Economists apply economic analysis to issues within a variety of fields, such as education, health, development, and the environment. Some economists study the cost of products, healthcare, or energy. Others examine employment levels, business cycles, or exchange rates. Still, others analyze the effect of taxes, inflation, or interest rates.
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Economists often study historical trends and use them to make forecasts. They research and analyze data using a variety of software programs, including spreadsheets, statistical analysis, and database management programs. Nearly half of all economists work in federal, state, and local government.
Federal government economists collect and analyze data about the U. They also project spending needs and inform policymakers on the economic impact of laws and regulations. Many economists work for corporations and help them understand how the economy will affect their business. Specifically, economists may analyze issues such as consumer demand and sales to help a company maximize its profits. Economists also work for research firms and think tanks, where they study and analyze a variety of economic issues. Their analyses and forecasts are frequently published in newspapers and journal articles.
Some economists work for companies with major international operations and for international organizations such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and United Nations. Econometricians develop models and use mathematical analyses to test economic relationships.
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They use techniques such as calculus, game theory, and regression analysis to explain economic facts or trends in all areas of economics. Financial economists analyze savings, investments, and risk. They also study financial markets and financial institutions.
Industrial organization economists study how companies within an industry are organized and how they compete. They also examine how antitrust laws, which regulate attempts by companies to restrict competition, affect markets. International economists study international trade and the impact of globalization. They also examine global financial markets and exchange rates. Labor economists study the supply of workers and the demand for labor by employers.
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Specifically, they research employment levels and how wages are set. They also analyze the effects of labor-related policies, such as minimum wage laws, and institutions, such as unions. Macroeconomists and monetary economists examine the economy as a whole. They may research trends related to unemployment, inflation, and economic growth. They also study fiscal and monetary policies, which examine the effects of money supply and interest rates on the economy.
Microeconomists study supply and demand decisions of individuals and firms. For example, they may determine the quantity of products consumers will demand at a particular price. Public finance economists study the role of government in the economy. Specifically, they may analyze the effects of tax cuts, budget deficits, and welfare policies. Not sure how to choose the best career for you? Now, you can predict which career will satisfy you in the long term by taking a scientifically validated career test. Gain the clarity and confidence that comes from understanding your strengths, talents, and preferences, and knowing which path is truly right for you.
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Take The Test. Economists held about 16, jobs in , of which 45 percent were in government. Another 19 percent worked in management, scientific, and professional consulting services.
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Economists typically work independently in an office. However, many economists collaborate with other economists and statisticians, sometimes working on teams. Some economists work from home, and others may be required to travel as part of their job or to attend conferences. Some economists combine a full-time job in universities or business with part-time consulting work. Most economists work full time.
Some work under pressure of deadlines and tight schedules that may require long hours. Positions in business, research, or international organizations often require a combination of graduate education and work experience.
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An advanced degree is sometimes required for advancement to higher level positions. Aspiring economists can gain valuable experience from internships that involve gathering and analyzing data, researching economic issues and trends, and writing reports on their findings. In addition, related experience, such as working in business or finance, can be advantageous.
Economists typically have an interest in the Thinking, Persuading and Organizing interest areas, according to the Holland Code framework. The Thinking interest area indicates a focus on researching, investigating, and increasing the understanding of natural laws. The Persuading interest area indicates a focus on influencing, motivating, and selling to other people. The Organizing interest area indicates a focus on working with information and processes to keep things arranged in orderly systems.
If you are not sure whether you have a Thinking or Persuading or Organizing interest which might fit with a career as an economist, you can take a career test to measure your interests. Find out more about Andrew at andrewoswald. For all Andrew Oswald's recent research papers, click here. Blanchflower, March Christakis and David G. Blanchflower, Working paper December Goodall and Lawrence M. Hunter and Bruce G.