Economics studies how people, individually and collectively, go about the everyday business of making a living. People address this task differently across communities, countries, and regions, and they need increasingly to adapt to changing conditions. The degree programs in Economics seek to help students understand and explain the variety of economic life across communities and nations, and the forces transforming economies over time. Majors in the economics programs are given a solid theoretical and empirical foundation in the discipline to prepare them for graduate study and/or successful professional careers.
Economics provides distinctive ways to analyze problems affecting a diverse range of subjects, whether individuals or families, business firms or policy-makers. It does so by recognizing the role of incentives and knowledge in shaping individual behavior, and examining the nature and origin of economic institutions. The Economics faculty aims at offering our majors what John Maynard Keynes described as "a rare combination of gifts": learning how to contemplate the present and future in light of the past, thinking in the abstract and understanding the concrete, understanding the world of business, finance, work, and government policies from the standpoint of broader social concerns.