Why Should I Study Economics?

Understanding the Discipline of Economics

  • Why are some countries rich and some countries poor? 

  • Why do women earn less than men?

  • How can data help us understand the world?

  • Why do we ignore information that could help us make better decisions?

  • What causes recessions?

Economics can help us answer these questions. Explore these short articles which illustrate what economics is and how it connects to our everyday lives.

Economics can be defined in a few different ways. It’s the study of scarcity, the study of how people use resources and respond to incentives, or the study of decision-making. It often involves topics like wealth and finance, but it’s not all about money. Economics is a broad discipline that helps us understand historical trends, interpret today’s headlines, and make predictions about the coming years.

Economics ranges from the very small to the very large. The study of individual decisions is called microeconomics. The study of the economy as a whole is called macroeconomics. A microeconomist might focus on families’ medical debt, whereas a macroeconomist might focus on sovereign debt.

What do economists do?

Economists have all kinds of jobs, such as professors, government advisors, consultants, and private sector employees. Using theoretical models or empirical data, they evaluate programs, study human behavior, and explain social phenomena. And, their contributions inform everything from public policy to household decisions.

Economics intersects many disciplines. Its applications include healthgender, the environmenteducation, and immigration. You can check out the field’s classification system (called JEL codes) for more topics that economists study.

Careers for Economics Majors

Why should I care about economics?

Economics affects everyone’s lives. Learning about economic concepts can help you to understand the news, make financial decisions, shape public policy, and see the world in a new way.

If you are a student, you might be wondering about how much economists earn or how to apply to graduate school in economics. Explore these resources on everything from learning more about economics to preparing for a career in economics. For students interested in economics, explore more about economics at the American Economic Association web page. Browse resources pages to learn more, and follow current economics topics on Facebook (AEAjournals) and Twitter (@AEAjournals).

Much more than finance, banking, business and government, a degree in economics is useful to all individuals and can lead to many interesting career choices. In the video, below, learn how four diverse individuals offer their insights on how a background in economics can be a tool for solving very human problems.

Source:  American Economics Society