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, the Student Investment Fund, and Money Wise Women events and activities. The Joan Robinson Prize is awarded for superior accomplishment in the economics senior thesis.
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)
Department Goals and Objectives
- Students will gain knowledge in Economics.
- Students combine and apply acquired disciplinary knowledge.
- Students are able to recognize valid claims or arguments.
- Students understand the assumptions, approaches, and debates in their discipline.
- Students can assess the merit or contribution of their work within the expectations of their discipline.
- Students communicate effectively to their target audience.
Student Learning Outcomes
- SLO1: Students demonstrate basic skills and abilities with their subject matter.
- SLO2: Students synthesize acquired disciplinary knowledge with that of other disciplines when appropriate.
- SLO3: Student work will demonstrate an ability to accurately summarize the most important findings of previous literature and offer a legitimate and sound critique of existing research.
- SLO4: In theoretical settings, student work should show how proofs and axioms can be used to develop economic models; in applied settings, student work should utilize the appropriate data and empirical methodology.
- SLO5: Student work demonstrates how their topic and approach fits within economics and related disciplines.
- SLO6: Student writing and oral presentations (when applicable) are organized, engage the audience, can be understood by an advanced student in economics, and demonstrate command of the material.