Economic literacy

With its economics teaching programme – Iconomix – the SNB aims to promote an understanding of economic matters in Switzerland. Iconomix is aimed at teachers of economics and social studies at Swiss upper secondary schools.

Iconomix has three key focus areas:

Basic principles

One part of the Iconomix units conveys relatively clear and broadly applicable principles and concepts. They are helpful in understanding many economic situations, from everyday decisions any person is faced with to understanding key macroeconomic contexts.

You can read the full list about the 17 fundamental principles and concepts that Iconomix regards as important here.

Topical issues and challenges

In addition, Iconomix addresses topical issues and challenges such as digitalisation, population ageing and climate change, with a special focus on their economic components.

For each school year, Iconomix defines one focus topic. For a list of past focus topics, please refer to this page (available in German and French only).

Financial literacy

Another key focus area of Iconomix is basic financial literacy. This includes, among other things, aspects of personal finances such as handling money and using banking services. These are all core skills that young adults need today to be able to hold their own in everyday life and in the workplace.

How does Iconomix define financial education?

Iconomix has a comprehensive understanding of financial education. In addition to acquiring knowledge, it is also about being able to apply it. Financial education thus ultimately plays a key role in achieving financial literacy.

How does Iconomix define financial literacy?

The OECD defines financial literacy as “a combination of financial awareness, knowledge, skill, attitude and behaviour necessary to make sound financial decisions and ultimately achieve individual financial well-being”.

Iconomix follows this definition.

What are real-world examples of financial literacy?
  • Being able to create a monthly budget and stick to it.
  • Understanding concepts such as compound interest, inflation and risk diversification.
  • Being willing to seek information and advice, and having the confidence to do so.
What does Iconomix focus on?

Iconomix has a holistic understanding of financial education. It includes aspects of personal financial literacy such as creating and adhering to a monthly budget, as well as comprehending abstract concepts such as the role of international financial markets or the mechanism of monetary policy.

Not all topics and concepts are equally relevant for all students. Certain aspects of personal financial literacy are however fundamental. That is why Iconomix is focusing on them here.

Content guidelines

The content of Iconomix units is developed on the basis of up-to-date, academically proven facts. It is aligned with clear values and the current school of thought in economics.

Iconomix is open to new trends and findings, including them in the framework of its core product, the teaching units, and in the News section, where the latest updates on economics and education are published. They are also presented in the Tools & Links section, where external resources on economical topics are made available.