economics

economics

Why Economics is Heating Up as the Economy Cools

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For decades, the study of economics has gotten a bad rap. Dubbed “the dismal science” for its devotion to numbers above all else, economics requires its disciples to have a strong grasp on complex mathematics and a commitment to rationalism even where rational behavior doesn’t exist. In the past, most American college graduates eschewed the emotionless field of economics for seemingly more passionate studies, like literature or biology.

However, research shows that more and more university students are turning their attention toward the dismal science; the number of graduates holding degrees in economics has risen nearly 40 percent in just five years. Economists themselves are baffled as to why such multitudes of students are turning to this age-old field, but they have offered a few reasons as to swing in attitude.

Pop Economics

Believe it or not, right now, economics is pretty cool. While in the past, economists did little to thin the density of the subject, today’s breed toils day and night to make regular people understand the importance of the science. Their struggles have paid off, and economics is now experiencing a unique period of popularity in culture.

Freakonomics, the book turned documentary turned podcast, is the most obvious example of this. Hosts Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner, a duo of an economist and a writer respectively, tackle everyday questions — Why should you get married? Why are some baby names popular? Why doesn’t everyone get vaccinated? — from an economist’s point of view. By reviewing numerical data published by authoritative sources, Levitt and Dubner are able to reveal the economics behind every decision humans make, which makes economics fascinating and relevant to everyone. Freakonomics and other media like it are creating a new brand of the science, called pop economics, which makes the subject more accessible and enjoyable. Read the rest of this entry »



Princeton Dean to Become President at Brown University

Since 1986, Dr. Christina Hull Paxson has been teaching at Princeton University. She started out teaching economics, founded the Wilson School’s Center for Health and Wellbeing in 2000, and became dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs in 2009.

Paxson obviously has had an impact on Princeton’s history for the past 26 years, but she is now stepping down from her position as dean in order to assume a more prestigious title: President of Brown University. Paxson will take over Ruth J. Simmons’ position on July 1, 2012. Simmons announced plans to vacate the position in September 2011.

Chancellor Thomas J. Tisch led the search committee which selected Paxson to become the newest president at Brown University. Tisch said that after seeing what Paxson has done at Princeton, he knew she was the right person for the job. Read the rest of this entry »



How to Study Abroad in Hong Kong, China

hong kong skylineHong Kong, China, is easily one of the most interesting cities in the world and has a little bit of something for everyone. If you are studying Asian cultures, international business, or economics, this is a great place for you to study abroad. However, if you are studying Mandarin Chinese, you should not study in Hong Kong because they speak Cantonese. However, it is still a great location to study abroad. Here are our tips for some things you should do while studying abroad in Hong Kong to really get a feel for the city and take advantage of some of the things it has to offer.

1. Learn about Hong Kong’s history. The Hong Kong Museum of History is a very informative museum about the history of this city. There are short movies and displays throughout the museum, which makes it more interesting than your average museum. I think the most interesting displays are those which deal with the city’s more recent history. The museum is only 10 HKD and is free on Wednesdays, so it is a budget-friendly way to spend a day. The museum is quite large, so allow for at least half a day to really see everything. Some other museums you should check out are the Hong Kong Space Museum and the Museum of Art.

2. Escape from the city in Lamma Island. Lamma Island is about a 30 minute fast ferry ride from the Central District of Hong Kong. Lamma Island is a great place to escape the hustle-and-bustle of the city for a day in favor of fresh seafood restaurants, hikes around the island, and some time at the beach. Some of the hikes on this island will give you fantastic views, so make sure you bring your tennis shoes and comfortable clothes to explore in.

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Shmoop Makes Learning More Fun

Shmoop website logoHave you ever wanted to learn about an academic subject – such as literature, economics, Shakespeare, or biology – but did not want to be bored to death as some old professor droned on and on about it? Well have no fear. There’s a new website that will teach you these things while also making you “a better love (of literature, history, life).” It’s called Shmoop.

Shmoop is a website that makes learning and writing more fun and also more relevant for everyone. They do this by reviewing topics that you really care about in a voice that is simple to read and actually pretty funny. They also teach you how to write papers, speak more intelligently in classes, and “make studying less of a snooze-fest.” Sounds like a good thing to me!

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Most Unusual College Scholarships

candyForget about the scholarships that are awarded for high grade-point averages or athletic ability. The following scholarships, although unusual, can help students with unique majors and interests land some cold, hard cash for college.

American Association of Candy Technologists Scholarship: If you’re serious about candy making, then this $5,000 scholarship could be for you. College sophomores, juniors and seniors carrying a 3.0 GPA and majoring in food science or other related major are eligible for this scholarship.

National Potato Council Scholarship: You don’t have to even like potatoes to receive this scholarship. The National Potato Council awards the annual $5,000 Potato Industry Scholarship to a graduate student in Agribusiness, which in turn helps out the potato business. Read the rest of this entry »



The Four Most Important Classes for Life

graduating manDo you ever wonder just how exactly your degree is going to help you in the real world? Your degree may give you a boost in your career, but what about life?

The sad truth is, you might be learning a lot of information that will not be useful to you after graduation.  However, if you follow the advice of Gregory Mankiw, a Harvard professor, and take classes that will prepare you for the “game of life,” you will receive a truly fulfilling education.

Mankiw thinks that there are four core areas that all students need to have at least a basic understanding of to be successful human beings: economics, statistics, finance, and psychology. Read the rest of this entry »



Miss USA Rima Fakih’s Education Background

Rima FakihSome say that beauty pageant contestants aren’t exactly the smartest girls in the world, but Rima Fakih, the 2010 Miss USA, easily proves them wrong.

Fakih immigrated to Queens, New York in 1993 with her family when she was seven years old from Sour, Lebanon. She attended St. John’s Preparatory School and graduated in 2003, when she was only 17 years old.

After she graduated, Fakih attended the University of Michigan. While in college, Fakih earned her bachelor of arts in economics, and also earned a minor in business administration. Read the rest of this entry »



Generation Y to Struggle Financially Forever

Credit Card PaymentAccording to new published reports, students and graduates born between 1980-2000 are probably going to be financially screwed for the rest of their lives.

This report comes from financial advisor Lee Jenkins of Lee Jenkins on Money. He asserts that “They have high, unrealistic expectations and many don’t manage money very well.”

Even prior to the December 2007 recession the students were destined for doom. Their parents had the G.I. Bill and pension plans while they have expensive high-tech gadgets necessary for scholastic success along with an average of $23,200 in student loan debt come graduation.

Additionally, the entire generation faces economic struggles come graduation where they will encounter a decline in health benefits, chronic job insecurity, stagnant wages, and a soaring increase in basic living expenses while having minimal savings. Read the rest of this entry »



Economics Classes May Make You More Conservative

republican partyDid you take an economics course in college? If so, you may have been swayed, either slightly or considerably, to side with the Republican Party from a fiscal standpoint.

According to a new study by the Federal Reserve’s Bank Of New York, students taking economics classes were less likely to favor “regulation or government intervention affecting prices for specific goods and services, including wages and salaries.”

In addition, the authors found that those who chose to take several economics classes were “more likely to agree that tariffs reduce economic welfare and less likely to think that trade deficits adversely affect the economy.”

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Five Highest Paying Bachelor’s Degrees

graduation cap and diplomaIn today’s competitive job market, no one can argue the necessity of having your bachelor’s degree. But the question is: in which field should you get that degree to get the biggest paycheck?

Engineering and math-related jobs seem to offer the highest salaries, particularly with the demand for these jobs increasing faster than the number of graduates. If you’re hoping for a job that will “show you the money,” you may want to consider these top-earning degrees from the Payscale College Salary Report:

Environmental Engineering

Engineering degrees count for seven of the top ten on Payscale’s list of best undergrad degrees for top salary. Engineers use their analytical and scientific knowledge to develop products and solve problems. Read the rest of this entry »





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