Frontpage News 2014 Danish Bankers Ass...

Danish Bankers Association makes new game about family economics

1 October 2014

On 1 October, the Danish Bankers Association introduces a new economic model, ‘Husstandsspillet’, which shows the impact of different changes in economic policies on personal finances. The game is designed for teaching in social studies in Denmark’s upper secondary school.

The political decisions of the Danish Parliament do not only affect the na-tional economy, but to a great extent also the individual’s personal finances. Now, the Danish Bankers Association introduces a new tool with ‘Hustandsspillet’, where pupils can construct their own or their family’s economic position and subsequently analyse the impact of different changes in economic policies.

“For the Danish Bankers Association, it is important that we increase our financial literacy both in relation to society as a whole as well as our per-sonal finances. Therefore, we make these tools available primarily for youth education, but also for everyone else, who want to assess the impact of a political measure,” says Chief Economist of the Danish Bankers Association, Niels Storm Stenbæk, concerning the Association’s incentive for developing and financing the new game.
“For example, if the government considers either raising the earned income tax credit with 1 percentage point or lowering the top-rate tax with 1 percentage point, the pupils are able to carefully calculate which consequences it will have for the household’s own financial position through ‘Husstandsspillet’. At the same time, it is possible to compare the impact on other family types,” explains Niels Storm Stenbæk about the game.
"‘Husstandsspillet’ also gives pupils the opportunity to make their own direct and indirect tax proposals in an interactive way. Thus, pupils can make us of their knowledge within social science in order to produce useful results and answers in addition to the curriculum.

Learning material

An integral part of the game is the learning material, which is prepared by the Danish Bankers Association, and Director of Education and teacher, Lars Høyer Holmqvist, who is also a member of the workgroup behind ‘Hustandsspillet’.
“The themes for the leaning material take its point of departure in the typical themes employed in the economic curriculum in the social studies classes. For example income distribution policy, the influence of fiscal policy for the individual family’s disposable income, the tax’s impact on the financial incentive to take a job, the level of consumption of different family types, and what impact direct and indirect tax policies will have on supply and demand of various consumptions goods,” explains Lars Høyer Holmqvist.

According to Lars Høyer Holmqvist, the game can specifically contribute to covering the following academic objectives in the curriculum for social studies at B- and A-level:
Pupils can:
  • Examine concrete economic priority issues nationally, regionally and globally as well as discuss solutions.
  • Explain and discuss the implications of political- and market control.
This with point of departure in the following core substance from the curriculum:
  • Welfare principles, including state, market and civil society.
  • Macroeconomic connections, multiplier effect, goal conflicts and control nationally, regionally and globally.
“Husstandsspillet’ also functions very well as an opportunity for pupils to independently perform calculations related to their studies. The great flexibility and independence incorporated in the game provide each pupil with the opportunity to make calculations, which are in line with their individual assignment formulations,” explains Lars Høyer Holmqvist further.

‘Den økonomiske Portal’

In connection with the introduction of ‘Husstandspillet’, all of the Danish Bankers Association’s economic games, including ‘Vismandsspillet’ (macroeconomic game) - in which pupils can analyse the impact of different changes in economic policies – will be merged in a new portal called ‘Den Økonomiske Portal’ (common portal for the different economic games).

Facts about ‘Husstandsspillet’

‘Husstandsspillet’ is a new economic model, which shows the impact of different changes in economic policies on personal finances. The game is designed for teaching in social studies in the upper secondary school across the country.
The pupils are able to make changes for 7 predefined family types:
  • Single students (with secondary job)
  • Low-paid couple (social and health care help + unskilled worker)
  • Middle class couple, where one is unemployed (one retrieving daily cash benefit + one pedagogue)
  • Middle class couple (one public school teacher + one carpenter)
  • Highly paid couple (one upper secondary school teacher + one civil engineer)
  • Director couple (one lawyer + one head of office)
  • Single middle class (one nurse)
The pupils are able to make different changes in the model in terms of e.g.:
  • Salary
  • Accommodation
  • Car
  • Number of children
  • Wealth, deductible interest
  • Different taxes
  • Personal allowance, Labour Market Contribution
  • National church membership
  • Childcare
  • VAT etc.
The Danish Bankers Association’s ‘Husstandsspillet’ is developed in collaboration with the Economic Council of the Labour Movement and representatives from the teaching profession. @ventures, ‘Det Nationale Videncenter for e-læring’ (Danish national knowledge centre for e-learning) is responsible for design, IT and e-pedagogical guidance.
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