Economics Essay Examples

Barbara P

Ace Your Essay With Our Economics Essay Examples

Published on: Jun 6, 2023

Last updated on: Jan 31, 2024

economics essay examples

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Are you struggling to understand economics essays and how to write your own?

It can be challenging to grasp the complexities of economic concepts without practical examples.

But don’t worry! 

We’ve got the solution you've been looking for. Explore quality examples that bridge the gap between theory and real-world applications. In addition, get insightful tips for writing economics essays.

So, if you're a student aiming for academic success, this blog is your go-to resource for mastering economics essays.

Let’s dive in and get started!

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What is an Economics Essay?

An economics essay is a written piece that explores economic theories, concepts, and their real-world applications. It involves analyzing economic issues, presenting arguments, and providing evidence to support ideas. 

The goal of an economics essay is to demonstrate an understanding of economic principles and the ability to critically evaluate economic topics.

Why Write an Economics Essay?

Writing an economics essay serves multiple purposes:

  • Demonstrate Understanding: Showcasing your comprehension of economic concepts and their practical applications.
  • Develop Critical Thinking: Cultivating analytical skills to evaluate economic issues from different perspectives.
  • Apply Theory to Real-World Contexts: Bridging the gap between economic theory and real-life scenarios.
  • Enhance Research and Analysis Skills: Improving abilities to gather and interpret economic data.
  • Prepare for Academic and Professional Pursuits: Building a foundation for success in future economics-related endeavors.

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If you’re wondering, ‘how do I write an economics essay?’, consulting an example essay might be a good option for you. Here are some economics essay examples:

Short Essay About Economics

A Level Economics Essay Examples

Here is an essay on economics a level structure:

Band 6 Economics Essay Examples

Here are some downloadable economics essays:

Economics essay pdf

Economics essay introduction

Economics Extended Essay Examples

In an economics extended essay, students have the opportunity to delve into a specific economic topic of interest. They are required to conduct an in-depth analysis of this topic and compile a lengthy essay. 

Here are some potential economics extended essay question examples:

  • How does foreign direct investment impact economic growth in developing countries?
  • What are the factors influencing consumer behavior and their effects on market demand for sustainable products?
  • To what extent does government intervention in the form of minimum wage policies affect employment levels and income inequality?
  • What are the economic consequences of implementing a carbon tax to combat climate change?
  • How does globalization influence income distribution and the wage gap in developed economies?

IB Economics Extended Essay Examples 

IB Economics Extended Essay Examples

Economics Extended Essay Topic Examples

Extended Essay Research Question Examples Economics

Tips for Writing an Economics Essay

Writing an economics essay requires specific expertise and skills. So, it's important to have some tips up your sleeve to make sure your essay is of high quality:

  • Start with a Clear Thesis Statement: It defines your essay's focus and argument. This statement should be concise, to the point, and present the crux of your essay.
  • Conduct Research and Gather Data: Collect facts and figures from reliable sources such as academic journals, government reports, and reputable news outlets. Use this data to support your arguments and analysis and compile a literature review.
  • Use Economic Theories and Models: These help you to support your arguments and provide a framework for your analysis. Make sure to clearly explain these theories and models so that the reader can follow your reasoning.
  • Analyze the Micro and Macro Aspects: Consider all angles of the topic. This means examining how the issue affects individuals, businesses, and the economy as a whole.
  • Use Real-World Examples: Practical examples and case studies help to illustrate your points. This can make your arguments more relatable and understandable.
  • Consider the Policy Implications: Take into account the impacts of your analysis. What are the potential solutions to the problem you're examining? How might different policies affect the outcomes you're discussing?
  • Use Graphs and Charts: These help to illustrate your data and analysis. These visual aids can help make your arguments more compelling and easier to understand.
  • Proofread and Edit: Make sure to proofread your essay carefully for grammar and spelling errors. In economics, precision and accuracy are essential, so errors can undermine the credibility of your analysis.

These tips can help make your essay writing journey a breeze. Tailor them to your topic to make sure you end with a well-researched and accurate economics essay.

To wrap it up , writing an economics essay requires a combination of solid research, analytical thinking, and effective communication. 

You can craft a compelling piece of work by taking our examples as a guide and following the tips.

However, if you are still questioning "how do I write an economics essay?", it's time to get professional help from the best essay writing service -

Our economics essay writing service is always ready to help students like you. Our experienced economics essay writers are dedicated to delivering high-quality, custom-written essays that are 100% plagiarism free.

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Barbara P (Literature)

Barbara is a highly educated and qualified author with a Ph.D. in public health from an Ivy League university. She has spent a significant amount of time working in the medical field, conducting a thorough study on a variety of health issues. Her work has been published in several major publications.

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economics college essay

Why I Chose to Study Economics: A Student Shares Her Story

Just before my senior year of high school, I decided on a whim that I wanted to take the AP Economics course that my high school offered. Going into it, I had next to no knowledge about any economic topic.

At the time, my older sister, who was in college, had taken an economics course and told me that she found it interesting. This was definitely a contributing factor to my decision, since my older sister and I have always shared a lot of common interests.

economics college essay

Kaitlyn Hoevelmann took an economics class in high school and never looked back. Now, she enjoys putting her double major in economics and journalism to work at the St. Louis Fed. Learn about our diverse career and internship opportunities.

I felt drawn to the subject, and I was lucky that my school had the resources to offer the class.

Economics immediately became my favorite subject after that. I looked forward to class every day and joined Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) to compete in the economics category. First, I had to take a test for the district level, and the people with the top scores would be sent to the state competition.

I had to take the test only a few months into the semester—we spent all of that time studying macroeconomics, and the test covered both macroeconomics and microeconomics, so I spent hours outside of school reading books and taking practice tests to try and learn as much as I could in a condensed amount of time.

I attribute the beginning of my persistent interest in economics to these moments spent learning on my own late at night or between homework assignments. I ended up placing in the district competition and qualifying for state, where I took another test and placed in the top 10.

I decided sometime during the school year that I wanted to major in economics in college. When I was admitted into the University of Missouri’s (Mizzou) journalism school, I decided to double major in economics and journalism. Since then, I have had a great deal of fun taking different economics courses in school, and I have had many brilliant economics professors to look up to and learn from.

I also have enjoyed my position as a peer learning assistant for an introductory economics course at Mizzou designed for journalism students. In this position, I have held office hours for students to come to me for help, graded assignments and hosted review sessions.

I find the subject complex and challenging, and it is my personal mission to understand as much as I can and constantly learn more. It feels like each question and topic I face is a puzzle that needs to be solved, and I enjoy putting the pieces together.

Another experience that led me to study economics—and to the St. Louis Fed in particular—is when I went there on a field trip with my AP Economics class. We visited the Economy Museum and heard from an economist.

Based on the beautiful lobby, the friendly atmosphere and the great work that is done here, I knew the first step in my career would be getting accepted into the summer internship program at the Fed . I reached this goal in 2019, the summer after my sophomore year at Mizzou.

I’d like to someday dedicate my career to making economics more understandable and accessible to people, since it’s incredibly important in everyday life to understand the economy and the way it works.

More to Explore

Editor’s note: Kaitlyn has written about a range of economics topics. Check out her work:

  • What’s a Countercyclical Capital Buffer?
  • The Economic Costs of the Opioid Epidemic
  • How Payday Loans Work

Plus, listen to our Women in Economics podcast to hear real stories about prominent professionals making their marks in the field of economics.

Kaitlyn Hoevelmann

Kaitlyn Hoevelmann was a Public Affairs writer at the St. Louis Fed.

Related Topics

This blog explains everyday economics, consumer topics and the Fed. It also spotlights the people and programs that make the St. Louis Fed central to America’s economy. Views expressed are not necessarily those of the St. Louis Fed or Federal Reserve System.

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Economics Essay Topics: 162 Practical Ideas & Useful Tips

economics college essay

Essay writing is an inherent part of the economics studying process. Nevertheless, it is quite a challenging task. Are you a high school or college student who is struggling with an economic essay topic choice? Or maybe you are unsure about your writing skills?

We know how to help you .

The following article will guide you in choosing the best topic for your essay on economics. Here, you can find a variety of ideas for high school or college. The economic essay topics are divided into several categories that will help you with your research. And a pleasant bonus from our team! We have created a great guide on how to write an economics essay.

So, don’t miss your chance to write an outstanding economic paper! Check out our essay ideas, read our tips carefully, and be ready to receive your grade A!

  • ⭐ Best Economic Topics
  • 🤝 Socio-Economic
  • 🗺️ International Economics
  • 🛠️ Labor Economics
  • 🌆 Urban Economics
  • ⚽ Sports Economics
  • 💉 Health Economics
  • 💼 Business Economics
  • 🏤 Globalization
  • 🧮 Economic History
  • 💫 How to Write?

⭐ 15 Best Economic Essay Topics

  • 2008 Economic Crisis.
  • Socio-economic policy.
  • Economic systems – Singapore.
  • Racial pay gap.
  • Economic globalization.
  • History of online trading.
  • Child labor policies.
  • The Economic Naturalist.
  • Foundations of economic theory.
  • Impact of unemployment.
  • Universal Basic Income.
  • The role of consumerism.
  • Healthcare economics – Canada’s Medicare.
  • Reasons for recession.
  • Cryptocurrency & environmental issues.

✨ Excellent Economic Essay Topics

Has economics always been a subject of meticulous research? The question is quite controversial, right? There is no specific time when economics started its rapid progress. Generally, economics remains the topic of interest since the establishment of capitalism in the Western world.

Nowadays, the economy is the main engine that moves our world forward. The way we do business determines the geopolitical situation in the world. Moreover, it influences many other parts of our lives.

The skills developed through studying economics are incredibly versatile.

Economics studying is of utmost importance nowadays. It helps to gain a better understanding of processes that put everything in motion.

Economics is quite broad, so it has a great variety of subfields. And this is a fantastic opportunity for us to generate as many essay ideas as possible. Here, you will find great economic topics for your paper. As mentioned before, we have divided them into several sections to ease your selection process. There’s a wide selection of free college essays samples on economics in our database, too. So be sure to check that out.

🤝 Socio-Economic Essay Topics

  • The economic impact of racial segregation in America in the 1950s.
  • Designing a just socio-economic system.
  • Socio-economic status of Hong Kong in modern-day China. Explain how the city of Hong Kong gained a special status in China. Why did it emerge as one of the most important cities in its economy? Comment on the significance of Hong Kong in the international economic arena.
  • Economic growth in the United States in the post-World War 2 period.
  • Mobile banking in Saudi Arabia: towards understanding the factors that affect the sector.
  • The importance of Dior’s bar suit to the women’s fashion industry.
  • Economic problems in the 1980’s Soviet Union. Talk about the significant problems with the economy the USSR had in the 1980s. What role did they play in its collapse?
  • What socio-economic problems did segregation in South Africa cause?
  • History of economic development in the UAE. Discuss the economic miracle in the UAE and Dubai. Explain how the government could turn the city of Dubai into one of the most famous tourist destinations. What strategies were applied?
  • Gender inequality and socio-economic development .
  • The problem of poverty in Venezuela.
  • How the socio-economic and political position of women changed between 1880 and 1940.
  • The economic impact of COVID-19 on global trade.

World trade is expected to fall due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

  • How do the three main economic groups interact with each other? There are three critical economic groups: – Consumers – Producers – Government Analyze the interaction of these groups with each other.
  • Extended essay: how the study of economic data helped our society to advance?
  • Western industrialization socio-economic impacts.
  • Inequality at the top: not all billionaires have the same powers. Analyze billionaires’ net worth, liquidity, political power, and wealth security. Explain why they have unequal social status. What factors determine the influence of billionaires?
  • An analysis of systems that help us measure agricultural development in a country.
  • Is social media a useful tool for brand promotion?
  • The phenomenon of dualism in economic development.

🗺️ International Economics Essay Topics

  • Globalization and its impact on international economic relations. Define the term globalization. What role does globalization play in international economic relations? Provide specific examples of globalization’s impact on the global political economy.
  • The lack of justice for the cheap international labor market. Discuss the issue of cheap labor in various countries. Why do some workers often lack fundamental human rights while others abuse moral norms? Analyze the causes and effects of inequality in the workplace.
  • Japan macroeconomics: problems and possible solutions.
  • The issue of mercantilism in the history of Great Britain. Analyze the rise and development of mercantilism in the history of Great Britain. To solidify your ideas, provide persuasive arguments, and appropriate examples of mercantilism.
  • Why does the problem of environmental protection remain unresolved among global economies?
  • Nissan Motor company’s international business.
  • International environmental concerns in economics: the case of China .
  • The issue of international criminal justice in industry. Explain why international businesses often avoid criminal justice after wrongdoings. Select one case of unethical behavior of a company’s CEO or regular employee. Briefly introduce the problem. What were the causes and effects? How was the issue resolved? Express your own opinion regarding the lack of criminal justice in business.
  • The economy of Singapore and its role in international trade.
  • International microeconomics trade dispute case study: US-China dispute on the exportation of raw materials.
  • The phenomenon of the “gig economy” and its impact on the global economy.
  • The effect of population growth in the international economy.
  • International economics in the context of globalization.

Technological and political changes have chipped away at the barriers separating nations.

  • How does Brexit affect the economy of the European Union? Analyze the immediate impact of Brexit on the EU’s economy. Predict future advantages and disadvantages of Brexit for both: Great Britain and the EU.
  • South Africa: international agribusiness, trade, and financing.
  • Historical essay: the economy of the Dutch East India company.
  • The issue of Mozambique’s economy and possible solutions. Investigate the issue of extreme poverty in Mozambique. What are some possible solutions to the problem of poverty? Base your suggestions on the country’s cultural, historical, and geographical aspects.
  • Imbalances in the global economy. Discuss the imbalances between trading countries on the scale of the global economy. What solutions would you suggest to deal with this issue?
  • How will global economies adapt to China’s growing power?
  • Etihad Airways company managerial economics.

🛠️ Labor Economics Essay Topics

  • Ford Motor company’s labor economics.
  • Labor economics: child labor.
  • The UPS firm perspective: the labor market.
  • Gender inequality of wage rate in modern business. Research how and why gender inequality is still an issue in the modern world of economics. What are some ways to deal with the problem? Present your ideas accurately and effectively. Provide solid arguments and appropriate examples to prove your position.
  • What are the best ways to increase labor productivity in business?
  • Labor unions adverse effects on economics.
  • The decrease of the labor force in modern industries. Talk about the rising rates of robotization in the majority of industries. How will it affect the traditional labor force? Comment on the problem of unemployment caused by labor automatization.
  • Violations of labor rights of workers.
  • Modern labor essay: how can an entrepreneur guarantee the minimum wage to their workers?
  • How can labor geography help develop a special economic zone? Talk about labor geography and its effects on developing an exclusive economic zone. How does the geopolitical location of a particular country influence its level of economic development?
  • Entrepreneurship in the organic cosmetics sphere.
  • Gender-oriented labor trade unions. A case study. Discuss the gender-oriented trade unions and analyze their impact on our society.
  • Child labor in the Turkish cotton industry.

The Syrian refugee crisis increased the risks of child labor in Turkey.

  • The connection between economic growth and demography. Analyze the connection between economic growth and its demographic context. Investigate both sides: – The issue of overpopulation – The problem of low birth rate. From an economic perspective, what problem is more dangerous?
  • The issue of sex discrimination in the workplace.
  • The effects of Landrum-Griffin Labor Act. Explore the labor Act of Landrum-Griffin that was passed in the US Congress in 1959. Discuss its implications and consequences. Discuss its implications and consequences.

🌆 Urban Economics Essay Topics

  • Cities and their role in aggregate economics.
  • Urbanization in Hong Kong and its effects on citizens.
  • The urban planning of the city of New York: a critical analysis. Analyze the urban history of NY. How has the city been developing? Discuss revolutionary solutions to the past and problems of modern times.
  • The impact of a city’s design on the local traffic.
  • Dubai’s spatial planning: creative solutions for building a city in the desert.
  • Globalization, urban political economy, and economic restructuring.
  • How do urban areas affect local wildlife? Comment on how modern production technologies in urban areas impact the natural diversity of wildlife. What impact does the rapid economic progress have on the environment? Suggest possible solutions.
  • Urban sociology: does the city make us better people?
  • Why should people be more careful about investing in real estate? Discuss the issues of overinvestment into real estate. Consider the economic crisis of 2008 as an example.
  • How can regional authorities help improve a city?
  • Urban life and its effects on education.
  • The economic development of a city’s metropolitan area: challenges and solutions.
  • Main factors for the emergence of cities in the Middle Ages.
  • The ethics of relocation: is it justified? Talk about the case of relocating locals when building projects of great magnitude. To what extent can it be justified? Mention its economic and ethical side.
  • The difficulties behind the construction of “green” buildings. Discuss the relatively new phenomenon of environmentally friendly buildings. Analyze both sides: the pros and cons. What obstacles lie behind the “green” building? What opportunities do the “green” buildings offer? Elaborate on your ideas by providing clear arguments or counterarguments.
  • What factors play a critical role in the success of retail productivity in cities?

⚽ Sports Economics Essay Topics

  • Do teams with higher budgets perform better on the field?
  • Corruption in European football leagues: a critical analysis. Investigate the corruption issue in the European football leagues. State reasons and solutions for the problem.
  • The managerial catastrophe of Arsenal F.C.

Discuss the football club of Arsenal.

  • The NextG sports company’s communication planning.
  • Roger D. Blair’s Sports Economics literary review. Write a literary analysis of Sports Economics by Roger D. Blair. Discuss his opinion on the economy of sports. Do you agree or disagree with his position? Provide compelling supportive arguments or strong counterarguments.
  • How significant is the impact factor of a local team on a city’s economy?
  • Kinsmen Sports Centre: marketing metrics innovation.
  • What role does statistical data play in sports? Analyze the part of economic statistical data in different sports organizations. How can statistics help to develop an effective financing plan? Comment on the impact of financing on the performance of a sports club.
  • Sports and energy drinks marketing analysis.
  • Is there a connection between the lack of money and any contemporary issues in a sports team?
  • Performance-enhancing drugs in sports.
  • The business of FIFA: a financial analysis. Investigate the finances of FIFA. What economic factors make them so influential in the modern world of football?
  • The global sports retail industry.
  • The Olympics: logistics and economy. Discuss the logistics behind the Olympics Games event. How the Olympic Games impact the economy of the host country?

💉 Health Economics Essay Topics

  • Is bioprinting the new future of medicine? Analyze the new market of organ printing and discuss its challenges. Investigate bioprinting from an economic perspective. Will the outputs cover the inputs? How will bioprinting impact the financial aspect of the health care sector?
  • Cost-effectiveness of pharmaceutical products in the United States. Comment on the immense cost-effectiveness of pharmaceuticals. What do you think is the price of pharmaceutical products reasonable? Is it ethical to set extremely high prices on the medicals?
  • An economic evaluation of the antibiotics market.
  • Health economics-SIC and NAICS.
  • The financial side of cancer treatment: is it too expensive? Analyze the market for cancer treatment programs in various countries. Explore its costs and complications. What are some possible ways to reduce the price of cancer treatment and make it more affordable?
  • The issue of fast food consumption: a multibillion-dollar market . Fast food has always been one of the notable causes of obesity, diabetes, and other illnesses. Investigate the economic aspect of the issue. Are high profits from fast food production worth peoples’ health conditions?
  • History and evolution of healthcare economics.

Health has become a dominant economic and political issue over the past years.

  • The financial management of a hospital: a case study.
  • The issue of public healthcare in the USA. Write about the long-standing issue of medical sector operation in the USA. Analyze its history, financial, and social aspects.
  • Demand in healthcare economics.
  • What are the economic outcomes of a global pandemic? Taking the COVID-19 outbreak as an example, conduct research on the effects of a pandemic on the economy. How does it affect local economies? What impact does the quarantine have on the international economy? Provide appropriate examples to support your ideas.

💼 Business Economics Essay Topics

  • When does an advertising campaign become unnecessary?
  • Sustainable development of a nation’s economic stability. Discuss how a country can create a sustainable economy. Provide bright examples to solidify your position.
  • How can a small business compete with monopolies?
  • What are the limitations of the Lewis Model?
  • The phenomenon of inflation: inevitable liability or a land of opportunity for our economies? Explore the process of inflation in modern economies. Does it only have adverse effects on the countries’ economies? Are there any advantages of inflation? Analyze it from a positive perspective.
  • Economics, business, and sugar in the UK.
  • The shadow economy of the finance sector. Dive into the backstage of the finance sector and research various “grey” areas where business can be done.
  • Chinese and Japanese business systems comparison.
  • Oil demand and its changes in the XXI century: a critical analysis. Analyze the oil sector and write about its fluctuation in the XXI century. How did the changes in oil demand affect the global economy?
  • The social and economic impact of mass emigration.

🌠 40 More Good Economic Essay Topics

Scrolled through our ideas, but can’t find a suitable topic for yourself? No worries! We have more issues to share with you.

So, don’t stress out. Take a look at our list of economical essay topics. Here are 40 more ideas focusing on globalization and the history of economics.

🏤 Economic Globalization Essay Topics

  • The impact of globalization on the tourist industry in the Caribbean . Analyze both: the positive and negative effects of globalization on the Caribbean. To make your paper well-structured, explore two advantages and two disadvantages. Don’t forget to improve your essay with strong evidence and appropriate examples!
  • Toyota Motor Corporation: impacts of globalization.
  • What are the effects of globalization on developing countries? To what extent do developing countries profit from globalization? Research the subject by comparing various examples.
  • Defining globalization and its effects on current trade.
  • Economic growth as a result of globalization: proper financial strategies. How can a country successfully achieve prosperity with globalization? Discuss proper economic strategies.
  • The socio-political significance of the IT industry’s globalization.
  • Human trafficking in developing nations as a result of globalization.

Modern-day trafficking of humans has become more rewarding for traffickers due to globalization.

  • Globalization and criminal justice policy.
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of globalization?
  • Globalization challenges and countermeasures.
  • The effect of globalization on worldwide trade and employment rates.
  • Economic integration within the European Union: a critical analysis. Talk about the history of economic integration within the EU. What are the negative and positive outcomes of economic integration?
  • Globalization and food in Japan.
  • Does globalization bring negative effects to cultural heritage and identity?
  • The Industrial Revolution as the first step towards globalization. Focus on the Industrial Revolution in Europe. Discuss its precursors and consequences. Why is the revolution considered to be a starting point of globalization? Provide specific examples of globalization processes that occurred in the economic sector after the Industrial revolution.
  • Globalization 2.0 an analysis of a book by David Rieff.
  • Globalization effects on fundamentalism growth.
  • Does direct investment by foreign businesses come with strings attached? Dive into the shady area of globalization and discuss how to direct foreign investment can bring problems of geopolitical scale.
  • Effects of globalization on sexuality.
  • Alibaba’s globalization strategy: an economic analysis.

🧮 Economic History Essay Topics

  • The rapid economic growth of Europe during the Age of Discovery. Analyze the factors that brought economic growth to Europe during the Age of Discovery. What factors contributed to the dynamic economic progress of that time?
  • Brazil’s economic history.
  • History of capitalism: from the Renaissance to the United States of America. Discuss the origins of capitalism and its centuries-long path towards XXth century America. How the establishment of capitalism impacted the economy of the USA?
  • Max Weber: economic history, the theory of bureaucracy, and politics as a vocation.
  • 2008 Economic Crisis: origins and fallout. Talk about the 2008 Financial Crisis. Discuss its causes and outcomes. What should have been done differently to avoid the global crisis? Comment on the economic strategies countries used to recover from it.
  • The economic marvel of Communist China: from rags to riches.
  • What made world economic growth of the Renaissance possible?

Renaissance Europe had a very diverse economy.

  • The economic history of Canada: how did the settlers facilitate economic growth?
  • What did the major powers of the XIXth century base their economies on?
  • The Rothschilds: political and financial role in the Industrial Revolution. Research the dynasty of Rothschilds and how they came to power. What was their role in Europe’s Industrial Revolution?
  • The link between the “oil curse” and the economic history of Latin America.
  • Roman Empire’s monetary policy: a socio-economic analysis.
  • How did the demand for different goods change their value in the 2000s years? Analyze the demand for goods in the 2000s years and their change in value. Why do these fluctuations in demand for products and services occur?
  • The history of economic thought.
  • Soviet Union’s economic timeline: from the new Economic Policy to Reformation. Discuss the economic issues of the Soviet Union from the historical perspective. Why did the Soviet Union collapse? What improvements in the financial sector should have been done?
  • History of France economics over the past 20 years.
  • The history of economic analysis.
  • The concept of serfdom and slavery as the main economic engine of the past. Dive into the idea of feudalism and serfdom. Discuss its social and economic aspects.
  • The World Bank’s structure, history, activities.
  • The history of Islamic banking: concepts and ideas.

💫 How to Write an Economics Essay?

Generally, essay writing on economics has the same structure as any other essay. However, there are some distinctive features of economic papers. Thus, it is essential to figure them out from the very beginning of your work.

You might be wondering what those aspects of the economic paper are. Well, we have an answer.

An economic essay usually relies on the common essay structure.

Below, you will find a detailed plan that explains the fundamental concepts of the essay writing process. So, don’t hesitate to use our tips! They are indeed helpful.

Pick a topic and dissect it. Picking the right topic is the very basis of writing a successful essay. Think of something that you will be interested in and make sure you understand the issue clearly. Also, don’t forget to check our ultimate economics essay topics and samples list!

Research it. After selecting the right idea from our economical essay topics, research your subject thoroughly. Try to find every fascinating and intriguing detail about it. Remember that you can always ask your fellow students, friends, or a teacher for help.

Come up with a thesis statement. A thesis statement is an essential element of your essay. It will determine your focus and guide the readers throughout your paper. Make your thesis secure and try to catch the reader’s attention using context and word choice.

Outline your essay. Never underestimate the power of a well-structured outline! Creating an essay outline can significantly help you to determine your general plan. Evaluate which economic framework you will be using to address the issue. State the main points of your thesis and antithesis. Make sure that they answer the central question of your work.

Write your introduction. First and foremost, a practical introduction should capture the readers’ attention and state the essay’s key topic. So, put enough effort to develop an outstanding introduction. It will create the first impression of your paper.

Moreover, an introduction should include a thesis statement. As we have mentioned above, a thesis plays a crucial role. Thus, make sure it is clearly stated.

Another significant feature of the introduction is its coherence with the body of your essay. Consequently, the introductory paragraph’s last statement has to present the subject of the next section, generically. Also, keep in mind that no more than three key points can be discussed in a paper, even if it is an extended essay.

Thoroughly work on the body paragraphs. Usually, the body of the essay contains several paragraphs. The number of these paragraphs will depend on the nature of your question. Be sure to create one section for every critical point that you make. This will make your paper properly-structured, and the reader will quickly get your ideas. For your convenience, we created a plan to develop your ideas in each paragraph, So, use it and make your writing process easier!

  • Argument. Present your argument in the topic sentence of the paragraph in a way that directly answers the question. A hint: the most effective way to introduce the critical point is to place the topic sentence at the beginning of the paragraph. This will help the readers to concentrate their attention on a specific idea.
  • Comment and discussion. Explain the meaning of your argument and provide an economic analysis. Present clear evidence and persuasive arguments to solidify your position.
  • Connection. Link your comments with the vital point of the paragraph. Demonstrate the coherence of your evidence with the point.
  • Diagrams, tables, charts. If necessary, provide the reader with visual aids. Sometimes, an appropriate diagram or a suitable chart can say more than words. Besides, your paper will look more professional if you use any kind of visual aids.

Conclude your essay. In your conclusion, summarize and synthesize your work by restating your thesis. Also, it is crucial to strengthen it by mentioning the practical value of your findings. Remember to make your essay readable by choosing appropriate wording and avoiding too complex grammar constructions.

Create a reference list at the bottom of your economic essay if you referred to sources.

Thank you for visiting our page! Did you enjoy our article and learned something new? We are glad to help you. Don’t forget to leave a comment and share the article with others!

🔗 References

  • High School Economics Topics: Econlib, The Library of Economics and Liberty
  • Guide to Writing an Economics Essay: The Economics Tutor
  • How to Write the Introduction of Your Development Economics Paper: David Evans, Center For Global Development
  • Senior Essay: Department of Economics, Yale University
  • Developing A Thesis: Maxine Rodburg and The Tutors of the Writing Center at Harvard University
  • Academic Essay Writing, Some Guidelines: Department of Economics, Carleton University
  • The Writing Process: Writing Centre Resource Guide, LibGuides at Dalhousie University
  • Research Papers: KU Writing Center, the University of Kansas
  • Unpacking the Topic: University of Southern Queensland
  • Economic Issues: PIIE, Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Areas of Research: EPI, Economic Policy Institute
  • Top 100 Economics Blogs Of 2023: Prateek Agarwal, Intelligent Economist
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  • Hot Topics in the U.S. Economy: The Balance
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Economics Help

Tips for writing economics essays

Some tips for writing economics essays  Includes how to answer the question, including right diagrams and evaluation – primarily designed for A Level students.

1. Understand the question

Make sure you understand the essential point of the question. If appropriate, you could try and rephrase the question into a simpler version.

For example:

Q. Examine the macroeconomic implications of a significant fall in UK House prices, combined with a simultaneous loosening of Monetary Policy.

In plain English.

  • Discuss the effect of falling house prices on the economy
  • Discuss the effect of falling interest rates (loose monetary policy) on economy

In effect, there are two distinct parts to this question. It is a valid response, to deal with each separately, before considering both together.

It helps to keep reminding yourself of the question as you answer. Sometimes candidates start off well, but towards the end forget what the question was. Bear in mind, failure to answer the question can lead to a very low mark.

2. Write in simple sentences

For clarity of thought, it is usually best for students to write short sentences. The main thing is to avoid combining too many ideas into one sentence. If you write in short sentences, it may sound a little stilted; but it is worth remembering that there are no extra marks for a Shakespearian grasp of English. (at least in Economics Exams)

Look at this response to a question:

Q. What is the impact of higher interest rates?

Higher interest rates increase the cost of borrowing. As a result, those with mortgages will have lower disposable income. Also, consumers have less incentive to borrow and spend on credit cards. Therefore consumption will be lower. This fall in consumption will cause a fall in Aggregate Demand and therefore lead to lower economic growth. A fall in AD will also reduce inflation.


I could have combined 1 or 2 sentences together, but here I wanted to show that short sentences can aid clarity of thought. Nothing is wasted in the above example.

Simple sentences help you to focus on one thing at once, which is another important tip.

3. Answer the question

Quite frequently, when marking economic essays, you see a candidate who has a reasonable knowledge of economics, but unfortunately does not answer the question. Therefore, as a result, they can get zero for a question. It may seem harsh, but if you don’t answer the question, the examiner can’t give any marks.

At the end of each paragraph you can ask yourself; how does this paragraph answer the question? If necessary, you can write a one-sentence summary, which directly answers the question. Don’t wait until the end of the essay to realise you have answered a different question.

Discuss the impact of Euro membership on UK fiscal and monetary policy?

Most students will have revised a question on: “The benefits and costs of the Euro. Therefore, as soon as they see the Euro in the title, they put down all their notes on the benefits and costs of the Euro. However, this question is quite specific; it only wishes to know the impact on fiscal and monetary policy.

The “joke” goes, put 10 economists in a room and you will get 11 different answers. Why? you may ask. The nature of economics is that quite often there is no “right” answer. It is important that we always consider other points of view, and discuss various different, potential outcomes. This is what we mean by evaluation.


  • Depends on the state of the economy – full capacity or recession?
  • Time lags – it may take 18 months for interest rates to have an effect
  • Depends on other variables in the economy . Higher investment could be offset by fall in consumer spending.
  • The significance of factors . A fall in exports to the US is only a small proportion of UK AD. However, a recession in Europe is more significant because 50% of UK exports go to EU.
  • Consider the impact on all macroeconomic objectives . For example, higher interest rates may reduce inflation, but what about economic growth, unemployment, current account and balance of payments?
  • Consider both the supply and demand side . For example, expansionary fiscal policy can help to reduce demand-deficient unemployment, however, it will be ineffective in solving demand-side unemployment (e.g. structural unemployment)

Example question :

The effect of raising interest rates will reduce consumer spending.

  • However , if confidence is high, higher interest rates may not actually discourage consumer spending.


If the economy is close to full capacity a rise in interest rates may reduce inflation but not reduce growth. (AD falls from AD1 to AD2)

  • However , if there is already a slowdown in the economy, rising interest rates may cause a recession. (AD3 to AD3)


1. The impact depends on elasticity of demand


In both diagrams, we place the same tax on the good, causing supply to shift to the left.

  • When demand is price inelastic, the tax causes only a small fall in demand.
  • If demand is price elastic, the tax causes a bigger percentage fall in demand.

2. Time lag

In the short term, demand for petrol is likely to be price inelastic. However, over time, consumers may find alternatives, e.g. they buy electric cars. In the short-term, investment will not increase capacity, but over time, it may help to increase a firms profitability. Time lags.

3. Depends on market structure

If markets are competitive, then we can expect prices to remain low. However, if a firm has monopoly power, then we can expect higher prices.

4. Depends on business objectives

If a firm is seeking to maximise profits, we can expect prices to rise. However, if a firm is seeking to maximise market share, it may seek to cut prices – even if it means less profit.

5. Behavioural economics

In economics, we usually assume individuals are rational and seeking to maximise their utility. However, in the real world, people are subject to bias and may not meet expectations of classical economic theory. For example, the present-bias suggest consumers will give much higher weighting to present levels of happiness and ignore future costs. This may explain over-consumption of demerit goods and under-consumption of merit goods. See: behavioural economics


Exam tips for economics – Comprehensive e-book guide for just £5

8 thoughts on “Tips for writing economics essays”

I really want to know the difference between discussion questions and analysis questions and how to answer them in a correct way to get good credit in Economics

Analysis just involves one sided answers while Discussion questions involve using two points of view

This is a great lesson learnd by me

how can I actually manage my time

The evaluation points in this article are really useful! The thing I struggle with is analysis and application. I have all the knowledge and I have learnt the evaluation points like J-curve analysis and marshall learner condition, but my chains of reasoning are not good enough. I will try the shorter sentences recommended in this article.

What kind of method for costing analysis is most suitable for a craft brewery, in order to analyze the cost of production of different types of beer_

Really useful!Especially for the CIE exam papers

Does anyone know how to evaluate in those advantages/disadvantages essay questions where you would basically analyse the benefits of something and then evaluate? Struggling because wouldn’t the evaluation just be the disadvantages ?? Like how would you evaluate without just stating the disadvantage?

Leave a comment Cancel reply

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Economics and Finance

Student working in a book

This guide to essay writing outlines just one way to structure an essay. It is by no means the only way, and your professor may or may not require you to structure your essays this way. It follows the general pattern "tell what you're about to say, say it, and then tell what you've just said." Sound a bit repetitive? It is, a little, but it helps make your ideas clear.

I. The Introduction

First Paragraph.

The first few sentences should introduce the general topic of the paper.

Example: "John Maynard Keynes revolutionized economics with the publication of his General Theory in 1936. Among the most controversial of his ideas is the view that full-employment is impossible without extensive government intervention in the economy."

After one to three introductory sentences, introduce the second most important point to be made in the essay. This will be the second issue discussed at length in the body of the essay. The last point mentioned in the introductory paragraph should be the most important point, and the first point discussed in the body of the essay. Thus, the last sentence of the introductory paragraph introduces the topic of the next paragraph in a general way. In the introductory paragraph, one, or, at most, two sentences are needed to introduce an issue. Furthermore, no more than three or four important points can be discussed adequately in an essay -- even in a very long essay.

On occasion it is useful to include two introductory paragraphs. The first should discuss why the essay topic is important; the second should introduce the three important issues to be discussed at length in the body of the essay.

II. The Body of the Essay

A few paragraphs for each important issue.

The first several paragraphs after the introduction should discuss the most important point of the essay. In an argumentative essay, it should be the strongest argument supporting the writer's viewpoint. In a more narrative type of essay, this might be the most important factor influencing a particular event, or the key issue over which economists (for example) differ. Please keep in mind that there is no such thing as a "neutral" or "objective" report.

The next several paragraphs after those making the most important point, should take up the second most important point. After that, the third most important point should be discussed. One of these might be a refutation of a viewpoint at odds with that of the writer; or an explanation of why some apparently important factors are of only secondary importance.

Each and every paragraph in the body (and conclusion) of the essay must begin with a "topic" sentence. It should state the topic of the paragraph -- one topic per paragraph please!

III. The Conclusion

The last several paragraphs.

The conclusion should summarize what has been said in the body of the essay. It should tie together the three (or four) important points made.

It is often a good idea to mention one or two important implications or unanswered questions that follow from the essay.

Above all, there should be no surprises for the reader in the conclusion. Introduce no new points. If there is something that hasn't been mentioned already, it should follow logically and clearly from something in the body of the essay.

IV. The Outline

Always make an outline of an essay before writing it . An essay can be written by making successively more detailed outlines. Identify the three important points, and break each of them down into several parts (A.,B., and C.). These will become topic sentences for paragraphs. Then "flesh-out" each paragraph. The reader should be able to reconstruct your initial outline easily.

I. Introduction -- first paragraph.

II. Most important point -- next several paragraphs.

A. Paragraph Topic Sentence (first sentence)

1. Second sentence.

2. Third sentence.

III. Next most important point.

IV. Third most important point.

V. Conclusion

Some general writing tips for academic papers.

Always reread what you have written several times.

Can the same thing be said in fewer words?

Does anything need more explanation?

Is the body of your essay overly repetitious?

Do you give too much detail in the introduction?

Would the outline of the essay be clear to the reader?

Is the grammar correct? Is the spelling correct?

Does each of your paragraphs have a topic sentence? Are any paragraphs too long, or too short (less than two sentences)?

Is the argument logical and clear? Does it say what you want it to say?

Always write in the third person (he, she, it). Never write in the first (I, we) or second (you) person. The subject of a sentence should never be "I" or "you."

Use gender-neutral pronouns when referring to people in general, or "the human race". "He" must have a masculine antecedent, and "she" must have a feminine antecedent. Otherwise, use "he or she", "s/he", "they", or "people" or "a person".

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Home Essay Samples

Essay Samples on Economics

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Home — Application Essay — Business School — Why Economics Major is My Primary Academic Interest

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Why Economics Major is My Primary Academic Interest

  • University: Columbia University

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Words: 303 |

Updated: Nov 30, 2023

Words: 303 | Pages: 1 | 2 min read

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Cases like these at the DECA International Career Development Conference pushed me beyond my comfort zone, and helped me uncover my love for business strategy. This is why economics major is my academic goal. I believe that studying Economics with Business Management at Columbia is the next step in developing my interests towards a career that serves society.

Since my freshman year, I’ve nurtured a hobby for refurbishing and selling smartphones. While my interest started off technical, I slowly realized I was more excited by profitability ratios, calculating costs, and making sales than I was by repairing hardware. In addition, I participated in the National Economics Challenge, applying principles of macro and microeconomics to solve real-life scenarios. My team placed first in the Wild Card competition and advanced to nationals, placing 12th in the U.S. I’ve taken the initiative to self-study Coursera courses in corporate finance, financial accounting, and marketing; I’m currently taking operations management.

Economics can help us better understand the world we live in, providing a lens through which we can visualize solutions to seemingly insurmountable issues. I aim to become an entrepreneur who uses economics to combat social problems. Development and welfare economics are two areas that interest me: I’m fascinated by how governments promote economic development through health, education, and workplace conditions and how welfare economics can quantify benefits to society using social welfare functions. Through Economics and Business Management at Columbia, I’ll be better equipped to analyze social issues and to alleviate social problems.

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To conclude the essay, so why economics? Einstein mused that given an hour to save the world, he would spend 55 minutes studying the problem. As a future economist, I will use the discipline of economics to develop a better grasp of problems before attempting to create solutions.

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economics college essay

What is an economics personal statement?

An economics personal statement should describe your motivations for wanting to study this subject. It tells the university who you are and why you will make a great economics candidate. Whether you're applying for an undergraduate or postgraduate course, it's crucial you present yourself in the best possible light to convince admissions tutors you will be a valuable asset to their department.

Your economics personal statement will be used by universities to decide whether you are a good student to study economics, and whether they want to offer you a place on their course.

How do I write an economics personal statement?

We recommend you start your economics personal statement by jotting down some ideas about your skills, experience, hobbies/extracurricular activities, strengths and ambitions for the future. Our personal statement template can help you structure your thoughts into coherent and concise paragraphs.

Start early and give yourself plenty of time to re-draft your economics statement, and proofread it for spelling and grammar. You will need to go through at least three or four revisions before you have a final, polished draft.

Once you're happy with it, make sure you check it for spelling and grammar (don't just rely on Spellchecker for this). Get someone else to read through it if you're worried you might miss something. You can then think about pasting it into your UCAS form, ready to send off.

What should I include in my economics personal statement?

  • Be specific and try to give examples of your problem-solving and analytical skills, both of which are important in an economics degree.
  • If you’re applying for a joint honours, e.g. economics and maths , then tailor your statement so you relate it to both of these subjects.
  • A business management and economics personal statement might mention a role of responsibility, such as leader of your student debating society or head boy/girl at your sixth form. Or for an economics and finance personal statement , you could mention managing money at your Saturday job.
  • Any hobbies or other activities you are involved in outside of school should always be linked to your economics course. If you don't feel something is relevant, then don't mention it - remember you only have a limited space of 4,000 characters, so every word has to earn its place. Our personal statement length checker can help you with this.
  • Round off by talking about your career plans and any other ambitions you have for the future. Mention how your economics degree is going to help you achieve this.

How do I write the introduction for my economics personal statement?

Your introduction should pick out one or two aspects of economics that you particularly enjoy or are passionate about. For example, you might talk about your interest in current affairs and world development, and include one or two situations that made you want to study economics in more detail. This could be anything from a fiscal decision made by the Bank of England, or a how a civil war in another country has affected their levels of income.

By starting with an anecdote, or a specific situation you've read about or experienced, you will have a better chance of drawing the reader in, and making them want to finish reading your personal statement.

Whatever you choose to open with, it should be reflective and persuade the admissions tutors that this is the only subject you want to go on to study at university.

Economics personal statement introduction example

To help demonstrate what you should include in your opening paragraph, take a look at this great example below, where the writer uses their experience of growing up in a poor country where wealth was unevenly distributed as a catalyst for developing their interest in economics:

"Being born and brought up in a country where an uneven distribution of income is a norm, the poor live on a minimum wage of Rupees 115 a day, whilst the billionaires form the sixth largest group in the world. This vast contrast between the rich and the poor has always intrigued me and I have often questioned how this economy India, functions with such instability and chaos."

Here is another good example from another student, who talks about how their studies of the Great Depression ignited their appreciation for economics:

"Studying the Great Depression in the USA in 1929 for my extended project is when I started to fully appreciate my interest in economics. Being able to analyse and argue the issues within my extended project and relate it to the current economic crisis has awakened my passion for the subject further, especially as this subject is covered extensively in the news and media. This shows that economics is an essential factor of our society. Studying this subject in university will equip me with the knowledge to understand the economy thoroughly. "

Hopefully these examples will inspire you to write your own introduction for your economics statement that will grab the reader's attention and make the admissions tutors want to offer you a place on their course.

How do I write a conclusion for my economics personal statement?

Your conclusion should encompass where you hope your economics degree to take you, and what you hope to achieve in the future. This might include your career ambitions, or moving on to a postgraduate course to further enhance your education.

You may also wish to reiterate why are enthusiastic about applying for an economics degree, and why you think you will be a good student for this particular course.

Don't round off your statement with something vague, or by repeating something you've already mentioned elsewhere in your UCAS application. You only have 47 lines of space in which to sell yourself to the admissions tutors, so don't waste it!

Economics personal statement conclusion example

To help you write your concluding paragrapgh, take a look at this example below, where the writer talks about using the knowledge they will gain in real life situations, and how they enjoy learning about the effects of economics on a daily basis:

"I am very passionate about studying economics because I look forward to developing my current knowledge, and applying it to real life situations. I believe my desire to keep in touch with today’s economics is what will allow me to thrive in higher education."

This writer chooses to talk about applying for a Masters program once they complete their degree, and taking up internships during their summer break to gain more work experience:

"My aspirations upon graduation from University would be to advance my studies in a similarly themed Masters program or work in international development. I plan on taking internships throughout the summer breaks to gain more work experience and help me fund my student lifestyle. I am looking forward to learning and developing in various economic subjects and am excited about the opportunities that I’ll have both as a student and once I graduate."

Hopefully these two examples will help you write your own conclusion for your economics personal statement, and round it off in a way that will make it stand out from the crowd.

For more help and advice on what to write in your economics personal statement, please see:

  • Personal Statement Editing Services
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  • What To Do If You Miss The 15th January UCAS Deadline.

What can I do with an economics degree?

There are many different options for those choosing to pursue an economics degree. These include:

  • business analyst
  • financial consultant
  • investment analyst .

However, there are also many other career paths where an economics degree could be useful, such as:

  • data scientist
  • economic development officer
  • quantity surveyor .

For more advice on what you can do with your economics degree, please visit TopUniversities and Prospects .

What are the best UK universities for economics?

Currently, the best UK universities to study economics at for 2023 are:

For more information on UK university rankings for economics, please see The Complete University Guide and The Telegraph.

Further resources

For more information and advice on economics degrees and careers, please see the following:

  • 9 Economics Degree Jobs
  • Careers in Economics - LSE
  • 10 Jobs for Graduates With An Economics Degree
  • What jobs can you get with an Economics degree in the UK?
  • Economics - Career Pilot
  • What to do with an Economics degree - Bright Network

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Why I Majored in Economics

Cameron greene '24.

Headshot of Cam Greene

I arrived at Yale thinking I would major in Ethics, Politics, and Economics and eventually attend law school. I took coursework in Directed Studies, Russian language, and political theory.

Taking intro microeconomics in the summer before sophomore year with Professor Koker, I enjoyed learning about the behavior of rational agents, such as the need to weigh opportunity costs. The economist’s way of thinking resonated with me. By providing new motivation, economics rekindled my love of math. Since sophomore year I have worked as an economic research assistant through the Tobin program and individual hires in the School of Management, Jackson School, and ISPS. Junior year, I switched to the Economics major for the opportunities to work more closely with economics faculty and to take more quantitative economics coursework.

The community is intimate. It is easy to find classmates to work on psets with. I have discovered new interests through the structure of the major and the research interests of faculty. Entering my senior year, I am looking forward to the challenge of writing my thesis. I am grateful for the support I have received from faculty mentors.

Marcella Villagomez '24

Headshot of Marcella Villagomez

When I got to Yale, I planned to major in Computer Science and Economics. I knew I wanted to explore and develop empirical models and understand their implications.

I decided on switching to just Economics at the end of my Sophomore year. I found a deep interest in the high-level programming required of econometrics, and found that there were a multitude of careers I could pursue within that realm. I have always found an interest in Economics due to its unique ability to bring together the quantitative (via modeling) and the qualitative (consistently diving into why the model appears the way it does).

I have thoroughly appreciated my experience within the major. Given that there are relatively few major requirements, I had the opportunity to explore so many different applications within the real-world, such as trade, industrial organization, and healthcare.

Nicholas Trenholm '24

Headshot Nick Trenholm

In high school, I developed a very strong interest in government and politics. This led me to enter Yale planning to major in Ethics, Politics, and Economics – an interdisciplinary program that prepares you for a career in public policy.

My freshman year, I took classes in all three of the disciplines under the umbrella of the EP&E major. After completing two semesters, one thing was clear. I enjoyed my economics classes far more than the others. I loved the real world applicability, the basis in quantitative and observable fact, and the logical puzzles that economics problems present you with. Yale's economics department boasts the best faculty in the world who, while producing industry-leading research, take deep care and pride in teaching undergraduates. The department also gives students the chance to participate in and contribute to innovative research projects. I have had the opportunity to learn from such an amazing array of professors, such as William Nordhaus and Costas Meghir. With course flexibility and a wide variety of electives, you can truly make the major your own. I decided to major in economics because I am passionate about the subject and value the support given by the wonderful advisors, staff, and faculty in the department.

My experience as an economics major has been one of growth and excitement. The major's core classes provide students with an excellent foundational knowledge of economics. You will be challenged at times and rewarded for the learning experience you are taking part in. I love the freedom provided by the major so that each semester I can put together a class schedule that excites me. From game theory to personal finance, each class is an opportunity to improve your economic toolkit and engage with a new and interesting subject matter. In addition to the world-class professors, the teaching assistants and advisors in the economics department really define the major. They always go the extra mile to ensure students are having a positive, constructive learning experience. The overall economics community at Yale is supportive, collaborative, and dynamic. I would encourage all new students to explore economics at Yale.

Annie Lin '24

Annie Lin Headshot

I arrived at Yale in September 2020 planning to double major in Economics and Electrical Engineering.

I've known that Economics was my major for me since my Junior year of high school, and it was probably not for the reason why everyone else majored in Economics. I like Economics because I sucked at it - I simply could not understand how one could translate social behavior down to models and numbers on a piece of paper. I think the challenge of delving into a field so unfamiliar and knowing that I had to work harder to strengthen my knowledge and build the necessary quantitative skills drove me to enjoy the work as I began to see Economics' practical applications in real life. I worked to build my understanding of the principles of microeconomics and macroeconomics brick by brick until I had a solid foundation that allowed me to explore other fascinating areas, such as labor economics and behavioral finance, and decided that it was the major for me ever since then.

My experience as an economics major has been very fruitful, especially as a student of another STEM major (electrical engineering), I could combine complementary skills from both majors to further my understanding of underlying concepts from both majors. I've particularly enjoyed using my coding background to work on data-driven projects as a Tobin RA or creating a simple regression model for PSETs. The best part of being an Economics major is that you are hands-on with applying the theories you've learned in class to history or your own models while working with the most up-and-coming researchers in your field.

Submissions for Equilibrium are now open! The Semester 2 regular deadline is May 12th, 2024.

Harker Oeconomia

Harker Oeconomia

Harvard international economics essay competition, description.

The 2023 Harvard International Economics Essay Contest is sponsored by the Harvard Undergraduate Economics Association (HUEA) in conjunction with the Harvard College Economics Review (HCER). This essay competition is open to high school students of any year and is a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate an accomplished level of writing and understanding of economic theory. Through the contest, student competitors hone their academic and professional skills and exhibit their knowledge to future employers and academic programs.  Competitors must construct a convincing argument using economic theory and real-world examples.  Winning essays will be published in the Harvard Economics Review and will be available for the greater Harvard community to read. Essays should focus on argumentation supported with facts and references, although data-based support is also welcome.

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What Is Economics?

What Is Economics?


Economics is about making choices. We make all kinds of choices every day. How much should I spend on gas? What’s the best route to work? Where should we go for dinner? Which job or career should I go for? What are the pros and cons of finishing college versus taking a job or inventing the next, best Internet startup? Which roommate should take care of washing the dishes? Can I get that dog as a pet? Should I get married, have children, and if so, when? Which politician should I vote for when they all claim they can improve the economy or make my life better? What is “the economy,” anyway? What if my personal or religious principles conflict with what people tell me is in my best economic interest?

Many people hear the word “economics” and think it is all about money. Economics is not just about money. It is about weighing different choices or alternatives. Some of those important choices involve money, but most do not. Most of your daily, monthly, or life choices have nothing to do with money, yet they are still the subject of economics. For example, your decisions about whether it should be you or your roommate who should be the one to clean up or do the dishes, whether you should spend an hour a week volunteering for a worthy charity or send them a little money via your cell phone, or whether you should take a job so you can help support your siblings or parents or save for your future are all economic decisions. In many cases, money is merely a helpful tool or just a veil, standing in for a partial way to evaluate some of the goals you really care about and how you make choices about those goals.

You might also think economics is all about “economizing” or being efficient–not making foolish or wasteful choices about how you spend or budget your time and money. That is certainly part of what economics is about. However, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. We all know that we can save money or time by being more efficient in our planning. A trip to the supermarket can be coordinated with a trip to take your child to school or to deposit a check at the bank across the street to save on gas. But we sometimes don’t choose the most efficient options. Why not? Economics is also about plumbing the depths of why we sometimes do and sometimes don’t make what seem like the most economizing or economical choices.

Is economics a science (like physics), or is it a social science, or even an art? What is the difference, and what do we know about what we can’t or don’t know for now? Can economic problems be solved by better government, more experts, bigger computers, more engineering, better education, less government, more dispersed knowledge, more markets? How can we make informed choices?

You’ve probably heard that economists disagree about a lot of things. Actually, what economists disagree about is politics or public policy, not economics. Exploring the interface between politics and economics is part of the fun.

On this page are some famous, standard definitions about what economics is all about.

Definitions and Basics

Economics is the study of given ends and scarce means. Lionel Robbins , biography, from the Concise Encyclopedia of Economics :

Robbins’ most famous book was An Essay on the Nature and Significance of Economic Science , one of the best-written prose pieces in economics. That book contains three main thoughts. First is Robbins’ famous all-encompassing definition of economics that is still used to define the subject today: “Economics is the science which studies human behavior as a relationship between given ends and scarce means which have alternative uses.”…

What is “political economy”? Chapter I, Principles of Economics , by Alfred Marshall.

Political Economy or Economics is a study of mankind in the ordinary business of life; it examines that part of individual and social action which is most closely connected with the attainment and with the use of the material requisites of wellbeing. Thus it is on the one side a study of wealth; and on the other, and more important side, a part of the study of man. For man’s character has been moulded by his every-day work, and the material resources which he thereby procures, more than by any other influence unless it be that of his religious ideals; and the two great forming agencies of the world’s history have been the religious and the economic. Here and there the ardour of the military or the artistic spirit has been for a while predominant: but religious and economic influences have nowhere been displaced from the front rank even for a time; and they have nearly always been more important than all others put together. Religious motives are more intense than economic, but their direct action seldom extends over so large a part of life. For the business by which a person earns his livelihood generally fills his thoughts during by far the greater part of those hours in which his mind is at its best; during them his character is being formed by the way in which he uses his faculties in his work, by the thoughts and the feelings which it suggests, and by his relations to his associates in work, his employers or his employees.

Isn’t economics nicknamed the “dismal science” because it is all about running out of resources and the inevitable decline of life as we know it? Who coined the phrase “the dismal science”? The Secret History of the Dismal Science: Economics, Religion, and Race in the 19th Century , by David M. Levy and Sandra J. Peart. Econlib, January 22, 2001.

Everyone knows that economics is the dismal science. And almost everyone knows that it was given this description by Thomas Carlyle, who was inspired to coin the phrase by T. R. Malthus’s gloomy prediction that population would always grow faster than food, dooming mankind to unending poverty and hardship. While this story is well-known, it is also wrong, so wrong that it is hard to imagine a story that is farther from the truth. At the most trivial level, Carlyle’s target was not Malthus, but economists such as John Stuart Mill, who argued that it was institutions, not race, that explained why some nations were rich and others poor….

Economics on One Foot , a LearnLiberty video.

Prof. Art Carden, in memory of Ayn Rand’s philosophy on one foot, presents economics on one foot.

In the News and Examples

Diane Coyle on the Soulful Science , EconTalk podcast.

Diane Coyle talks with host Russ Roberts about the ideas in her new book, The Soulful Science: What Economists Really Do and Why it Matters. The discussions starts with the issue of growth–measurement issues and what economists have learned and have yet to learn about why some nations grow faster than others and some don’t grow at all. Subsequent topics include happiness research, the politics and economics of inequality, the role of math in economics, and policy areas where economics has made the greatest contribution….

Isn’t economics all about supply and demand? Richard McKenzie on Prices , EconTalk podcast. June 23, 2008.

Richard McKenzie of the University California, Irvine and the author of Why Popcorn Costs So Much at the Movies and Other Pricing Puzzles, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about a wide range of pricing puzzles. They discuss why Southern California experiences frequent water crises, why price falls after Christmas, why popcorn seems so expensive at the movies, and the economics of price discrimination….

Isn’t economics all about Adam Smith and the invisible hand? Adam Smith: The Invisible Hand , a LearnLiberty video.

Prof. James Otteson, using the ideas of Adam Smith, explains how the division of labor is a necessary and crucial element of wealthy nations.

Don’t all economists disagree? Henderson on Disagreeable Economists . EconTalk podcast, July 30, 2007.

David Henderson, editor of the Concise Encyclopedia of Economics and a research fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about when and why economists disagree. Harry Truman longed for a one-armed economist, one willing to go out on a limb and take an unequivocal position without adding “on the other hand…”. Truman’s view is often reflected in the public’s view that economic knowledge is inherently ambiguous and that economists never agree on anything. Henderson claims that this view is wrong–that there is substantial agreement among economists on many scientific questions–while Roberts wonders whether this consensus is getting a bit frayed around the edges. The conversation highlights the challenges the everyday person faces in trying to know when and what to believe when economists take policy positions based on research. Is it biased or science?

Humorous essay. Zero-sum games like income redistribution are more exciting than economic fundamentals like the gains from trade. Why is Economics So Boring? , by Donald Cox. Econlib, November 7, 2005.

Stan: Ollie, you know the worst part about being an economist? You meet someone at a cocktail party, you tell them you teach economics. Ollie: …and they say “Oh, yeah, I took that in college. I hated it. It was sooo boring!”… … getting the credit for Equation 14 is a zero sum game. And we care about zero sum games. There’s drama. There’s tension. There’s a loser for every winner. It makes for good TV, doesn’t it? But it’s not very common in reality. What common in reality is both sides are better off. The buyer and the seller of the car in the ad. That’s reality. No violence, no theft. Boring balloons. Boring happy people. Economics is boring….

Is economics just a fuss about language? The Economy: Metaphors We (Shouldn’t) Live By , by Max Borders.

“Argument is war.” That’s what cognitive linguists George Lakoff and Mark Johnson write in the opening chapter of their influential 1980 Metaphors We Live By. In that seminal book, Lakoff and Johnson offer a number of powerful lessons about figurative language: Metaphor is more than mere literary window dressing; metaphor is a fundamental aspect of human thought and language; and metaphors help us navigate the real world with a degree of efficiency that literal language can’t offer. It can even–for better or worse–change our perceptions of things….

A Little History: Primary Sources and References

Economics is sometimes called catallarchy or catallactics, meaning the science of exchanges. Where did this term first come from? Lecture I, Introductory Lectures on Political Economy , by Richard Whately.

It is with a view to put you on your guard against prejudices thus created, (and you will meet probably with many instances of persons influenced by them,) that I have stated my objections to the name of Political-Economy. It is now, I conceive, too late to think of changing it. A. Smith, indeed, has designated his work a treatise on the “Wealth of Nations;” but this supplies a name only for the subject-matter, not for the science itself. The name I should have preferred as the most descriptive, and on the whole least objectionable, is that of CATALLACTICS, or the “Science of Exchanges.”…

Advanced Resources

Is Economics All About Scarcity? , by Arnold Kling. Blog discussion on EconLog, January 17, 2007.

… I am two-handed on this issue. On the one hand, just because food, say, has become more abundant does not mean that we can ignore scarcity. At any moment in time, for a given state of know-how, the conventional definition of economics as dealing with the allocation of scarce resources among competing ends applies. On the other hand, some of the most interesting economic observations concern relative abundance. Look at our standard of living compared to 100 years ago. Look at South Korea compared with North Korea. Robert Lucas famously said that “The consequences for human welfare involved in questions like these are simply staggering: Once one starts to think about them it is hard to think of anything else.”…

Related Topics

Is Economics a Science? Wellbeing and Welfare Scarcity Incentives Efficiency Cost-Benefit Analysis Division of Labor and Specialization Money Management and Budgeting Productive Resources Property Rights

Why I Majored in Economics

Lucie abele ’22.

I chose to major in economics, because I enjoy learning about human decision-making and how our decisions directly impact our communities and environment. I also appreciate the extreme versatility within the field. Economics is the perfect crossover of research and analysis with human activity. Economic theory reaches into the fields of both STEM and social science, involving studies of areas such as math, politics, and psychology. Additionally, economic theory allows for quantitative analysis and qualitative examination of human and economic interaction in complimentary fields like law, business, finance, consulting, health and athletics.

For example, in Professor Stephen Marks’ Law and Economics class, we learned to evaluate legal cases from the perspectives of both economic and legal theory. I found the deliberate intertwining of these two fields intriguing – while they seem to be at odds, economic theory factors into legal theory and decision-making far more prominently than I would have expected. In Professor Marks’ course, I was able to explore in depth the decisions of various Supreme Court cases. I conducted detailed research regarding the legal and economic analysis of  Penn Central Transportation Co. v. City of New York,  diving into the legal issues of the case, the economic factors, and the social and public policy implications of the majority decision. Exploring topics such as these on a case-by-case basis showed me how applicable the study of economics is to so many other fields and opened my eyes to the myriad of areas and opportunities into which an economics major could lead.

Additionally, the economics faculty at Pomona is incredible. Economics is a subject that impacts everyone, and understanding economics, even at an introductory level, is helpful in one’s day-to-day life. The gifted scholars in this department not only teach Economic theory and its implications, but they also foster a successful learning environment and assist students in and out of the classroom. With them and with my Economics peers, I have made great friendships and have deeply enjoyed learning in this inviting space.

Cathy Kim ’22

Economics at Pomona is a great crossroads for those who enjoy the certainty of numerical answers and also seek a deeper understanding of human behavior and decision-making processes. As someone who enjoys reaching that one perfect answer while also wondering how people come to financial decisions, I found that economics was a great interdisciplinary major for me. Coming into college, I never considered majoring in economics, however, Professor Manisha Goel’s introductory macroeconomics class completely changed my outlook. Learning about models and their real-world applications helped me understand how central these principles are in our lives, and I found myself connecting my new economics knowledge in other classes and passions.

A great benefit of majoring in economics is that it opens doors to a wealth of diverse career options. Many economics majors pursue careers in finance and consulting, however, the tools you learn are applicable in any industry. Thanks to the practical knowledge I gained from my courses, I will be spending my summer interning in the fashion industry, at Bloomingdale’s Executive Development Program. Ultimately, you’re free to combine the major with anything else you are passionate about.

In my Economics of the Public Sector class, most of our lectures focused on domestic dynamics, however, we were given the freedom to research any country we were interested in for our final paper.

Using the principles, we learned in class, we analyzed the impacts of economic reforms on Mexico’s  ejido system and came up with policy recommendations. Much of the work I’ve done in my classes helps me look at economic realities through a more knowledgeable lens.

Asaka Mori ’22

I instantly knew I wanted to major in economics when I took Principles of Macroeconomics course in the first semester of my freshman year. I was amazed by how we could predict human behavior and model various social phenomena using theories I’ve learned in class. Economics helps us understand so much of what is happening around the world, including politics, climate change, poverty and health care. I also love the fact that it is an interdisciplinary major which incorporates both quantitative and qualitative analysis and can be used in any career paths after graduating from college.

Our Economics Department provides collaborative learning experience with professors. In the economics classes I have taken, I was fortunate to meet so many brilliant professors who are more than willing to help us learn economics and prepare for our future. I enjoy going to office hours, where professors are willing to explain the class material until I can fully understand and are open to talk about my future plans.

During Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP), I had a chance to work as a research assistant for Professor Michael Kuehlwein who was my professor for Principles of Macroeconomics class. We researched the impact of rising minimum wages in Los Angeles (L.A.) on the employment rate of the garment industry in the city. I was fascinated by this topic because the empirical effect of the change in minimum wages is still debated despite the fact that the economic theory suggests that the rise of minimum wages would decrease the employment rate. For our research, after collecting a sample of apparel manufacturing firms in L.A. from 2008 to 2018, we measured the ratios of the employment rates in the garment industry in L.A. to that in the United States as well as the ratios of minimum wages in L.A. to the federal minimum wages over these years. By using ratios, we controlled for other factors that may influence the employment rate, such as the rise of the rent prices and global competition. We ran regressions to measure how the ratio of minimum wages in L.A. to the federal minimum wages, which has been increasing as the minimum wages in L.A. increases rapidly over the years, is correlated with the ratio of employment rate in L.A. to that in the U.S., or how much faster the employment rate is falling in L.A. compared to the national trend. Professor Kuehlwein helped me write my own research paper for the first time, and this experience gave me a glimpse of what it is like to conduct a research in economics.

Pomona College gives us opportunities to explore different subjects, and I believe that economics is the one that is worth being explored. This is not just because of how great our economic department is but also because this subject is intertwined with other fields of study. After taking economics classes, I became interested in other subjects which are also discussed in our economics courses, such as mathematics, politics, and environmental analysis. If you are a Pomona student, I would definitely recommend taking at least one econ class!

Virgil Munyemana ’22

Coming into college, I knew I was interested in entrepreneurship. My sister recommended I do economics given its association with business and finance, so I honestly took economics courses on a whim at first. However, as I delved deeper into the major, I've realized how interdisciplinary the field is and all the different fields it could be used in, from policy work to academic research. I’ve even seen it used in social justice contexts, which is especially important given the renewed push for racial justice we’ve seen in the past summer. Economics can take you anywhere you want to go, it just depends on how you want to use it.

The professors are all very in love with the courses they teach and their enthusiasm shows, especially in office hours. They always try to make themselves as available as possible, which has been really helpful for me coming from a less privileged background. In addition, the economics department offers a cohort specifically for underrepresented students in the economics field to have a support system. Without this cohort, I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed the major as much as I did in my first year.

During the summer after my sophomore year, I was fortunate enough to have an internship at a private equity firm called the Vistria Group. They buy companies that work in healthcare, education, and/or financial services and try to improve their business models. I was working in the healthcare team and was tasked with creating an investment thesis for the durable medical equipment market, which is made up of things like glucose monitors, ventilators, and other products for chronic conditions. I had to use data from sources such as the Center for Medicare/Medicaid Services and the U.S. Census Bureau to support my argument, allowing me to use some of my economics knowledge in a real world situation. It was a really valuable experience and I also felt like I was doing some good in the world at the same time.

The economics department put out a very comprehensive statement in support of Black Lives Matter and acknowledged the role that economics can have in perpetuating these issues, as well as solving them. I appreciate the department taking the time to do this and am hopeful they will incorporate this mindset into the way classes are taught. I’m happy to be in a major where I feel supported.

Calvin Ng ’22

Growing up in Singapore, I was constantly exposed to policies which strived to maximize our benefits given the constraints of our limited natural resources. I had always considered an economics major, but with the vast array of fascinating fields offered, it initially felt difficult to confine myself to a single field of study. However, the beauty of economics lies in its multidisciplinary nature which allows me the flexibility to focus on economics in conjunction with my other interests.

Economics is a constantly evolving field that draws from a multitude of disciplines. For instance, in Professor Eleanor Brown’s microeconomics class, we attempted to quantify philosophy’s age-old trolley problem and studied how economists determine the value of a human life. In the field of behavioral economics, we integrate ideas from psychology to understand why humans sometimes act “irrationally.” In the new field of neuroeconomics, we interpolate the tools of neuroscience such as fMRIs to elucidate the intricacies of the human mind.

The economics major, which requires five electives, allows great flexibility by allowing students to craft their own path and gain depth in a particular subfield of economics. However, my best advice is to also take classes outside of your immediate field of interest. I took Economics of Immigration [course] on a whim this past semester, and it ended up becoming one of my favorite classes; I was able to gain a deep appreciation for the role of immigrants in a country’s success.

In addition, many students, like myself, also complete an additional major or minor. As an economics and biology double major, I am interested in solving health problems through scientific advancement and allocation of healthcare resources. Within the economics major, I was often given complete freedom to tackle research projects of my interest. In my Econometrics class, I had the opportunity to study the determinants of receiving the Influenza vaccine. I analyzed census data from the Centers for Disease Control and found that education level and race were the largest determinants. I hope to extrapolate these findings and apply them to the upcoming COVID-19 vaccines.

Outside of the classroom, I have explored a wide variety of internships. I gained experience as a research assistant investigating the dancing plant ( C.Motorius ) before working as a business analyst for StemCord, a biotechnology cord blood bank. This summer, I will be working as a summer associate for a consulting firm in Los Angeles. Hence, I strongly believe that the economics major will ground you with a strong foundation of the quantitative and qualitative skills required for almost any job. Whether your next destination is business, government, graduate school, or something completely different, you will be well equipped to take on the next challenge.

Helena Ong ’22

Economics embodies what it means to be interdisciplinary in both its foundational principles and its applications. Taking the introductory economics courses revealed how the discipline served as a baseline for understanding so much about human behaviors, interactions and facets of society. The upper division course selection exposes you to just how complex and diverse the field of study is with classes such as Corporate Finance, Behavioral Economics, and Environmental Economics that have personally helped me to understand how Economics is applicable to so many different fields.

The Economics Department at Pomona houses some of the most supportive and inspirational faculty I have met. Throughout my 10 economics courses, I have been able to learn from professors who have encouraged me through classes, office hours, research projects and even lunches. Whenever I had questions about my academic journey at Pomona or my internships and job opportunities, my economics professors provided me with invaluable insight and experience that has positively shaped my time at Pomona. It is so evident that the professors at the Economics Department not only are incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about what they teach, they also have a genuinely vested interest in their students’ lives. Whether it was helping me choose between internship offers or releasing an important statement about economics’ role in social issues, the faculty in the department are a huge reason I studied economics at Pomona!

I have been able to apply the knowledge from classes at several of my summer projects and internships. Working at the USDA, I was able to utilize trade and tariff theory I learned in my macroeconomics courses to help quantitatively model the U.S.-China trade-war in 2019. I have also been able to extend the financial and business side of economics at my internship in asset management with Alliance Bernstein where I worked to manage risk in institutional clients’ portfolios and my internship in Trading with JP Morgan where I will research markets for certain asset classes.

Ananya Sen ’22

I first fell in love with economics in my senior year of high school, when I came across Crash Course Economics on YouTube while preparing for a test and learnt about the practical applications of the subject – from how firms set prices to finding a way to measure individual happiness. And so, coming into college, I decided to major in economics.

However, I was only truly convinced of my choice when I took my first two electives at Pomona. It was then that I realized that economics is less a subject than a lens through which I can analyze absolutely anything and everything. For instance, in a paper I wrote for my Econometrics class, I studied the relation between literacy and mortality in India. Despite being a subject that focuses on optimization through the use of constraints ( iykyk ), economics for me proved to be optimal for the  freedom  it provides in the fields that it can be applied to – from mathematics to political science to psychology. Moreover, by comprising both normative and positive science, economics teaches one to bridge the gap between idealism and realism, and thus gain the potential to change society for the better.

Studying economics at Pomona is especially great because the professors are not only brilliant and truly passionate about the subject, but also exceptionally caring and invested in your personal success. The classes themselves are designed to teach you how to be a  good  economist; for instance, Professor Gary Smith’s Statistics course focuses a lot on how to avoid data modification, while Professor Malte Dold’s PPE course attempts to integrate ethics into economic analysis. Moreover, Pomona’s culture of collaboration is exemplified in the department: some of my most memorable nights at Pomona were spent wading through difficult but rewarding problem sets in one of the classrooms in Carnegie Hall with my classmates, nibbling on one or two chocolate muffins from the Coop.

This semester, I am working part-time as a research assistant to Professor Abhinash Borah at Ashoka University in New Delhi, where I am studying how polarization and the motivated reasoning it engenders influences content and (dis)information transmission in media spaces. The research involves designing a behavioral experiment, and analyzing social media algorithms, amongst other things. I am particularly excited about this opportunity because the scope of the project is more than just academic – apart from writing papers, we will also be brainstorming and implementing strategies to initiate discourse on these topics.

To any prospective students of economics, I will say this: do not be afraid to email professors, even if you have never met them before, and ask for advice on classes, research opportunities or grad school. The department provides you with all the support you may need, but it is up to you to seize it.

Franco Vijandre ’22

Coming into Pomona College I wanted to study something that would leave me with a diverse skill set, challenging both my quantitative and qualitative abilities, and economics does just that. Economics is about understanding behavior and real-world outcomes, and to do that you need to be creative in your reasoning but at the same time grounded in quantitative fact. Economics is also incredibly interdisciplinary and combines many of my other interests in mathematics, politics and sociology into one major. The interdisciplinary nature of the subject leads to a diverse offering of classes from finance courses to courses in development or international relations. The diversity of the major allowed me to find my own niche and granted me the flexibility to apply my economics degree to many potential career paths.

The professors in the Economics Department are truly remarkable. They all have a deep passion for what they teach and genuinely care about your learning. While the courses are challenging, the department provides all the tools for its students to succeed, with regular office hours, mentor sessions, and cohorts. The courses in the major are designed to equip students with a skill set to apply to real-world scenarios and original research. By my second year, I had already written two research papers surrounding my interest in voter trends, by utilizing the skills taught in my Economic Statistics and Econometrics classes. Most importantly the Economics department is filled with a great sense of camaraderie. Everyone is rooting for your success and the department will make any student feel at home.

This past summer I assisted Professor Michelle Zemel and Professor Manisha Goel in their research on economic uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. My contribution to the research was to prepare a literature review to understand how an abstract concept like uncertainty is measured and what macro and microeconomic effects are expected during times of heightened uncertainty. I empirically tested the different methods of calculating uncertainty, aggregating millions of rows of stock price and forecaster data, to conclude that the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is at historic highs, even more so than the 2007-2009 recession. In addition to my summer research, I also interned at a boutique investment bank. I was working on several live deals in the medical devices and social media industries. During my internship, I was able to see how my studies in economics applied outside the academic setting. I constantly used econometric tools, and both macro and microeconomic theory to aid in my analysis and construction of financial models.

I would recommend to any incoming student, even if you are not interested in the field, to take at least one introductory course in economics. The economy affects everyone’s life and having a basic understanding of macro and microeconomic concepts will be incredibly useful in the future.

Kevin Wu ’23

There’s an old story that goes something like this: A physicist, a chemist, and an economist are stranded on a desert island, and they’re famished. Then a can of soup washes ashore. Chicken noodle soup let’s say.

But, famished as they are, our three professionals have no way to open the can. So, they put their brains to the problem. The physicist says, “We could drop it from the top of that tree over there until it breaks open.” The chemist says, “We could build a fire and sit the can in the flames until it bursts open.” The two squabble a bit, until the economist says “No, no, no. Come on, guys, you’d lose most of the soup. Let's do this. First, assume we have a can opener...”

Basically, I like to tell people I chose to major in economics so that I could assume and model my way out of any problem. Joking aside, economics is the intersection of math, psychology and decision making that can describe a wide array of experiences and phenomena that we hardly notice in our daily comings and goings—phenomena that are nonetheless incredibly revealing and insightful. It was both the wide breath and media coverage of the subject that initially drew me in, in addition to the fact that my high school economics teachers were really cool. Thanks Mr. Geers, et al.

Economics not only offers the opportunity to play with math, numbers and models, but it also enables us to better understand and recognize embedded assumptions in stories and models that drive how people think and interact. It marries stories and reality to models and numbers that we can digest and understand to get a better picture of what the heck is going on in the world around us.

As with any Pomona major, my most memorable experiences have been speaking with alumni, students and professors or working with them to get a better grasp of a specific problem, subject, or career path. There is a lot of content to cover in economics and some topics may be both mathematically and intuitively challenging, but when you sit down on zoom, and have an entire whiteboard filled with abstracts of Ash Ketchum, bizarre scribbles, and half-completed graphs—among many other things—and you’ve spent time with others really digesting a tough problem or discussing current events and plans for the future...that’s when you say to yourself: this is awesome.

For future students, all I have to say is try it out! Economics is so broad that you could find a niche in any of its verticals. What you learn along the way are the problem-solving mechanisms that will carry over to any occupation or club or obstacle you experience in the future, and faculty are really willing to sit down and help.

My Econstats companion and I last semester wrote a topic on the relationship between COVID-19 cases and the impact on the restaurant industry for different geographical relationships in the U.S. We were given the tools and the freedom to explore a variety of topics we were interested in and turned it into something we could pin to the refrigerator at the end of the year--which was really cool. It was like: Hey mom! I’m not just sitting around eating shrimp crackers during college. I’m doing something with my life.

One thing I’m really excited about—but kind of slow to complete—is an economic analysis of South Park (a TV show I’m into), SouthParkonomics if you will. It’s fun just taking some of the content learned in class and trying to apply in some quirky places to see how things hold up/what they look like. Taking theory to application, so they say. There’s a lot of that type of stuff at Pomona (not only in the econ department) where people are taking what they like to do and put it into something tangible. I didn’t really get it when I first got to campus, but it’s kind of contagious, so now I kind of do.      

If you ever have any questions, always feel free to reach out, you will find that more than often people will have a lot to give, even to complete strangers. Reach out to others in your classes and form a team to bounce ideas off and work with, building that team will be critical to your success. As with anything though, it takes time, so even if things aren’t going well—if you can even take one inch forward or find somebody to talk to—you’ve really gone a mile in accomplishing things. Fight On!

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Great Economics Essay Topics for Deeper Insight and Understanding


Table of contents

  • 1 Economic History Topics
  • 2 Macro and Microeconomics Essay Topics
  • 3 Healthcare Economics Essay Topics
  • 4 Socio-Economic Analysis Essay Topics
  • 5 Consumerism-Related Topics for Research Papers
  • 6 Public Economic Development Essay Topics
  • 7 Topics for Finance Economic Paper
  • 8 Essay Topics about Taxes
  • 9 Economic Analysis on Human Development Paper Topic Ideas
  • 10 Labor and Economic Growth Essay Topics
  • 11 Essay Topics on the Economic Theory of Employment
  • 12 Conclusion

If you have difficulties coming up with a topic for your writing – paper writing service is here for you. In the process of studying, you will often encounter the need to write an economics essay in various fields. Among the variety of economics research directions and a wide range of problems to study, it is sometimes difficult to formulate the research topic when writing essays. In this article, we will consider the most relevant and interesting essay topics for study.


Economic History Topics

The study of economic history implies a detailed consideration of the very phenomenon of science. With the help of historical and statistical methods, you have to study the links between modern economies and historical events, the economic marvel that affected the course of global economic development.

  • The Industrial Revolution: Analyzing the Economic and Social Transformations of the 19th Century.
  • The Great Depression: Understanding the Causes and Consequences of the Economic Crisis of the 1930s.
  • Examining the Costs and Benefits of Military Conflict on National Economies.
  • The Rise and Fall of Communism: Analyzing the Economic and Political Implications of Socialist Systems.
  • Understanding the Economic Impacts of Increasing International Trade and Investment.
  • Examining the Impacts of Imperialism on Economic Development.
  • Evolution of Currency and Monetary Systems.
  • The Origins of Capitalism: Understanding the Economic and Social Forces that Shaped Modern Markets.
  • Economic and Agricultural Impacts of Technological Innovations in Farming.

Macro and Microeconomics Essay Topics

Let’s look at the broadest scientific field for economics research. The subject of studies of Macroeconomics is the global economy. It examines the economic data of entire countries and unions, studying international economics. While Microeconomics explores the individual level in the context of an enterprise, small and medium businesses. It also discovers such components of the market as international trade, stock market, microeconomics of migration industrial organization microeconomics.

  • Fiscal and Monetary Policy: The Role of Government in Influencing the Economy through Tax Policies and Monetary Policy.
  • International Trade: The Impact of Globalization on the Economy, Including the Effects of Tariffs, Trade Agreements, and Currency Exchange Rates.
  • Business Cycles: The Natural Fluctuations of the Economy and the Causes and Consequences of Booms and Busts.
  • Inflation and Deflation: The Impact of Changes in the Price Level of Goods and Services on the Economy and Its Consumers.
  • The Factors That Contribute to the Long-Term Growth of an Economy and the Importance of Investment, Innovation, and Productivity.
  • The Distribution of Wealth and Income in an Economy and the Impact of Policies Aimed At Reducing Income Inequality.
  • The Role of Banks, Stock Markets, and Other Financial Institutions in the Economy and the Impact of Financial Crises.
  • The Impact of Government Debt on Economic Growth.
  • Exploring the Functions and Policies of Central Banks and Their Impact on the Economy.
  • Primary Economic Endeavors of the Geographic Area Colonies Lumber
  • Macroeconomic Effects of International Capital Flows.
  • Theories of Economic Growth: Analyzing Different Theories of Economic Growth, Including Endogenous Growth Theory and Neoclassical Growth Theory.
  • Exploring Methods and Techniques for Forecasting Key Economic Variables Such as GDP, Inflation, and Employment.
  • Examining the Different Types of Market Failures, Including Externalities, Public Goods, and Monopolies, and Exploring Different Policy Approaches for Addressing Market Failures.
  • Investigating How Firms Produce Goods and Services and Exploring How Production Costs Impact Market Outcomes.
  • Analyzing the Conditions Necessary for Perfect Competition and Exploring the Implications for Market Outcomes.
  • The Economics of Oligopoly: Examining the Behavior of Firms in Oligopoly Markets and Exploring the Impact on Market Outcomes.
  • The Future of Work: Microeconomic Impacts of Automation and Artificial Intelligence.
  • The Economics of Education: Analyzing the Costs and Benefits of Higher Learning.
  • The Effects of Macroeconomics on the Housing Market.

Healthcare Economics Essay Topics

Healthcare economics is based on the study of factors affecting the cost of the industry as well as pricing policy depending on the current spending. This implies the economic research of complicated healthcare systems with the aim of financial analysis. You can choose to analyze patient satisfaction economics, international criminal justice, sports economics, and talent economics as important healthcare issues.

  • The Rising Cost of Healthcare: Analyzing the Impact of Inflation and Technology.
  • Examining the Economic Benefits and Challenges of Single-Payer Systems.
  • Understanding the Economics Behind the Cost of Prescription Drugs.
  • Health Insurance Markets: Analyzing the Role of Competition and Regulation.
  • Healthcare Workforce: Examining the Economics of Physician Shortages and Nurse Staffing.
  • The Economics of Medical Innovation: Balancing Costs and Benefits.
  • The Role of Prevention in Healthcare Economics: Cost Savings and Quality of Life.
  • Examining the Costs and Benefits of Investing in Behavioral Health Services.
  • The Economics of Happiness: Measuring the Relationship Between Income and Well-Being.

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Socio-Economic Analysis Essay Topics

Socio economic essay topics revolve around the analysis of key economic features, the causes and consequences of financial decisions, and their significance for society. The ultimate goal of economics research is to evaluate the social and economic impact and to detect malicious features that can undermine a nation’s economic stability.

  • Social and Economic Impacts of Unequal Distribution of Wealth.
  • Socio-Economic Implications of Independent Work and Flexible Labor Arrangements.
  • Analyzing the Impacts of Migration on Social and Economic Outcomes.
  • The Sociology of Poverty: Understanding the Causes and Consequences of Economic Deprivation.
  • Social Entrepreneurship: Examining the Role of Business in Addressing Societal Challenges and Inequalities.
  • Understanding the Social and Economic Implications of an Aging Population.
  • Examining the Socio-Economic Differences Between Rural and Urban Areas.
  • The Impact of Migrant Remittance on Economic Development .

Consumerism-Related Topics for Research Papers

This branch of economics research studies consumer behavior trends, namely the impact of personal economics on the common good. For example, some scientists believe that increased consumption has a positive effect on production trends. While other experts believe that such inequalities are unacceptable and adhere to the economic policy of sustainable development. A sustainable economy has recently become the center of scientific concern and a vast amount of economic essay topics.

  • The Psychology of Consumerism: Understanding the Emotional Drivers Behind Shopping Habits.
  • Sustainable Consumerism: Examining the Economic and Environmental Impacts of Ethical Consumption.
  • Analyzing the Influence of Marketing on Purchasing Decisions.
  • Examining the Economic Costs and Social Consequences of Overconsumption.
  • The Economics of Branding: Understanding the Value of Brand Names and Logos.
  • The Sharing Economy: Analyzing the Economic Impacts of Collaborative Consumption.
  • The Rise of E-commerce: Examining the Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Shopping.
  • The Consumer Society: Analyzing the Role of Materialism in Modern Culture.
  • The Future of Consumerism: Exploring Emerging Trends and Their Economic Implications.

Public Economic Development Essay Topics

If you’re choosing public development as your economics essay subject, you should include an economic evaluation of basic concepts that are related to social welfare. This area may include the city’s economy comparative analysis as a part of urban economics, law enforcement studies, and many other social domains.

  • Fiscal Policy and Economic Growth: Analyzing the Role of Government Spending and Taxation.
  • Public Debt and Deficits: Examining the Economic Impacts of Government Borrowing.
  • Taxation and Social Welfare: Balancing Economic Efficiency and Equity.
  • The Economics of Government Procurement: Analyzing the Costs and Benefits of Public Contracting.
  • The Economics of Healthcare Financing: Understanding the Costs and Benefits of Different Payment Systems.
  • Municipal Finance: Analyzing the Economics of Local Government Budgeting and Expenditure.
  • Sovereign Debt Crises: Analyzing the Economic Implications of Debt Defaults and Restructurings.

Topics for Finance Economic Paper

Your economics essay in financial management is going to revolve around the system of planning and apportionment of funds in markets. You can choose anything from urban finance and aggregate economics to critical analysis of foreign direct investment in inter international economy.

  • The Future of Fintech: Exploring Emerging Trends and their Financial Implications.
  • Examining the Economic Impacts of Government Oversight and Policy.
  • Investment Banking: Analyzing the Economics of Securities Underwriting and Capital Raising.
  • The Economics of Real Estate Investment: Understanding Property Markets and Valuations.
  • Risk Management: Examining the Economics of Hedging Strategies and Portfolio Diversification.
  • Financial Markets and Globalization: Analyzing the Economic Implications of International Capital Flows.
  • The Economics of Venture Capital: Understanding the Role of Risk Capital in Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Essay Topics about Taxes

Economic essay topics about taxes imply a comparative analysis of different taxation systems. Research on this topic will concern not only the tax system itself but also the study of bypass schemes, offshore zones, and other tricks. One example of intriguing economics topics is the study of the detrimental effects of taxes on ecology, as the problems of environmental protection remain unresolved.

  • Examining the Relationship between Government Revenue and Entrepreneurship.
  • The Costs and Benefits of Different Tax Systems.
  • The Ethics of Taxation: Analyzing the Social and Economic Implications of Taxation on Income Distribution.
  • Understanding the Economics of Offshore Tax Evasion and Avoidance.
  • The History of Taxation: Examining the Evolution of Taxation Systems from Ancient Times to the Present.
  • The Economic Impacts of Taxes on Carbon Emissions and Pollution.
  • Impacts of Sales Tax and Value-Added Tax on Consumer Behavior.


Economic Analysis on Human Development Paper Topic Ideas

Human development centers on the role of the public in economic convergence. You are supposed to concentrate on critical analysis of the progress of humanity, the level of life in developed and developing countries, track of economic behavior that leads to rapid economic growth, as well as the correct usage of scarce resources for general well-being.

  • The Role of Gender Equality in Economic and Social Progress.
  • Analyzing the Measurement and Evolution of Global Human Development.
  • Understanding the Cognitive and Emotional Factors that Shape Human Growth.
  • Analyzing the Role of Government Policies in Promoting Human Well-being.
  • Supporting Women’s Economic Empowerment in Fragile States .
  • The Relationship between Health Outcomes and Economic and Social Progress.
  • Positive and Negative Impacts of Technological Advances on Human Progress.
  • Exploring Emerging Trends and Challenges in Promoting Sustainable Human Development.

Labor and Economic Growth Essay Topics

Labor economics essay topics involve analysis of the labor force as an integral part of production. Among the topic ideas, you can study such economic problems as the correlation between population growth and surplus labor force in developing nations.

  • Economic Impacts of Freelance Work and Contingent Labor.
  • Impacts of Immigration on Labor Markets and Economic Growth.
  • Understanding the Factors that Contribute to Pay Disparities between Men and Women.
  • The Role of Unions in the Labor Market.
  • Examining the Economic Impacts of Minimum Wage Laws on Employment and Wages.
  • Labor Mobility: Understanding the Impacts of Labor Migration on Regional and National Labor Markets.
  • The Economics of Discrimination: Impacts of Race, Ethnicity, and Gender on Labor Market Outcomes.
  • Technological and Demographic Change on the Labor Market.

Essay Topics on the Economic Theory of Employment

Economics topics that consider the theory of employment study the decisions in the field of the labor force. In the coursework of research, you may study the services that individuals provide, the benefits of a cashless economy and its payment methods, and which role statistical data play in fulfilling the labor market needs.

  • Analyzing the Impacts of Technological and Demographic Changes on Employment.
  • Factors that Contribute to Employment Growth.
  • Economic Benefits in Attracting and Retaining Employees.
  • Examining the Economic Impacts of Employment Policies and Programs.
  • Understanding the Impacts of Workplace Environment and Culture on Employee Performance.
  • Impacts of Aging Populations and Retirement Trends on the Labor Market.
  • Capitalism and the Use of Disaster to Increase Economic Power .

Whatever topic you choose for your economics research, make sure it is within your field of interest. Scientific work always goes smoothly when you are motivated to bring newness to the underlying concepts. We wish you good luck with this difficult choice, as all economics essay topics are fascinating, and your task as a research paper writer is to bring your individual perspective to science.

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Economics College Essays Samples For Students

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Free International Relations of the Pacific Rim Essay Sample

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There are different countries that were affected by the Cold War that came after the Second World War. Cuba is an island country in the Southern America. This country was involved in the Cold War in different ways. The country allied itself to the Soviet Union and was used as a place where missiles that were directed to the United States of America were kept. This instance caused the country to be a player in the War. The diplomatic relations between the country and the United States of America also deteriorated.

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Violence Essay Sample

Violence is universally defined as the deliberate application of force, usually physical, against oneself, other people or a group of people, which causes physical harm or severe injury that may consequently lead to death. The act has to be intentional in spite of any of the premeditated outcomes. Any activity that presents injurious risk is depicted as violent.

European Region Essay Samples

Global economic system essays examples.

An economic system is a socially established institution that coordinates human activities in order to produce, distribute and consume goods and services. Goods comprise the commodities that are extracted from the earth and processed such as food, clothing and natural gas among others. Services comprise activities performed for others that result in the tangible products such as transportation, medical care and education among others. Therefore, three ongoing revolutions have shaped the global economic system. These revolutions include agricultural, industrial and information revolutions. These revolutions contain institutions that make them up, are constantly evolving, and will continue to evolve.

Europe Vs US Economic Situation Essay Samples

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Universality of human rights was introduced in the twentieth century following the declaration of Human Rights by the UN on the basis that the standards and principles of human rights have a universal nature. Its emergence came at a time that the world placed high expectations for the establishment that would propel the law and exercise control. Hence, the foundations of this declaration are on the protection of human rights be the universal rule of law.

Good Essay About Error

Visual argument.

Visual arguments are the quintessential form of conversing with the general masses with the claims, evidences and the assumptions and thus engage the people seeing the visual to the utmost degree. This picture in context was taken by a photographer named Kevin Carter and it depicts a child and a vulture in the land of Sudan. The photograph was taken as a document of the colossal calamity in the nation during a famine which left the world shocked by the extent of brutality of the nature and fate.

Financial Analysis Essay Samples

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- Financial Analysis is one of the most important concepts come under the ambit of finance (Eisen, p.12). The applicability and effectiveness of financial analysis could not be derailed from any aspect. John, who just completed his finance course, should take the course of business analysis after completing his course in Finance. Financial Analysis would certainly add value in his educational portfolio, if he really wishes to make his career in the capital markets. Financial analysis would enable John to assess the financial competitiveness of the companies and analyze the investment procedure effectively.

Good Example Of Adam Smith Essay

The article provides us with a profound insight of the Adam Smith’s philosophy. Moreover, it depicts Smith in a new light, which was unknown to most of the people, even those interested in economic theory and philosophy. Amartya Sen, in his article “Adam Smith and the contemporary world” asserts that usually people underestimate Smith’s influence on the economic theory and society as a whole. To prove the point, the author provides scores of relevant examples, quoting different passages from various works.

GDP Discussions Essay Sample

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Kenya has depicted some interesting trends in the socioeconomic sphere, since its independence some of them are portraying consistency like urbanization and fertility rate while others like per capita income, life expectancy and official development assistance, etc. show some marked changes. Some of these changes and their reasons along with their mutual correlation are explained in the following lines.

Free Essay On Plan for Electricity

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Immigration has become one of the main controversial political problems in the Europe. For instance, subsequent public protest has highlighted that immigration has absolutely become a main issue in the European societies. This is so because little is known to what motivates political actors to support or oppose it and since it create diverse society. Similarly, many European countries are confronting the challenges of ethnic relations and social cohesion linked with immigration. Therefore, we will evaluate why Europe has become a net recipient of immigrants.

Example Of Impact of Outsourcing in a Nations Economy Essay

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Correlations normally show the relationship between two variables. The three types of correlations are either positive, negative or no correlation at all.

International Relations Essays Examples

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The article by Ike Brannon and Chris Edwards (2009) analyses and criticizes the federal government’s intentions to execute a fiscal stimulus plan to inject $800 billion into the U.S. economy to fuel economic growth. This plan positioned Barack Obama and the key policymakers as the modern representatives of the Keynesian economic views, which appear to be highly controversial from the viewpoint of history and modern economic theory.

Sample Essay On Business Laws

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1A The leadership of the Virgin Atlantic believes that the success of the business strategy requires them to build their foundations by focusing on business and leisure market. Also, by building foundation by focusing on driving efficiency and effectiveness of the company. They have a simple mission statement, which is to embrace the human spirit and to fly. In contrast, the British Red Cross helps people who are in crisis, irrespective who and where they are. In their effort, they form part of a global voluntary network, who responds to “conflicts, natural disasters, and individual emergencies.”

Sample Essay On Impact of Progressive Era on Present Day America

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Gary S. Becker was an American economist. He was one of the first individual economists to become interested in and formulate theories on issues surrounding crime, punishment, discrimination, and altruism; his theories often crossed the boundary between economics and sociology (Clement 2002). Although this is a common practice today, when Becker began his work as an economist, the two fields were vastly different; this paper will investigate the overlap between Becker’s work and sociological fields, as well as the major contributions he made to the field of economics.

Good Essay On Socialization and Socio Economic

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An individual’s socialization process is generally affected by a plethora of issues. However, the profoundness of the impact of each of such varied factors always depends on the individual’s circumstance, personal experiences of the individual, and the stage of life of that particular individual. The various such agents of socialization are family, church, school, hospitals, media, workplace, social forums, among others.

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1) Lionfish, belonging to the genus Pterois, is native to the Pacific and Indian oceans. They inhabit the coral reefs and lagoons and predate the small fish. Lionfish is now abundantly encountered in the United States East coast and Caribbean Sea.

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1. In what ways is corruption a problem for economic development, social well-being, and prosperity? Unlock the mechanics of corruption.

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a. Hook: Economic recovery proved a highly daunting task for many of the devastated Western European nations following the Second World War. The destruction of lives and property due to the turn of political events during the Second World War depleted much of the resources of Western European nation, leaving them with so little to build on to enable their people to get back on track.

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The mexican peso essay samples, the leading lagging and coincident economic indicators essay examples.

The leading, lagging and coincident economic indicators are types of the timing attribute of economic indicators. This is because they indicate the timing of their relative changes with the changes on the entire economy. Economic indicators can be defined as the statistics indicating how well the economy of a given nation is performing and future projections on the performance of this economy (Hirschey, p. 212). These statistics include GDP, unemployment rates, and inflation rates among others. Leading, lagging and coincident economic indicators are as defined below:

Free Essay About Development Strategy

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Adam Smith is one of the most revered economists that influenced the development of modern economic thought. Adam Smith is famous for coining the term “the invisible hand of the market” which is the perfect metaphor for market movements driven by supply and demand. However what makes Adam Smith’s thinking unique is how it ties is yet contradicts the teachings of great thinkers ahead of him such Aristotle and Saint Thomas Aquinas on their ideas of wealth accumulation and self-motivation. He also thought similarly but contrasted with his contemporaries such as Bernard Mandeville.

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Harvard International Economics

Essay contest (hieec).

HIEEC provides students the opportunity to demonstrate an accomplished level of writing and understanding of economic theory. Through the contest, students hone their academic and professional skills and exhibit their knowledge. 

HIEE C 202 3 -2024

Hieec 2023-2024 is now closed. .

The 2023-2024  Harvard International Economics Essay Contest is sponsored by the Harvard Undergraduate Economics Association (HUEA). This essay competition is open to high school studen ts of any year and is a fantastic opportunity to demonstrat e an accom plished level of writing and understanding of economic the ory. T hrough the contest, student competitors hone their academic and professional skills and exhibit their knowledge to future employers and academic programs. 

Competitors must construct a convincing argument using economic theory and real-world examples. Winning essays will be published on our website  and will be available for the greater Harvard community to read. Essays should focus on argumentation supported with facts and references, although data-based support is also welcome.

Yiheng Lyu​

Audrey Ku k​

Hyoungjin Jin

Juyoung Chun

Kevin Zhang

Matthew Choi

Mikayil Sadikhov

Raunak Agarwal

Vallabh Himakunthala

Highly Commended

Aronima Biswas

Aryan Nangia

Kridaya Gupta

Leonardo Jia

Rohan Mathur

Anagha Chakravarti

Amberlynn Gong

Neha Shanavas

Donghyeon Oh

2023-2024  Essay Questions

Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) have the potential to affect growth, inequality, productivity, innovation, and employment. OpenAI’s ChatGPT, in particular, has greatly increased public awareness about the significance of AI and its implications for the future. What impact will the development of AI have on economic inequality, the composition of the workforce, and economic output as a whole? How can nations prepare for the micro and macroeconomic changes brought about by AI?

Measuring national and global economic activity allows us to understand how economies change in size and structure—how they grow and contract. In addition to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), government budgets, and the money supply, alternatives like the Human Development Index (HDI) and Gross National Income (GNI) are used to assess economic progress. What are the advantages of our current economic indices, including GDP, HDI, GNI, government budgets, and the money supply, and in what areas are they lacking? Which of these indices do you find most helpful, and how can we enhance or combine them to improve our understanding of economic measurement?

Proponents of income redistribution support the idea that redistribution policies will increase economic stability and give more opportunities to the less wealthy. Others, however, are more skeptical and believe it could have negative consequences for economic growth. Current methods of redistribution include taxation, welfare, public services, and other monetary policies. What strategies for income redistribution should the U.S. adopt from other countries? What economic impacts could a wealth tax or super millionaire tax have? What type of redistribution is most effective and feasible? What would be the impacts of the U.S. enacting universal basic income? Discuss the implications of any of these issues and feel free to expand on other areas of economic redistribution.

As the United States weighs the impacts of China’s rise to global prominence, economics and national security have become increasingly intertwined. As a result, the United States government has imposed both tariffs and investment restrictions on China to limit the nation’s access to both US markets and intellectual property (specifically in sensitive industries such as semiconductors). What are the economic implications of these policies for United States firms, consumers, and workers? Discuss the most important perspectives of the US-China trade war and provide suggestions on how both countries can manage the prospect of a changing economic order.

2nd November 2023 – Essay titles released

11:59pm EST 5th January 2024  – Essay submission deadline

Late February 2024*  – Highly Commended and Finalists notified

Early March 2024 * – Winners notified, results published on the website

*We received a high volume of submissions, therefore we anticipate  that it will take us a couple m ore w eeks to release the results. 

Entrants must choose one of the four prompts and write a response to it with a strict limit of 1500 words. Submission must be via the HUEA website and entrants are limited to submitting one essay with only the first submission being considered. Each essay submission will have a $20 reading fee which should be paid upon submission of the essay. If this fee will impose a significant financial burden on your family, please email us. The deadline for submitting the essay is 11:59pm EST January 5th, 2024. ​

Please submit essay submissions via this form.

If the above link does not work, use:

*Be sure to read all the details in the submission form carefully before submitting, as failure to complete any of the steps correctly may result in your submission not being considered.

The essays will be judged by the board of the HUEA, with the top 10 submissions being adjudicated by the esteemed Harvard professor and 2016 Economics Nobel Prize winner Oliver Hart.

The top three winning essays will be published ( with the author’s permission) on our website. A finalist s list of the top  submissions will be published online and adjudicated by 2016 Economics Nobel Prize Winner Oliver Hart. A list of names that will receive the "Highly Commended" distinction will also be published online​. The judges' decisions are final.

Terms and Conditions

The word limit of 1500 must be strictly adhered to. Any words past the limit will be truncated. This limit excludes references, footnotes, titles, headers and footers.

Essays must be written only by the entrant. Any outside assistance must be declared in the beginning or end of the essay.

Only your first submission will be accepted. Any further submissions will not be read.

References must be included, and any plagiarism will lead to disqualification.

References must be in Chicago or APA format. 

The only accepted document formatting is PDF. Any other format will not be accepted, nor will refunds be given to those who do not follow this rule.

No refunds are granted.

Grades 9-12 are permitted.

The essay must not be entered in any other competition nor be published elsewhere.

No individual feedback of essays will be granted.

The decisions made by HUEA by the final round of adjudication are final.

All winners agree to their names being published on the HUEA website.

Past Winners

2022  prompts an d winners.

In recent years and decades, many countries have seen fertility rates drop, potentially leading to falling populations. Currently, China has a fertility rate of 1.3, one of the lowest in the world. However, in 2021, China experienced GDP growth of 8% with output totaling $17.7 trillion. Will this lowered fertility rate (with potential to fall further) affect China’s economic growth and policy? How so? What, if anything, can the Chinese government do to limit the risk of falling fertility rates?

U.S. mortgage rates recently passed 7%, making the purchase of a new home increasingly unaffordable. Meanwhile, the United States has suffered from a chronic shortage of available housing for decades, particularly in urban areas, leading to what many scholars and advocates call an affordability crisis. Why is housing so unaffordable in the U.S.? What can (or should) be done by private actors, state and local governments, and the federal government to alleviate the affordability crisis?

It is often suggested that a tradeoff exists between economic growth and the health of the environment, especially now as the threat of climate change becomes more dire. What economic risks does a changing climate pose? Can economic growth be consistent with a healthy environment? What policies, either market-based or otherwise, should governments enact to protect the environment while posing the least danger to economic efficiency? 

Central banks such as the Federal Reserve in the U.S. and the Bank of England in the UK manage their nation’s macroeconomies with the goal of ensuring price stability and maximum employment. Globally, inflation rates are rising to levels not seen since the 1980s, particularly in the U.S. and European countries. To what extent should the monetary policies of central banks in various Western countries differ or resemble one another as a reaction to the specific causes of inflation facing their economies?

​ Click below to view each winner's essay

Ashwin t elang  *   nanxi jiang   *   duncan wong, 2019 wi n ner. oo-many

2020 Winners


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What I’ve Learned From My Students’ College Essays

The genre is often maligned for being formulaic and melodramatic, but it’s more important than you think.

An illustration of a high school student with blue hair, dreaming of what to write in their college essay.

By Nell Freudenberger

Most high school seniors approach the college essay with dread. Either their upbringing hasn’t supplied them with several hundred words of adversity, or worse, they’re afraid that packaging the genuine trauma they’ve experienced is the only way to secure their future. The college counselor at the Brooklyn high school where I’m a writing tutor advises against trauma porn. “Keep it brief , ” she says, “and show how you rose above it.”

I started volunteering in New York City schools in my 20s, before I had kids of my own. At the time, I liked hanging out with teenagers, whom I sometimes had more interesting conversations with than I did my peers. Often I worked with students who spoke English as a second language or who used slang in their writing, and at first I was hung up on grammar. Should I correct any deviation from “standard English” to appeal to some Wizard of Oz behind the curtains of a college admissions office? Or should I encourage students to write the way they speak, in pursuit of an authentic voice, that most elusive of literary qualities?

In fact, I was missing the point. One of many lessons the students have taught me is to let the story dictate the voice of the essay. A few years ago, I worked with a boy who claimed to have nothing to write about. His life had been ordinary, he said; nothing had happened to him. I asked if he wanted to try writing about a family member, his favorite school subject, a summer job? He glanced at his phone, his posture and expression suggesting that he’d rather be anywhere but in front of a computer with me. “Hobbies?” I suggested, without much hope. He gave me a shy glance. “I like to box,” he said.

I’ve had this experience with reluctant writers again and again — when a topic clicks with a student, an essay can unfurl spontaneously. Of course the primary goal of a college essay is to help its author get an education that leads to a career. Changes in testing policies and financial aid have made applying to college more confusing than ever, but essays have remained basically the same. I would argue that they’re much more than an onerous task or rote exercise, and that unlike standardized tests they are infinitely variable and sometimes beautiful. College essays also provide an opportunity to learn precision, clarity and the process of working toward the truth through multiple revisions.

When a topic clicks with a student, an essay can unfurl spontaneously.

Even if writing doesn’t end up being fundamental to their future professions, students learn to choose language carefully and to be suspicious of the first words that come to mind. Especially now, as college students shoulder so much of the country’s ethical responsibility for war with their protest movement, essay writing teaches prospective students an increasingly urgent lesson: that choosing their own words over ready-made phrases is the only reliable way to ensure they’re thinking for themselves.

Teenagers are ideal writers for several reasons. They’re usually free of preconceptions about writing, and they tend not to use self-consciously ‘‘literary’’ language. They’re allergic to hypocrisy and are generally unfiltered: They overshare, ask personal questions and call you out for microaggressions as well as less egregious (but still mortifying) verbal errors, such as referring to weed as ‘‘pot.’’ Most important, they have yet to put down their best stories in a finished form.

I can imagine an essay taking a risk and distinguishing itself formally — a poem or a one-act play — but most kids use a more straightforward model: a hook followed by a narrative built around “small moments” that lead to a concluding lesson or aspiration for the future. I never get tired of working with students on these essays because each one is different, and the short, rigid form sometimes makes an emotional story even more powerful. Before I read Javier Zamora’s wrenching “Solito,” I worked with a student who had been transported by a coyote into the U.S. and was reunited with his mother in the parking lot of a big-box store. I don’t remember whether this essay focused on specific skills or coping mechanisms that he gained from his ordeal. I remember only the bliss of the parent-and-child reunion in that uninspiring setting. If I were making a case to an admissions officer, I would suggest that simply being able to convey that experience demonstrates the kind of resilience that any college should admire.

The essays that have stayed with me over the years don’t follow a pattern. There are some narratives on very predictable topics — living up to the expectations of immigrant parents, or suffering from depression in 2020 — that are moving because of the attention with which the student describes the experience. One girl determined to become an engineer while watching her father build furniture from scraps after work; a boy, grieving for his mother during lockdown, began taking pictures of the sky.

If, as Lorrie Moore said, “a short story is a love affair; a novel is a marriage,” what is a college essay? Every once in a while I sit down next to a student and start reading, and I have to suppress my excitement, because there on the Google Doc in front of me is a real writer’s voice. One of the first students I ever worked with wrote about falling in love with another girl in dance class, the absolute magic of watching her move and the terror in the conflict between her feelings and the instruction of her religious middle school. She made me think that college essays are less like love than limerence: one-sided, obsessive, idiosyncratic but profound, the first draft of the most personal story their writers will ever tell.

Nell Freudenberger’s novel “The Limits” was published by Knopf last month. She volunteers through the PEN America Writers in the Schools program.


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