In economics, we examine how individuals and societies use their scarce resources. While many economic concepts are directly applicable to business and household decisions, economics is better understood as “a method rather than a doctrine, an apparatus of the mind, a technique of thinking that helps its possessor to draw correct conclusions.” This economic way of thinking has been applied to issues as diverse as global warming and crime and as timely as proposals for a national sales tax and the impact of free-trade agreements. Regardless of the issue, economics has relevance; virtually every decision made by individuals and societies has an economic dimension.
What makes Berry’s faculty stand out?
- Committed teachers and scholars bridging the college’s liberal arts and business curriculums.
- Wide range of research interests.
- Frequently published in both academic journals and popular newspapers and magazines.
- Diverse teaching interests. In recent years, the economics department has added courses in environmental economics, economic history and the economic analysis of law, as well as special courses on sports economics and mathematical economics.
What degree options are available?
Economics majors can choose either the Bachelor of Arts degree or the Bachelor of Science degree. While the requirements for the two are largely the same, this option provides students the flexibility of tailoring their course of study to their interests. Many students have taken advantage of this flexibility by adding a minor in business, government, history or mathematics. For current major requirements, visit www.berry.edu/requirements/business.
What distinguishes the Berry economics program?
- A high level of student-faculty interaction because of small class sizes, the student Work Experience Program and activities sponsored by the economics honor society, Omicron Delta Epsilon.
- A high level of collaborative research between students and faculty. Berry economics faculty members view research as a form of beyond-the classroom teaching rather than as a faculty-only enterprise.
What are the topics of some recent student/faculty collaborative research?
- The effect of mandatory bicycle helmet laws on child bicycle fatalities.
- Analysis of some effects of Georgia’s HOPE scholarship program.
- Factors affecting attendance at professional sporting events.
- The consumer benefits of tax credits for purchasing hybrid cars.
- The effect of a new educational requirement for accountants on the supply of new CPAs.
- The factors hindering the economic development of Sub-Saharan Africa.
- Examination of 19th-century property ownership patterns.
What kind of work do Berry economics graduates do?
Since economics is excellent preparation for a wide range of careers and postgraduate studies, it is not surprising that our students have followed many paths after graduation. Some use economics as a springboard for advanced studies in law, economics and public policy; studies have shown that economics majors often have the highest scores on the LSAT and that lawyers who majored in economics as undergraduates typically have higher salaries than other attorneys. Other students opt to enter the workforce after graduation; Berry economics graduates are successful in many fields including insurance, finance and banking.
What about summer internships?
Meaningful summer experiences are one reason for the postgraduate success of Berry economics students. Recently, Berry students have been selected for prestigious Washington internships, have enrolled in selective summer economics programs and have interned for local law firms.
What special programs are available?
The Koch Scholars program provides funding for student research projects, prominent guest speakers and a new colloquium course addressing topics of current interest.