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What is Economics ? Why is it Important ?

Economics teaches us that the most pressing issue of our society is the issue of scarcity. As agents seek to maximize their utility, they must make decisions--yielding opportunity costs and trade-offs. Thus, economists seeks to analyze and describe the consequences of choices made in light of scarce resources. Economics studies the forces individuals and societies choose to employ those resources, what goods and services will be produced, how will they be produced and how they will be distributed among members of society. See why it's important ?

The discipline is divided into two sub-fields--microeconomics and macroeconomics. Micro-economists study the decision-making behavior of individuals and firms whereas macro-economists study the behavior of the economy as a whole. Topics of concern for micro-economists range from firm competition, game theory, labor laws and consumer demand theory, whereas macro-economists are concerned with subjects such as inflation rates, economic growth, and the rate of unemployment.

Economic analysis has many applications throughout society, in business, in finance, and most notably, in public policy. Economists have the most policy influence of any group of social scientists. Economics is the only social science that controls the Federal Reserve, a major branch of government policy and the only social science that has an office in the White House-- The Council of Economic Advisors.

The economic profession has considerable influence over the real word, however it is not influenced by a wide range of the population. The economics profession includes disproportionately few women and members of historically underrepresented racial and ethnic minority groups. Diversity breeds innovation and a breath of new thought. The lack of diversity in the profession limits the science being able to advance. More diversity in the economics profession would yield a better science, a better pedagogy, and better policy dimensions. Economics is omnipresent in society from education to legislation-- having more black economists could drastically change the black experience in America.

*For more information about the importance of diversity in the economics profession, visit www.diversifyingecon.org.

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