What’s the best way to reduce carbon emissions? Is a green economy possible? What should be done about the federal budget deficit? Will graduating seniors ever collect on Social Security? Can government policies reduce unemployment? Is crime an economic problem? Is obesity an economic problem? Why are some countries rich and others poor? Does international trade help or hurt workers in the United States?
Economics provides answers to questions like these by analyzing how societies and markets allocate scarce resources, how incentives shape human behavior and why there are tradeoffs in virtually all public policy options. Majors develop analytical and quantitative skills including modeling and data analysis. They understand macroeconomic relationships that explain economic growth, unemployment and inflation and exchange rate fluctuations. They also study the microeconomics of the public sector, industrial organization, labor and human resources, health, natural resource use, the environment, trade and development.
Our graduates go on to careers in consulting, banking, finance, teaching and government. The major also provides excellent preparation for advanced degrees in Economics, Business, Planning, Medical School and Law. Economics students make particularly good law school applicants (and outperform other majors on the LSAT), likely because both fields emphasize highly analytical thinking.