why do we need to learn economics
Why do we need economists and the study of economics? A question or a challenge? From a personal perspective, the study of economics has provided me with a systematic framework for analyzing, researching, writing, and teaching about a wide array financial and regional economic issues. Economics has provided me with a methodology for understanding and making sense of our complex environment. As a Federal Reserve economist, one of my responsibilities is to share that knowledge through publications, presentations, and Web-based products, so that it may be beneficial to others. However, enough from Dr. Econ. Let's defer to Professors Paul A. Samuelson and William D. Nordhaus, who define economics as follows in the 1998 edition of their well-known text,
Economics Economics is the study of how societies use scarce resources to produce valuable commodities and distribute them among different people. Behind this definition are two key ideas in economics: that goods are scarce and that society must use its resources efficiently. Indeed, economics is an important subject because of the fact of scarcity and the desire for efficiency. Samuelson and Nordhaus also provide some insights into the role of economists in Chapter 1 of their book. They declare that, Throughout the world economists are laboring to collect data and improve our understanding of economic trends. Moreover, as they note, economists are studying and trying to explain a wide and expanding array of activities, ranging from international trade to unemployment and inflation, from investing retirement funds to controlling pollution.
Economic analysis, both theoretical and empirical, can generate important insights into individual and aggregate behavior and relationships, and help in society's efforts to use scarce resources in a more efficient manner. Samuelson and Nordhaus also have an answer to the second part of your question about the need for economists, when they write: You might well ask, What is the purpose of this army of economists measuring, analyzing, and calculating? The ultimate goal of economic science is to improve the living conditions of people in their everyday lives. Increasing the gross domestic product is not just a numbers game. Higher incomes mean good food, warm houses, and hot water. They mean safe drinking water and inoculations against the perennial plagues of humanity. Thanks for asking! References Samuelson, Paul A. , and William D. Nordhaus. 1998. Economics. Boston, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. , Chapter 1, pages 3-7. Baumol, William J. , and Alan S. Blinder. 1988. Economics: Policy and Principle. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc. , Chapter 1. , FederalReserveEducation. org, 2003 There are many reasons to study economics- from the huge range of skills you will gain, to the exciting types of employment you will be geared for.
For example, our careers cloud identifies the most popular careers you can pursue with an economics degree. You can also look at our on the types of skills an economics degree will give you. It is worth noting that salaries for economics graduates are among the highest of any discipline. Different research tends to find different starting salary values but it emerges that economics graduates are comparatively very well paid. The Institute for Fiscal Studies found that economics is the second most lucrative degree subject after using anonymised tax data and student loan records for 260,000 students up to ten years after graduation. It is estimated that around 12% of male economics graduates earned above бе100,000 some ten years after graduation; by contrast, 6% of those studying medicine or law earned more than бе100,000. In terms of females, it is estimated that around 9% of economics graduates earned above бе100,000 some ten years after graduation; by contrast, just 1% of those studying medicine and 3% of those studying law did so (Institute for Fiscal Studies). It is good to remember that, as Professor Karen Mumford at the University of York put it, БEconomics has a very broad application base : economics graduates can easily find jobs in the civil service, the City, industry or educationБif you want to make a difference you can. If you donБt want to make a difference, at least you can make a lot of moneyБ.
James McCullagh, runner-up in the 2011 Young Apprentice series on the BBC, has written a short piece on why students should study economics. For me, economics is about the world around us; itБs current; itБs always changing; itБs always interesting. ItБs the subject that allows you study TescoБs and ASDAБs methods of competition one day, and learn about the environment and pollution permits the next. ItБs about the modern world; itБs about how we behave, how businesses behave and how the government behaves. Economics teaches how to make well-informed decisions. A large part of the subject is decision making: what should the government do to cut the budget deficit; what should a business do to raise profit margins. It teaches us how to go about making choices, which is vitally important in business. I am of the belief that everyone needs to know what is going on in the world. How can you make decisions like what to do for a career, what to invest your money in or what bank to use, without having some knowledge about the economy? Through studying economics, you develop a financial awareness that is extremely beneficial, no matter what your career aspirations may be. Indeed, economics is a great foundation for many careers. Personally, having a keen interest in business, economics has helped immensely. It shows employers that I am interested in the economy, that I have an understanding of how a business works and that I know how to analyse markets.
The subject looks impressive on your CV as it displays high levels of both analytical and communication skills and many of the large companies I have spoken to after my experience on The Young Apprentice have said just how important economics is in this current climate. I have also spoken to doctors, taxi drivers and hairdressers who have told me how important an understanding of the economy is to their careers. I spent eight weeks taking part in The Young Apprentice 2011. It was during this time that I realised what economics really meant to me. ItБs not just looking at graphs, analysing statistics and predicting growth. ItБs about how you think and it is an invaluable source of knowledge in the business world. In each week of The Apprentice, I used some economics. Whether that was demand and supply when deciding on quantities of produce, or indeed looking into markets and deciding on the price elasticity of demand for specific products, economics was always at the forefront of each business decision. Email: James, 17, is currently studying for A-levels in English, Spanish, Biology and Economics in County Derry, Northern Ireland. He describes economics as his passion and he got the joint highest score in Northern Ireland in the subject at GCSE. Previous: Next:
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