2018-19 Teaching Assistants Required
Interested students should visit the Economics Funding and Scholarships page for more information
2018-19 Economics Timetable Highlights
- This year the Department of Economics will be offering its largest selection of courses ever. This includes:
- ECON 305 & 306 (Economic Development I & II),
- ECON 335 & 336 (Money & Financial Markets I & II),
- ECON 391 & 392 (Public Finance I & II)
- ECON 415 (Introduction to Game Theory).
- In addition, the Department will be offering two Selected Topics courses this year:
ECON 397:10 Law & Economics (pre-requisite: ECON 201), taught by J. Rosborough
This course uses economic theory to understand the general structure of law. It is not a law course. Specifically, it analyzes the economic logic of law, how alterations in laws influence the allocation of resources, and how general economic activity feedback and influence the law. In doing so it provides a theory of the legal regime. The course begins with a general discussion of economic reasoning and the concept of efficiency. It then examines the Coase Theorem in considerable detail, and in doing so builds a basic theory of law based on transaction costs. After these introductory foundations, we move on to cover the legal topics of property, torts & liability, contracts and crime.
ECON 491:10 International Economic Prospects & Challenges (pre-requisites: ECON 101 and 102), taught by B. Malloy
This course covers policy issues and problems in the international economy. Topics include: Standard international trade theory; barriers to trade (tariffs, quotas and subsidies); exchange rate policy; immigration and emigration; trade wars; international economic, monetary and political unions; inequality and standards of living; income and purchasing power. Topics that reflect strong student interest and/or new issues may be added.
What is Economics?
Economics studies the challenges facing human beings as a result of the limited amounts of natural resources, human effort, skills and tools, buildings and materials produced in the past. The better use we make of these resources, the richer our lives can be. This focus of economics leads it to examine the major problems facing rich and poor nations today - unemployment, inflation, poverty and inequality, pollution and environmental degradation, lack of sustainable development, depletion of fish stocks and deforestation, government spending and taxation, budget deficits and national debts.
Why study Economics?
Althought administratively located in the Faculty of Arts, Economics lies at the intersection of the Faculties of Arts, Science and Business, and is the only discipline at StFX that can lead to a BBA, BA or BSc degree.
Economics is an essential component of an education in business administration since it can explain the behavior of markets and asset prices. The study of economics is also an integral part of a liberal arts education because it interprets the structure and organization of society while developing a student's ability to analyze problems logically. Students of disciplines such as political science, history, geography, sociology and anthropology find that economics enriches their understanding of these fields. Students of engineering, geology and other sciences benefit from familiarity with the economic causes and consequences of problems they tackle, such as declining fish stocks or the construction of a bridge. It is also an excellent complement to disciplines such as Physics or Chemistry, as students have increasingly combined their studies of those areas with a specialization in Economics (either a joint degree or as a second degree).
Governments and international organizations employ many economists to assist with the design and analysis of economic policy. For example, the Bank of Canada, Department of Finance, Department of Foreign Affairs and the International Monetary Fund all hire many Economics graduates.
Within the private sector, economics graduates can also be found working as journalists, lawyers, bankers and managers. Given this employment flexibility, surveys have shown that the salaries of economics graduates tend to be among the highest among social science and applied science graduates. A recent Canadian study finds that, out of 50 different disciplines, graduates of only eight disciplines earn statistically more than Economics graduates. In the United States, a 2015 report by Kiplinger finds that Economics ranks fourth among all majors for career and earning prospects, placing ahead of disciplines such as Nursing, Finance, Physics, Civil Engineering and Actuarial Mathematics.
This informative nine-minute video produced by the American Economic Association provides first-hand accounts of the types of careers that can be pursued with an Economics background.
Economics @ X
Although small in terms of faculty numbers, members of the Economics department can teach a broad range of courses and are active in many areas of research. Faculty members regularly present their work at national and international conferences and have published in many highly-ranked peer-reviewed journals, such as the Journal of Econometrics, the Journal of Economic Growth, Economic Inquiry and Econometric Reviews. Every summer they hire upper-year students to work as research assistants, thereby providing further valuable training to students.
In the past five years enrolment in Economics courses at St FX has grown by almost 80%, reflecting heightened student interest in this field and the department's strong teachers. Students graduating from the department's Honours programs are among the very best in the country, as reflecting in job placements, graduate school placements and national awards. As a group, our 2018 graduates were offered over $1.1 Million in graduate school funding, with the average offer being over $20,000, to puruse a 12-month master's program in Economics.
The department is responding to this higher demand by offering new courses and hiring new tenure-track faculty. In 2016 the department welcomed Brandon Malloy (Ph.D. Western Ontario), who specializes in Macroeconomics and International Trade. In 2017 we were pleased to welcome Fraser Summerfield (Ph.D. Guelph), who teaches Microeconomics, Labor Economics, Health Economics and Econometrics. Finally, joining us in 2018 is Diana Alessandrini (Ph.D. Guelph), who comes to us after teaching at Auburn University in Alabama these last few years. Professor Alessandrini specializes in Macroeconomics and Labor Economics, and will be teaching Public Finance I & II this year.
The department also had the honour of hosting the 51st annual meeting of the Canadian Economics Association (CEA) in June, 2017. Over 700 economists from academia and government, from across Canada and around the world, descended on campus over a four-day period to present their latest research. This was the first time that the CEA has chosen to hold its conference outside a major urban centre, and students had a unique opportunity to witness the behind-the-secnes conference preparations and to participate in its success.