Economics studies how markets allocate resources, goods and services, and incomes throughout the economy. It analyzes how the aggregate level of economic activity is determined; how well the economy performs with respect to inflation, unemployment, and growth; and the implications of government involvement in particular markets and in the economy as a whole via policies to improve economic performance or distributional equity. The major is designed to develop a core set of skills useful in analysis of economic issues while maintaining a commitment to a liberal arts education. The curriculum provides preparation for graduate study or careers in economics, business, law, government, and public affairs.
Students are encouraged to participate in the Scripps College Economic Society, and the Student Investment Fund. The Joan Robinson Prize is awarded for superior accomplishment in the economics senior thesis.
A student wishing to complete a dual major in economics and any other field must fulfill the economics major requirements with the following exceptions.
The student must complete three (rather than four) electives, at least two with an intermediate theory prerequisite.
The student may take the senior seminar either in the Economics Department or in the department offering the complementary portion of the dual major.
A BA/MA program in economics with The Claremont Graduate University is available for Claremont Colleges students; contact CGU for more information.
Senior Thesis in Economics
The final requirement for a degree in Economics or Mathematical Economics is the senior thesis. Senior theses are supervised by two members of the Scripps College faculty: the director of the thesis and a second reader chosen in the relevant field. A minimum grade of D is required on the senior thesis for graduation.
The Joan Robinson Prize in Economics was established in memory of this highly-acclaimed female economist. The prize is given by the economics faculty for superior accomplishment in the senior thesis, judged on analytical and creative merit.
Recent economics senior thesis topics include:
- The Effects of the Suspension of the Thirty-Year Treasury Bond on Thirty-Year Mortgage Rates
- The Psychology of Frugality: Time Preference, Risk Tolerance, Personal Attributes and Parental Influences as Predictors of Frugality (dual Economics-Psychology major)
- Market Power and Market Price: An Analysis of the Undergraduate Textbook Publishing Industry
- Costs and Benefits of State Lending to Chinese SOEs
- Institutionalized Identity: The Negotiation of Southern Economic Institutions and Historical Ideology in William Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha County (dual Economics-English major)
- Effects of Disasters on Economies: An Examination of the Kobe Earthquake, the Gulf War, and the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001
- Hoola Lahui: Early Childbearing and the Native Hawaiian Population
- Are Capital Controls on the Rebound? A Case Study of Malaysia’s Response to the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis: How Do the Stock Market and the Housing Market Affect Durable Goods Consumption?
- College Students and Their Credit Cards: Attitudes Toward Credit and Debt and the Relationship Between Debt and General Well-Being: (dual Economics-Psychology major)