Two of the most concise definitions of economics are as follows: Economics is the study of production, consumption and allocation decisions under conditions of scarcity, or as the author of The Armchair Economist, Steven Landsburg, says, economics boils down to four words, “People respond to incentives.” Everything else is noise.
Economics is usually broken down into two sub-disciplines:
Macroeconomics looks at the performance of the economy as a whole. Many macroeconomic issues appear in the news daily. Economic students study topics such as economic growth; inflation; changes in employment and unemployment, our trade performance with other countries and the relative success or failure of government economic policies and the policies made by the Federal Reserve.
Microeconomics looks at economics at the level of individual consumers, groups of consumers, or firms. The general concern of microeconomics is the efficient allocation of scarce resources between alternative uses. Microeconomics looks at the determination of price through the optimizing behavior of consumers and firms; with consumers seeking to maximize happiness and firms, profit.
Economics not only contributes to a liberal arts education, it is a practical major that enables students to enter fields as diverse as finance, consulting, law, public planning, and business. Economics is a favorite major for those heading to graduate school.
Absolutely. Those students majoring in economics generally need two economics courses (micro and macro), statistics, and math though calculus. It is also helpful to have had accounting, political science, sociology, as well as history and psychology.
Students completing this program will be able to: