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

In no other academic field will you acquire as profound an understanding of economic interrelationships as in a degree program in economics. It encompasses a wide range of subjects, including macroeconomic aspects such as unemployment, income, and inflation; on the microeconomic level, topics such as decision-making behavior, market dynamics, and pricing mechanisms are analyzed. Is it all just abstract theory? Absolutely not! The concepts and methodologies learned during the study of economics are highly applicable to a wide range of questions within the realms of economics, politics, and society, which could hardly be of greater relevance.

Economists work on questions such as

  • How can economic policy contribute to addressing the climate crisis?
  • How does artificial intelligence influence the economy and our jobs?
  • Why have rents in large cities increased so significantly, and how can politics respond to it?
  • How can educational policy promote economic growth and social mobility?
  • Why is it important for the European Central Bank to be independent?
  • How does immigration impact the economy?
  • How can social inequality be reduced?
  • Why do important political reforms fail so often?

In order to address questions in these and other domains, economists utilize their skills and knowledge to analyze complex economic structures. Through the use of (mathematical) models, abstraction abilities, logical reasoning, and state-of-the-art data analysis methods, economists are able to isolate and systematically investigate specific aspects of a problem. This approach allows them to incrementally approach improved or even entirely novel solutions, contributing to the discovery of answers to significant economic and societal challenges.

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 cover even more areas. Find out how diverse the modules at the Department are by taking a look at the module catalog. To find out more, we recommend reading a good introduction to Economics (the section About the Bachelor's Program contains some suggestions).

As you can 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 would like to attend. And our webpage  Why Study Economics in Mannheim? describes in detail the most important 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).