In the College of Arts and Sciences .
Economics studies human behavior in many settings. At the household level, economics investigates how a household allocates its income across goods, and how a household chooses how much to work, spend, and save. At the market level, economics investigates consumer decisions (what to buy and how much to spend); decisions firms make about their production methods and levels of output; and how these decisions jointly determine market prices, structure, and performance. At the aggregate level, economics investigates the determinants of growth and fluctuations of national income, the determinants of inflation and unemployment, the nature of trade and financial flows between nations, and how all of these are influenced by government monetary and fiscal policy.
At its heart, however, economics is more than a set of questions, but rather is a mode of thought, a set of precise analytical tools that can be used to study a wide variety of social science problems. Students are introduced to these tools in the core methodology courses of Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, and Econometrics. With these tools in hand, students are then able to study a wide variety of topics including labor-market outcomes, the role of the banking sector, the economics of developing countries, international trade, the role of the public sector and of the political process, economic history, and the study of health and education. In addition, students have the option for advanced methodological study in dynamic optimization, game theory, and econometrics.
L. Blume, chair; R. Smith, labor econ coord.; S. Coate, director of undergraduate studies; Y. Hong, director of graduate studies; J. Abowd; C. Barrett, L. Barseghyan, P. Barwick, K. Basu, M. Battaglini, G. Besharov, F. Blau, G. Boyer, J. Caunedo, J. Cawley, T. Denti, D. Easley, R. Ehrenberg, L. Falkson, G. Fields, K. Hallock, G. Hay, J.F. Houde, C. Huckfeldt, R. Hutchens, G. Jakubson, R. Jarrow, L. Kahn, R. Kanbur, G. Karolyi, D. Kenkel, N. Kiefer, C. Lim, T. Lyons, D. McKee, T. Mitra, F. Molinari, K. Nimark, T. O’Donoghue, M. O’Hara, E. Patacchini, E. Prasad, E. Riehl, B. Salcedo, K. Shell, J. Stoye, M. Taschereau-Dumouchel, M. Thomas, S. Thomas, M. Troshkin, L. Vilhuber, J. Wissink. Emeritus: R. Arsonson, T. E. Davis, M. Majumdar, R. Masson, P. D. McClelland, R. E. Schuler, E. Thorbecke, J. Vanek, H. Y. Wan, Jr.