Economics is the study of how people, working through institutions such as households, businesses, markets, and governmental agencies, organize to produce and distribute goods, including the material requisites of life, and bads, including pollutants. As such, the study of economics concerns the wealth of individuals and the wealth of nations. Students learn the methods economists employ for managing and solving problems. Students learn about the historical context of production and exchange, and studies the decision rules societies use in the allocation of scarce resources amongst competing uses, and distribution of goods/bads amongst individuals. Students study growth patterns in production and distribution, and how public policy is devised to manage and resolve the social tensions revolving around production and distribution with the intention to improve the well-being of society.
The study of economics has been variously pursued using analytical approaches, historical approaches, and/or institutional and sociological approaches. At Merrimack, economics majors have the opportunity to explore all of these approaches with an overall emphasis on developing their problem-solving skills.
Economics, at Merrimack, is regarded and taught as part of a Liberal Arts education. Students, who major in economics, prepare themselves for a variety of careers. Some move on to graduate study in economics and become professional economists. The majority, however, pursue careers in law, public policy, government, and many aspects of business, including banking and financial analysis, management and marketing.
Our program goals include:
- To provide majors and minors with a wide range of career choices, including, but not limited to, business, finance, law, teaching, and public policy.
- To provide majors and minors with a conceptual framework for understanding and critiquing complex and contradictory perspectives of how economies work.
- To provide majors and minors with the principles to make normative assessments of economic systems.
- To provide non-majors with an introduction to economics that emphasizes the rules of decision-making and the tools of market analysis and assessment.
Our learning goals include:
- To understand that economics is a social science, emphasizing the social relationships involved in the problems of resource allocation, production, exchange and distribution.
- To understand the causes and consequences of national economic events, including the role of economic policy in response to and as a cause of economic outcomes.
- To understand the inter-relationships between historical events and the development of economic theory, including the various core assumptions that lead to contrasting world- views.
- To understand the basic factual knowledge of the U.S. economy and the world economy.
- To develop skills in numeracy, including deriving and interpreting quantitative measurements.
Introduction to Economics
Students who intend to either major or minor in economics should first take ECO1203, Principles of Microeconomics, or ECO1204, Principles of Macroeconomics. These are our gateway courses and are designed for all students. Economics majors are encouraged to take additional courses from the following fields which are closely allied to economics and/or prepare students for further study in economics:
Accounting, finance, management, marketing, or statistics, for those pursuing careers in business administration.
Political science, history, or sociology, for those interested in contemporary social problems.
Mathematics and computer science, for those intending to do applied work in economics or earn graduate degrees in economics.
Major GPA. The GPA for the Economics major will be calculated by taking the average of courses designated ECO.