economics

Should Economics Departments Make Earning Their Major Harder?

Why would a department want to make their major harder to obtain? While it sounds a little backwards, making it harder to earn a degree in economics not only helps the reputation of your school, it helps the reputation of your department. Think about the psychology between reputation and academic rigor: Ivy League schools are extremely hard to get into, but their courses aren’t necessarily harder (if they’re harder at all) than anywhere else. Since most people don’t know the second part, many believe an Ivy League graduate has some sort of mythical power in their field. The ugly truth: Half of the time, it’s just brand loyalty.

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Why Economics Isn’t a Popular Major

I’ve come to notice that at the University of Oregon (UO), economics isn’t the most popular major. At least, not the most popular primary major. Much of the time, I’ve noticed that accounting, general business, and finance majors are usually the ones double majoring in economics (economics being the secondary major). Of course, this makes me quite sad.

Why would this matter to me? Well, in a way, it really doesn’t. It matters to me not because I love economics and I think everybody should study it. It matters to me because I know how useful of a major it can be. However, it really doesn’t matter to me because it just means that I get more time with professors and that’s less competition later in life. But what’s more interesting than this is why economics isn’t popular.

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Don’t Choose Any College by Rank!

Something that I think we tend to make a big mistake about is choosing a college by its prestige. Sure, going to a good school isn’t bad and people shouldn’t feel bad for choosing a college for being prestigious, at least as a factor in the decision. However, I’m going to say that choosing any college only for its prestige is ridiculous. Why? Because there’s more to college life and success than just how highly ranked the school is.

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The Minimum Wage “Adjusted for Inflation” is Biased Propaganda

We’ve all seen what the minimum wage would be if it were adjusted for inflation, but do we really understand what that means? Many people tend to think that it represents what the minimum wage would be if it kept up with inflation for all those years. I’m probably going to get a lot of backlash for this, but that’s not what it represents. It represents what the minimum wage would be in 2013 dollars and the purchasing power thereof.  However, there are organizations that preach “income inequality” and advocate for ludicrous minimum wage increases that would have you believe otherwise.

I decided to take a deeper look at what the minimum wage would be if it actually would be around $21.16 or $12 per hour. Hold on to your seats, because this small amount of research I did is going to make a lot of people confused, mad, and calling me names. Hint: It’s nowhere near what anybody thought it would be.

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The Value of a College Student’s Time

During my time in college, I’ve seen posters about why it’s important to attend your classes. One reason that caught my attention was that we lose $X each class we don’t attend. I wondered to myself, “How did they get that number?” Of course, math is the answer, but what were the factors used to determine that? I decided to fiddle around with some simple math and see for myself. Let’s just say that a $15 minimum wage wouldn’t make it worth it for most students at the University of Oregon to have a job.

If you’re in college, then you’re going to have an interesting time with this once you see what your time is worth. It also makes a great conversation starter at family gatherings such as Thanksgiving and Christmas.

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Good General Education Courses for Economics Majors

Many of us during our freshman year are always asked by our advisor, “Which general education classes would you like to plan to take?” We immediately reply, “I’m not sure.” Knowing what you want to take and what you should take are very important to any major. But in economics, we can tend to get farther and farther away from what will help round us and make us better at what we do. Because of this, I thought it would be good to write about what kind of general education courses would be good for economics majors to take.

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The Best Calculators for Economics Majors

I’ve seen plenty of places talk about which calculators we should all use for science, engineering, finance, and real estate. What bothers me is that there are plenty of great calculators, but nobody talks about what you should use for economics. On top of this, you’ll find that there are people who get ridiculous and say things like, “You don’t need much more than a simple $3 calculator from Target.” This leaves most of us in the dark when shopping for calculators.

As economics majors, we sometimes get screwed over when we think that we can just buy a fancy $150 graphing calculator and find out that our professors don’t allow them. Luckily, I’ve done some of the hard work and research by looking into things for us.

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