The faculty at the University of Iowa developed the IEM to be an Internet-based teaching and research tool. It allows students to invest real money ($5.00-$500.00) and to trade in a variety of contracts. You may be familiar with the best-known part of the IEM, the political markets. Here students can trade "shares" of political candidates or parties (the payoff depends on the election results). Students also have the opportunity to trade in contracts whose eventual payoff depends on a future event such as an economic indicator, a company's quarterly earnings, a corporation's stock price returns or a movie's box office receipts.
Since its inception in 1988, over 100 universities throughout the world have enrolled in the IEM (mainly large research-oriented institutions such as Harvard, MIT, Michigan, and Northwestern). Faculty members use the IEM in accounting, finance, macroeconomics, microeconomics, and political science courses across the country. The IEM is used to teach business, economics, and technology concepts in a hands-on interactive environment. While the actual application of the IEM will differ by discipline, there are two common elements that the IEM brings to each class to increase students' economic literacy:
We are eager to have students use the IEM to learn about financial markets, politics, business and technology. We believe this program will increase the awareness of students who use it and it will help them make more informed decisions about the above issues.