Almost all choices, whether of individuals, groups, organizations or societies, involve evaluating trade-offs. Trade-offs exist for managers of corporations facing bankruptcy risks, nonprofit organizations facing public apathy, governmental agencies facing voter interests and bureaucratic constraints, and households facing family crises.
Economics is the study of trade-offs, especially as they arise from human desires, limitations, opportunities and incentives. Training in economics is useful whether you want to change the world, become rich or obtain a better understanding of human behavior.
Students of economics at Lawrence first acquire a basic knowledge of economic theories, principles and techniques of analysis. They then apply them to a wide range of problems, from poverty and discrimination to macroeconomic stabilization policy and environmental degradation. Students learn early on that modern economics is an application of mathematical modeling to the study of human behavior.
The interdisciplinary mathematics-economics major is a mathematics-rich major designed as a strong foundation for graduate work in economics. The professional economist needs a strong foundation in mathematics. It has also been well-received in technical business careers, such as investment banking, management consulting and finance.
Alfred Marshall, one of the greatest economists of all time, defined Economics as "a study of mankind in the ordinary business of life." This definition gives you an idea of how broadly relevant Economics is in the world. Economics is a social science. Economics is a necessary policy tool. You need Economics to understand the business world. Economics teaches you to understand decision making. Economics courses at Lawrence provide excellent opportunities for students to develop critical reasoning skills essential in today’s world, whether you want to be a successful lawyer, an engineer or an investment banker. You will have ample opportunity to use computers for analyzing statistics, forecasting, modeling, and evaluating governmental policies. You'll be encouraged to take courses from the entire range of departments- natural sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities - in order to complement your studies in economics and to become a successful, well-rounded individual.
An Economics degree gives you an advantage to work in careers ranging from public service, private industry, to international organizations and education. The liberal arts education you will be part of at Lawrence is increasingly recognized as a solid foundation for a business career.