Did you ever wonder whether you would stop working after winning the lottery; how to bid in an e-Bay auction; why people are reluctant to buy your used car; whether lowering nominal interest rates really stimulates economic activity; whether it is better to lower tax rates or increase government spending; whether fixed exchange rate systems or monetary unions are a good idea?
Economics can help you to find scientific answers to these and many other questions. More generally, economics studies the allocation of scarce resources. At the core of economics are theories of how individuals, firms and other organizations make choices and interact, taking into account constraints on their behaviors. Starting points are introductory courses in microeconomics (ECON 1) and macroeconomics (ECON 2). Roughly speaking, the first three questions fall into the realm of microeconomics, whereas the latter questions belong to the field of macroeconomics.
In addition to ECON 1 and 2, the Department of Economics offers a large set of courses that can deepen your knowledge and understanding of economics. These courses fall into three categories: (i) courses that are intended for non-majors (with numbers below 100) and do not require calculus as prerequisite; (ii) intermediate level courses in microeconomics (ECON 101), macroeconomics (ECON 102), statistics (ECON 103), and econometrics (ECON 104) which require 2 semesters of calculus (MATH 104 and MATH 114 or 115); (iii) advanced courses (numbered 2xx) that require some of the intermediate level courses as prerequisites.
Depending on your level of interest in economics, you can bundle the aforementioned courses and complete the requirements for a minor or a major. The department is offering the following concentrations (Mathematical Economics Major and Economic Policy Minor are available starting academic year 2012/13):