The Economics of Majoring in Economics


And you thought Bachelor of Arts students sucked at math.



OK, let’s have a look at this discipline in a rational, analytical way.

Just the way an economist might do it.

This is a practical, common-sense, “let’s talk about the real world” kind of discipline. It’s been described as the study of humankind in “the ordinary business of life”. It’s also defined as “the study of how to use scarce resources to best satisfy unlimited wants.”

Economic principles help answer questions by making clear the costs and benefits of alternatives and knowing how to weigh those costs and benefits to make a good decision.

What types of questions might an economist be able to answer?

Some pretty controversial ones, by the looks of it:

·         When the government has a surplus, should it pay off its debt or lower tax rates?

·         Why do professional athletes and entertainers have such high incomes?

·         How would Canada’s economy be affected if we comply with the Kyoto Accord?

Or how about this one: “Will the price of gas ever go down?

In fact, a great perk to majoring in economics is that when people begin to spout off their opinions on these topics, because pretty much EVERYONE has some opinion on these types of topics, you can have an EDUCATED opinion to respond with.

And that’s the best kind of opinion to have.

As an economics major, you will take classes in microeconomics – principles of consumption, production, exchange under different competitive conditions, applied to contemporary problems in the Canadian economy, like the structure of agriculture, foreign ownership, and pollution. You will also learn about macroeconomics – involving national income determination, monetary/banking systems, and the study of contemporary problems like unemployment, inflation, economic growth, business cycles, and the international economy.

You may also take classes in natural gas markets, the global trading system, money and banking, the economic analysis of law, public finance, the economics of health, the environment, transportation and/or agriculture,  mathematical economics, game theory and strategic thinking, international trade, experimental economics, and behavioural economics.

These are just a few examples. There are many more, varied types of classes you can take as an economics student.

A B.A. in economics is a four-year degree. You can also combine a degree in commerce or management with an economics degree at some universities.

If you’re interested in economics, and getting started on your degree here at RDC, visit, call (403) 342.3304 or email for more information.




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Filed under college, Where to go with a BA

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