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Why study economics?

If you study economics you will think differently to others.

Helps to solve issues people face in their everyday lives

Economics students explore decisions that directly affect their lives, such as:

  • whether to do homework or go to a movie
  • extract mineral resources today or save them for the future
  • charge the full price or subsidise education to make it more accessible.

By studying economics, students will consider how New Zealanders are affected by the economic decision-making of individuals, communities, businesses, and government agencies in New Zealand and overseas.

They will:

  • develop an understanding of the New Zealand economy and the policies that the Government uses to manage it
  • make sense of economic problems that they may be facing, now and in the future
  • make connections between New Zealand’s economy and the global economy.

Students will understand why New Zealand consumers may experience price increases for products, such as cheese and butter, if local producers are exporting goods such as dairy produce for increasing returns.

Students will be challenged to find solutions to current macro-economic issues, such as unemployment, poverty, low economic growth, inflation, overuse of natural resources.

Recognises the different perspectives and values individuals and groups bring to economic decision making

Students will compare and contrast economic decisions affecting New Zealand in contexts in which resources are scarce.

Students will research the viewpoints different groups bring to negotiations. For example, an employer and an employee may have different views on what a fair wage increase might be.

Students will use analytical tools to present justified recommendations about resource issues. For example, a student could use efficiency and/or equity arguments to justify a policy like a carbon tax as a means of reducing global warming, or giving property rights to Māori as a means of conserving the foreshore.

By studying economics, students will learn to value all cultures and the contributions they make to economies. For example, a student might study the impact of immigration on the economy and what skills different immigrants bring to New Zealand.

Prepares students to participate effectively in the real world

Students will become financially capable.

They will be able to:

  • complete tax returns
  • make reasoned decisions about use of credit (for example, whether to use fixed or floating interest rates)
  • develop spreadsheets and interpret business and economic statistics
  • use economic models (both macro and micro) to enable critical thinking about the real world and so be able to explain the real world or make predictions about it.

Such critical thinking skills are highly valued in global job markets.

By studying economics, students will be able to use knowledge and technologies that will enable them to actively contribute in individual, business, government, and global financial contexts. They will see how their incomes will grow if they develop skills that employers demand.

Last updated November 26, 2010