Textbooks often describe Economics as the study of the allocation of scarce resources. But, some modern texts refer to economics as “the science of decision making.” Every person, every organization, every business, and all levels of government have to make decisions about how to use resources. Studying economics, then, helps students to understand how decisions should be made (theory) and are made (practice).
Economics typically attracts students who are highly analytical and who are drawn to the array of questions that the discipline addresses, such as: When do market forces serve us well and when do they fail? What can be done to ward off unemployment and recession? How will globalization affect income distribution in a country and across all countries? How do trade restrictions such as tariffs and quotas affect trade patterns and income in countries? Why do women continue to earn less than men? Do high tax rates deter work effort? What are the costs and the benefits of attempting to stop global warming?
In our programs, you will learn to frame the questions, examine data and evidence, test your hypotheses, and draw your own conclusions. As you can see in our alumni profiles, studying economics serves as a pathway to a variety of fulfilling positions and careers in the worlds of business, government service, law, research, and teaching. If you have questions about the program or department, please click on the link to email them to me.
H. David Robison, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Economics