What is Economics? Is It the Right Subject for Me?

Economics is a broad and varied field which teaches you more about the economy than any other subject. The program covers topics such as unemployment, income, and inflation, and, on a microeconomic level, decision analysis, markets, and pricing. Is it just dull theory? No way! The concepts and methods that you learn by studying Economics can be applied to diverse economic, political and social questions which couldn’t be more relevant nowadays.

Economists work on questions such as

  • Why do important, political reforms fail so often?
  • How does minimum wage affect employment?
  • What caused the financial crisis in 2008 and the European debt crisis in 2010/2011? And how did these crises affect the German, European and global economies?
  • Why can an increase in the tax rate lead to a decrease in tax revenue?
  • Why is the independence of the European Central Bank important?
  • How do individuals behave when negotiating e.g. in political decision-making processes?
  • How are labor markets and economic growth affected by the distribution of roles within the family?
  • Is development aid always useful or can it have negative effects?
  • How should measures to improve environmental quality be implemented?

To answer these, and similar, questions, economists analyze complex structures using their specialist knowledge, mathematical and economic methods, and abstract and logical thinking. They isolate parts of a problem and change selected variables to identify possible solutions.

The differences between Economics and Business Administration are explained, in German, here.

Subject Areas Related to Economics

The following subject areas are central to Economics: microeconomics, macroeconomics, economic policy, international economics, game theory, public economics and econometrics.

But the modules available at the Department of Economics in Mannheim don’t just cover these areas. Find out how diverse the modules at the Department are by taking a look at the module catalog.

The diagram above shows some of the areas that are being researched at the Department of Economics in Mannheim. This site lists other disciplines that are taught at the Department.

You can find out more by reading a good introduction to Economics (the section About the Bachelor's Program contains some recommendations).

You see, Economics is an interesting and diverse field. In Mannheim, you can tailor the degree program to your strengths and interests by deciding which of the numerous elective modules you attend. Under Why Study Economics in Mannheim?, you can find the most significant reasons for choosing to study at our Department.  

Make the World a Little Bit Better

The career opportunities open to graduates of the Economics program are just as diverse as the topics and subject areas studied. A video by the American Economic Association provides some examples of how economists can make the world a little bit better.

You can find examples of where economists work under Career Options for Graduates (in German language).