Four emerging subfields in the world of economics

@IE University

If you’re interested in studying economics, and are also drawn to cutting-edge innovation, consider these four emerging subfields as potential areas of study

Economics has long been a popular field of study for students hoping to launch a career on Wall Street—and for good reason. Over a quarter of analysts in New York City majored in economics, according to Business Insider. Better yet, the popularity of the degree among successful financial professionals holds true all the way up the ladder, with 19% of vice presidents and 20% of directors on Wall Street also having majored in the field.

Students who want to make a meaningful impact in a globalized world can earn a Bachelor in Economics (BIE) at IE University beginning in September 2018. Economics is a strategic choice because it trains students to think both conceptually and practically, creating versatile and highly employable workers. A graduate of IE University’s Bachelor in Economics program will be equally comfortable manipulating data as they are understanding relationships at a theoretical level, and predicting how those relationships could be maneuvered to increase sales or profits.

Though the study of economics may seem as classical as they come, the field is continuously evolving, and IE University’s degree program is uniquely focused on training students in the most current methods and topics.

By studying analytical frameworks borrowed from the fields of data and computer science, for example, graduates will be well-prepared to approach quantitative challenges in novel ways and offer innovative solutions. The economics curriculum at IE University is also unique in that it incorporates the study of emerging topics in the field, such as automation, e-platforms, and the circular and sharing economies. By analyzing the implications of these new institutions, students will better understand the future of the field, and feel well-informed in choosing a sustainable career path. Also, by studying newly recognized subfields of economics, such as behavioral and experimental economics, graduates will have the opportunity to work with new theoretical models.

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If you’re interested in studying economics, and are also drawn to cutting-edge innovation, consider these four emerging subfields as potential areas of study:

 Behavioral economics

 If you’d like to empower people to live their best lives, then this is the field for you. Behavioral economists integrate insights from the fields of psychology and economics to examine why humans sometimes make choices that aren’t in their best interest. Then, they use methods like behavioral nudging to encourage individuals to make smarter decisions. Nudging can have significant impacts on consumer behavior: when the regional grocery store Pay and Save placed green arrows on its floors pointing toward healthy food choices like fruits and vegetables, the amount of produce purchased at participating stores increased, according to a report by the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research.

 Experimental economics

 While economics traditionally involves the careful study of theoretical and mathematical models, experimental economists examine human behavior in the field or in a controlled laboratory setting, putting these conceptual models to the test. Experimental economists have already discovered that humans are less rational than they were previously assumed to be, and this is likely only the first of many similarly critical discoveries that this field will reveal. Experimental economics is well-suited for students interested in learning why markets and other exchange systems fail or succeed, and for students interested in experimental design.

 The circular economy

 Our economic system has long been linear: products are made from raw materials, and then once those products are used, any generated waste is discarded. However, in today’s world, many economists believe that this model is no longer viable. To decrease harm to both our planet and its inhabitants, some economists have proposed transitioning to a circular economy. In this model, products would be made more efficiently, and then reused instead of thrown away. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation defines the model’s three leading principles as such: designing out waste and pollution, keeping product and materials in use, and regenerating natural systems. This area of focus is perfect for students passionate about combating climate change and impacting world systems on a global scale.

The sharing economy

 If you’ve ever stayed in an Airbnb or ridden with BlaBlaCar, you’ve participated in the sharing economy. This term refers to a popular model in which an individual rents out something they are not using—be it their apartment or a seat in their car—to a stranger, in exchange for money. This system is disrupting traditional economic frameworks and is already changing the way in which labor markets and economic growth work. Because regulation in this sector is still largely in development, students graduating within the coming years will have the chance to make large-scale impacts on the reach of the sharing economy.

IE University’s robust and intellectually challenging Bachelor in Economics program is multidisciplinary in nature, and supplements traditional economics classes with updated topics and analytical methods related to the new economy. Graduates will be well-prepared for a fulfilling career on Wall Street, or in any number of other sectors, such as technology or healthcare, by studying a classical field from a future-forward perspective.