism, regulated markets, mixed economies, socialism, and Marxism economic systems.
8. Evaluate the performance of different economic systems.
9. Explain the impact on the U.S. economy of international trade and global products.
10. Investigate the ways that domestic and international economies are interdependent.
11. Identify and assess the impact of major American foreign and trade policies.
12. Analyze the role that supply and demand prices and profits play in determining production and distribution in a market economy.
13. Explain the basic functions of government in a market economy.
14. Recognize alternatives to the free market system and discuss how decisions in these economies rely on mechanisms other than the choices of the members of these societies.
15. Analyze the role of a market economy in establishing and preserving political and personal liberty.
16. Explain the roles of property rights, competition, and profit in a market economy.
17. Explain the role of profit as the incentive to entrepreneurs in a market economy.
History of Economic Though
1. Investigate various perspectives that have influenced economic thought in different periods and places.
2. Evaluate some of the major contributions to the theory of value, the theory of production, and the theory of distribution.
3. Discuss the creation and evolution of alternative schools of economic thought.
4. Consider the impacts that alternative schools of thought have had on “mainstream” economics.
5. List and describe the various schools of economic thought.
6. Trace the development and evolution of economic systems from the eighteenth century to the present
International Trade
1. Analyze the impact of world trade and relate it to the U.S. free enterprise system.
2. Explain the basic characteristics of international trade, including absolute and comparative advantage, barriers to trade, exchange rates, and balance of trade.
3. 3. Analyze why trade barriers and exchange rates affect the flow of goods and services among nations.
4. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages and distributive effects of trade restrictions (e.g., tariffs, quotas, and embargoes).
5. Analyze the impact of international issues and concerns on personal, national, and international economics.
6. Explain how specialization promotes international trade and how international trade increases total world output and interdependence among nations.
7. Describe major recent developments in the volume of international trade and financial flows.
8. Define the Ricardian model of trade, and the principle of comparative advantage.
9. Discuss arguments for and against “free trade.”
10. Define the role of the World Trade Organization.
11. Discuss the effects of international trade and finance on employment, prices, and incomes.
12. Explain foreign exchange, the manner in which exchange rates are determined, and the effects of the dollar’s gaining (or losing) value relative to other currencies.
Labor Economics
1. Define basic labor economic theory, including labor market structures and wage determination.
2. Construct, defend, and analyze important labor policy issues.
3. Use quantitative data and qualitative analysis to explain and critique the manner in which labor market outcomes change over time.
4. Apply theoretical and empirical analysis to current events and policy recommendations.
5. Analyze the impact of labor market imperfections and various government policies on wages and incentives to work.
6. Differentiate between labor economic and labor relation issues.
7. Describe the operations of the labor market, including the establishment of American labor unions, effects of unionization, the minimum wage, and unemployment insurance.
8. Describe the current economy and labor market, including the types of goods and services produced, the types of skills workers need, the effects of rapid technological change, and the impact of international competition.
9. Discuss wage differences among jobs and professions, using the laws of demand and supply and the concept of productivity.
10. Explain the significance of an unemployment rate, the number of new jobs created monthly, inflation or deflation rates, and a rate of economic growth.
1. Differentiate between microeconomists’ and macroeconomists’ approach to the economy and their solutions to economic problems.
2. Analyze factors that are studied in determining the economic health of our economy.
3. Discuss how changes in disposable income affect the economy.
4. Explain the effects of leading economic indicators on a personal financial plan.
5. Identify and analyze leading economic indicators and the methods of using the indicators to validate opinions about the state of the economy in the near future.
6. Evaluate the impact of employment/unemployment on production, consumption, and exchange
7. Define gross domestic product (GDP) and interpret fluctuations in the GDP.
8. Discuss major factors that affect the level of a country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (e.g., quantity and quality of natural resources, quantity and quality of human capital, and quantity and quality of capital stock).
9. Explain how the Consumer Price Index measures the rate of inflation and interpret its relationship to purchasing power.
10. Interpret economic data depicted through illustrations (e.g., tables, curves, graphs, ratios, percentages, indexes, and values).
11. Discuss the concepts and measurement of unemployment, inflation, and recession.
12. Describe the difference between business cycles and economic growth and the factors that contribute to each.
13. Discuss the concept of Macroeconomic Equilibrium.
14. Describe how Aggregate Demand and Aggregate Supply determine equilibrium price and output in the short-run and the long-run.
15. Discuss the multiplier concept, how it is computed, and its qualifications and limitations..
16. Discuss the concepts, tools, and implementation of fiscal policy, its limitations and relative advantages and disadvantages, and how it affects aggregate economic activity.
17. Discuss the concepts, tools, and implementation of monetary policy, its limitations and relative advantages and disadvantages, and how it affects aggregate economic activity.
18. Describe the concepts of Comparative Advantage, Balance of Payments and its components, and the determinants of Exchange Rates.
1. Discuss fundamental economic models, their assumptions, and their applications.
2. Explain the multiple roles of government in a market economy and discuss the pros and cons of each.
3. Calculate the elasticity of demand and supply and apply the concept to changes in total revenue.
4. Explain and measure cross elasticity of prices of related goods and of changes in income.
5. Explain and apply the concept of floors and ceilings to determine price and output effects.
6. Explain the theory of consumer behavior and apply it to predict the law of demand.
7. Demonstrate the law of demand using indifference curve analysis.
8. Explain the law of supply and its relationship to costs in both the short-run and the long-run.
9. Apply market theory to the varying competitive situations involved in pure competition, monopolistic competition, oligopoly, and monopoly to predict variations in price and output.
10. Explain the marginal productivity theory and how it relates to the demand and supply of resource.
11. Analyze the determination of market wages using the alternative economic models of pure, monopoly and monophony competition.
12. Apply modern economic theory as it pertains to factor selection in the marketplace to determine how resources are employed.
13. Explain market failures and the roles of government as it pertains to externalities.
14. Analyze the outcomes of market determined income as it relates to income inequality and appraise the outcomes of various policies on income redistribution.
15. Define Opportunity.
16. Recognize and interpret a Demand Curve and a Supply Curve, and identify the underlying determinants of each.
17. Define the general concept of Elasticity for different variables in the demand or supply function and describe the effect of a given elasticity on economic outcomes (e.g., revenues, tax burden, and policy choices).
18. Determine the forces of demand and supply and how they interact to determine an equilibrium price.
19. Describe how and why equilibrium prices might change and their impact on resource allocation.
20. . Discuss the theory of consumer behavior.
21. Discuss the theoretical market structures of perfect competition and monopoly.
Money and Banking
1. Describe and explain the role of money, banking, and savings in everyday life.
2. Explain how interest rates are determined by market forces that influence the amount of borrowing and saving done by investors, consumers, and government officials.
3. Describe how interest rates balance savings and borrowing and affect consumer purchasing power.
4. Identify the risk/return trade-offs for saving and investing
5. Evaluate the impact of employment/unemployment on investment and savings.
6. Describe how saving and investing influence economic growth (capital formation).
7. Explain the role of credit in a market economy.
8. Compare the advantages and disadvantages of using various forms of credit and the determinants of credit history.
9. Explain the role of banks in facilitating the exchange of financial resources (e.g., loans, creating money, checking accounts, and Federal Reserve System).
10. Distinguish between short-term and long-term interest rates and explain their relative significance.
11. Describe the functions of the financial markets.
Public Sector Economics
1. Develop and compare analytical methods of analyzing government, including public interest model, public choice model, and welfare economics.
2. Describe various revenue mechanisms used by governments.
3. Identify the major sources of revenue and major classes of expenditure at the federal, state, and local levels.
4. Discuss the causes of a rise in government spending.
5. Analyze how self-interest in the political process affects policy outcomes.
6. Explain the concepts of “public goods” and “externalities.”
7. Analyze individual demand for public goods.
8. Analyze individual demand for public goods.
9. Explain the effects of social insurance–social security and health care.
10. Explain the economic effects of deficit spending and unbalanced budgets.
11. Explain what types of goods and services government should provide and under what conditions and level they should be provided.
12. Describe and analyze public sector failures.


PBL Program of Study


States may submit up to 2 entries.
Competitors must be registered for NLC and pay registration fee.
Competitors must pay dues by 11:59 p.m. Eastern on April 15.


The top fifteen (15) scoring individuals/teams advance to the final round.


Test: 1 hour
Prep: 20 min
Equipment Setup: N/A
Performance: 7 min
Warning: 6 min
Time Up: 7 min
Penalty Over Time: N/A
Q & A: N/A