Chair: Professor Tara Natarajan
Professor: M. Reza Ramazani
Associate Professors: Patrick M. Walsh
Assistant Professor: Allison Oldham Luedtke
The economics major provides an understanding of economic theory and institutions and prepares the student to apply this knowledge to the analysis of a wide range of economic problems and policies.
Students majoring in economics have a broad range of interests. Some seek training for careers in business or industry; others seek preparation for graduate school in economics, business, or law; some simply have an interest in the social sciences and are particularly intrigued by economic problems. Others hope to use their knowledge of economics to better society through their work in government and non-profit agencies. The economics program is designed to accommodate this diversity.
The major consists of a core of principles of economics, macroeconomic and microeconomic theory, and skills courses in statistics and mathematics. Beyond this, each economics major works closely with a departmental advisor to plan a sequence of economics electives consistent with that student’s interest. All students complete a two-semester Senior Seminar in economics, which enables them to pursue research on topics of their own choice and to discuss their results with peers and their professor in weekly seminar meetings.
Note that students should generally have completed Economics 101 or 103 prior to enrolling in other economics courses.
Students in good standing have an opportunity to apply for internships in economics. These are taken during the junior or senior year. Except in unusual circumstances, internships are not a substitute for a regular elective. The department also encourages students to study abroad.
Economics Learning Outcomes:
An understanding of key Microeconomic concepts, including incentives, opportunity cost, comparative advantage, the role of prices and profits in markets, elasticity, consumer theory, behavioral economics, how competitive and non-competitive markets operate, market failures, labor markets, poverty and income inequality. Students should be able to identify and apply these concepts in the “real world”.
An ability to use standard Microeconomic models to analytically and conceptually analyze questions and make predictions about the responses of individuals, firms, and markets to changing circumstances.
An understanding of key Macroeconomic concepts, including gross domestic product accounting, business cycles, inflation and unemployment, fiscal and monetary policy, productivity and growth, human development, economic inequality, the public debt, and international trade. Students should be able to identify and apply these concepts in the “real world”.
An ability to use standard Macroeconomic models to analytically and conceptually analyze questions and make predictions about the responses of the macro-economy to external shocks and fiscal and monetary policies.
A grasp of the economies of other countries and regions, including an understanding of global trends in long-term economic growth, sustainable development, poverty, and inequality. This understanding should be grounded in their unique historical and institutional settings.
An ability to construct robust arguments, in formal and informal settings, that draw on the theoretical and methodological premises of the discipline of economics. These arguments may include oral, written, and visual communication and may be based on non-traditional as well as traditional models of economics and human behavior.
By the time of graduation, students should be able to identify research questions, conduct their own research projects using procedures ranging from simple descriptive statistics, hypothesis testing to regression techniques, in order to answer their research questions and to be able to present their results, both written and orally, in a timely, evidence based, clear and well organized format.