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Economics Concentration – Explained

Cite this article as: Jason Mance Gordon, "Economics Concentration – Explained," in The Business Professor, updated December 5, 2019, last accessed April 8, 2020, https://thebusinessprofessor.com/knowledge-base/economics-concentration/.

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Economics is common in most business goals. Economics itself, however, is far broader than just business practice. Economics is the study of cause and effect. It identifies and measures the factors that influence or produce a result in a given context. While many economists work in business fields, many economists work in fields only tangentially related to business, such as politics, agriculture, sociology, etc. Business economists generally seek two apply complex business research methods two a given situation or area of interest two business. For example, many economists study and make projections about the fiscal economy. This can be done at the national or international levels. Other economists may study securities markets and make projections regarding company performance or stock price variations across industries or sectors. Still, other economists may specialize in fields such as labor economics.

In the business field, economists often study how finite resources can be allocated to produce a given level of output. They conduct research by collecting and analyzing data, recognize trends, and develop forecasts based upon their findings. You can think of economics as a field that solves problems related to available resources and desired output. This analytical mindset can be very useful in many business career fields, such as analysts, consultants, and strategists.

Common Economics Courses

  • Principles of Microeconomics – This is an introductory undergraduate course that teaches the fundamentals of microeconomics. This course introduces microeconomic concepts and analysis, supply and demand analysis, theories of the firm and individual behavior, competition and monopoly, and welfare economics.
  • Principles of Macroeconomics – Macroeconomics focuses on changes in the price level across all markets. Microeconomics studies firm profit maximization, output optimization, consumer utility maximization, and consumption optimization. Macroeconomics studies economic growth, price stability, and full employment.
  • Intermediate Microeconomic Theory – Intermediate Microeconomics is a core economic theory course that will further a student’s ability to apply models to explain economic decision-making by individuals and firms, how markets allocate resources, how the structure of markets affects choices and social welfare, and the ways that government intervention can improve or impair the functioning of markets. The student will be given the opportunity to apply these models to describe real world current events.
  • Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory – This course is a survey of modern macroeconomics at a fairly advanced level. Topics include neoclassical and new& growth theory, consumption and saving behavior, investment, and unemployment. It also includes use of the dynamic programming techniques. Assignments include problem sets and written discussions of macroeconomic events. This course is recommended for students planning to apply to graduate school in economics.
  • Econometrics – Introduction to econometric models and techniques, simultaneous equations, program evaluation, emphasizing regression. Advanced topics include instrumental variables, panel data methods, measurement error, and limited dependent variable models. May not count toward HASS requirement.
  • Experimental Economics – Experimental economics is a branch of economics that studies human behavior in a controlled laboratory setting or out in the field, rather than just as mathematical models.
  • Labor Economics – This course aims to acquaint students with traditional and contemporary topics in labor economics and to encourage the development of independent research interests. The class provides a systematic development of the theory of labor supply, labor demand, and human capital. Topics covered include wage and employment determination, immigration, unemployment, equalizing differences, among many others. There is a particular emphasis on the interaction between theoretical and empirical modeling.
  • Monetary Economics – It examines monetary policy in a closed economy, considering a number of models that allow real effects of monetary policy, ranging from new-Classical to Keynesian. Specific models will be introduced and solved, allowing students to see exactly how these models work and what differentiates one from another. It then studies Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium Models which brings together insights from Real Business Cycle Models and Keynesian macroeconomics. Finally, it studies uncertainty in monetary economics that is pervasive in macroeconomic modeling and takes the form of data, parameter and model uncertainty and introduces students to the concept of robust monetary policy design.

• Public Sector Economics – Public Sector Economics examines the impacts of government revenue, expenditure, and investment decisions. Areas of emphasis include tax policy, education, transportation, poverty and welfare, delivery of public services, and economic development. Current research areas include public policy related to child care and rural labor market issues, analysis of business and consumption taxation, evaluations of alternative strategies for non-metropolitan development, and the impact of taxes on individual decisions.

• Law and Economics – This course will introduce students to the “law and economics” way of thinking about the legal system.

Game Theory in Economics – This course provides a rigorous treatment of non-cooperative solution concepts in game theory, including rationalizability and Nash, sequential, and stable equilibria. It covers topics such as epistemic foundations, higher order beliefs, bargaining, repeated games, reputation, supermodular games, and global games. It also introduces cooperative solution concepts—Nash bargaining solution, core, Shapley value—and develops corresponding non-cooperative foundations.

Economics Organizations

  • American Economic Association – This is a 100-year-old organization that publishes multiple journals, holds an annual meeting, provides information on careers, professional development training, etc. The majority of the members are academics or Government employees.
  • World Economics Association – This is an international organization founded in 2011 and is comprised of economists and non-economists. It published three academic journals, the “World Social and Economic Review,” “Real World Economics Review” and “Economic Thought.”
  • Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory – This is a diverse society made up largely of non-economists. It puts on an annual conference. It publishes two academic journals, “Economic Theory” and “Economic Theory Bulletin.”
  • National Association for Business Economics – This organization focuses on applied economics – rather than economic theory – and is made up of various types of economist and non-economist. It publishes a regular newsletter, “NABE NewsDigest,” offers professional development courses, career researches, and an academic journal, “Business Economics.”
  • National Economic Association – Founded as “Black Economist Caucus in 1969” the association focuses on providing economics resources to minority communities, such as Latino andAfrican-American. Membership is open to anyone. I provides a newsletter, career resources, networking events, and an academic journal.

Certifications

Common Career Paths

  • Analyst (any field)
  • Economist
  • Consultant
  • Banker (Commercial or Personal)
  • Operations Professional (Project Manager)
  • Statistician

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