"Economics is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services."
Breaking down that definition a bit more, economics is concerned about two main things:
Since the beginning of recorded human history, we have seen forms of trade in even early human civilizations. Simple barter economies were created to facilitate the exchange of goods and services of equivalent value. These people did not have a measure of value in the form of money. Instead, they would trade for whatever they needed to survive. However, as humans accumulated into cities and trade became more and more complicated, the first economists arose to make an order and give structure to the way humans do business.
For a more in-depth look at economics, check out this video series by our friends at CrashCourse:
Our modern version of economics is considered to have started in 1776 with Adam Smith's publication of Wealth of Nations. However, the field of economics has changed greatly since its inception. Like physics or biology, economics was not always perfectly accurate in its models and explanation of the markets around us. An example of an economic failure was the Great Depression in 1929. Back then, economists believed that the economy would always drift back to equilibrium and that the government should not be involved in the regulating of the economy. Likewise, foolish and risky gambles by the big banks caused the Great Recession in 2007-2009. As economists, we must take the lessons that history has taught us and ensure that they do not happen again. While economics is a field with much history and depth, it is also a field that is constantly changing and evolving with people and with the times, making it an exciting subject to major in.
Economists are equipped to handle a variety of jobs, with required coursework including math, statistics, and ethics courses. Economists tend to go one of three routes:
Shang is a current undergraduate at UC Berkeley studying Economics and Data Science. His hobbies include cooking, hiking, and playing video games. Send him new article recommendations or suggestions at email@example.com
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