The study of economics

Many students in Singapore do not get exposure to the study of Economics until after secondary school. This is justified as the complexity of Economics makes it difficult to understand without prior knowledge or experience in the world. The tremendous benefits of the knowledge of Economics is grossly understated. 

Why are some countries rich and other countries poor?

Why are some countries rich and other countries poor? How will the aging population affect the way things are run? With the onset of globalization, how has this change the demographics and diversity? These are some of the questions that Economists look to answer. But what is Economics exactly? Economics can be defined in different ways. The three main ways to define the study of Economics is that of the study of scarcity, how people use resources and decision making. 

Famous Economists

One of the most basic principle of Economics that is still taught in schools today is that of Adam Smith’s invisible hand. Adam Smith was an Economists who lived in the 18th century. Educated at the age of 14 at the University of Glasgow, he is now deemed as the ‘Father of Modern Economics’, best known for his book ‘The Wealth of Nations’ where he introduced the theory of invisible hand and argued for free trade  and market competition. The book is used even up to today, forming the foundations of economic policies around the world. His influence and knowledge have even landed his face on the back of the 20 pound note in England!

Marx have been both lauded and criticized for his work, and had communism not be brushed aside by capitalism, Marx would have been more widely acknowledged today

Another famous Economist is Karl Marx who lived in the 19th century. More commonly remembered as a revolutionary advocate for communism, Marx was also a classical economist who predicted that capitalism would lead to fluctuations and economic crises. Marx went on to publish ‘The Communist Manifesto’ in 1948, a political pamphlet that attempts to explain the goals and theory underlying communism. Marx have been both lauded and criticized for his work, and had communism not be brushed aside by capitalism, Marx would have been more widely acknowledged today.

A well-known economist today is none other than Paul Krugman. Based in America, Krugman has written over 20 books and published over 200 scholarly articles in professional journals. Krugman has written on a wide range of economic issues including income distribution, taxation, macroeconomics and international economics. 

Why study economics 

1.    Breadth of Knowledge

Economics is all around us. Economics provides an all-encompassing study of the broad knowledge of the world. It has an impact on all walks of life. From the fish monger in the market to the chief executive officer of a multinational company, Economics plays a part in how they conduct their business. The understanding of Economics will provide you with a bird’s eye view on the processes and reasons for decisions that businesses undertake. 

2.    Skill Set

The rigor of an Economics education will provide you with strong analytical and reasoning skills as you will be required to understand complex local, national and international problems. In addition, you will gain strong problem-solving skills as you will be encouraged to come up with solutions to address these problems. These skills are often cited as one of the highly sought after skills in the workplace that employers look out for in employees. 

3.    Employment

Economics graduates have bright career prospects. They have the flexibility of going both into the private and public sector. One can get into civil service, consulting, investment banking, management etc. In addition, being paid well adds to the sweetness of this benefit. 

Economics provides those who are willing to go through the rigor of the subject a bird’s eye view on the problems around the world, its impact and the possible solutions that once can take to solve them. The practical benefits of the breadth of knowledge obtained, an increase in skill set and employment that one may get from studying economics hopefully provides an incentive for you to take on this seemingly difficult subject.

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