The Economics Department

About Economics

Economics is defined as the study of how people choose to use their scarce resources in an attempt to satisfy their unlimited wants. It is an extremely practical field covering many fascinating areas of study that have applications in virtually every industry and institution. With its emphasis in academic rigor, the economics major is an excellent pre-graduate school program and many students go on to obtain an advanced degree in business, law, or public policy, and some continue on in economics and earn a masters or Ph.D. It is also very good preparation for careers in business, government, and the law, as well as for specific areas in education, journalism, foreign service, consulting and politics. To find out more about the study of economics, including career prospects, check out these links:

If you are considering the economics major at UT, please see the "Prospective Majors" link and the other Undergraduate links in the column to the left. If you still have questions please contact our advising office. We are happy to talk with you about our program either by phone, email, or in-person by appointment.

Further Reading

If the study of economics has whetted your appetite, there are plenty of places to go and things to read to learn more. Here are a few of the publications most economists have on their desk or bookshelf (or in their computer).


Wall Street Journal--The primary daily newspaper for business and economics. A must read everyday.

The New York Times--The New York Times is another good source for daily business and economics news.


Business Week--Another primary source for business and economics news, published weekly.

The Economist--Published in England, The Economist is a good source for economic analysis on newsworthy issues


Journal of Economic Perspectives (JEP)--Most economics journals are far too technical for introductory students. This is one of the reasons the American Economic Association founded this journal in 1987. Many of the papers in JEP are commissioned surveys for nonspecialists, and most are written by well-known experts in the field.

American Economic Review--The American Economics Association also publishes this journal and, while many of the articles are beyond the scope of the introductory student, some articles, especially those taken from the annual meeting of the Association, are fairly accessible.


The Armchair Economist : Economics and Everyday Life--The Armchair Economist, by Steven E.Landsburg, shows how economic thinking illuminates the entire range of human behavior. Instead of focusing on the workings of financial markets, international trade, and other topics distant from the experience of most readers, Landsburg mines the details of daily life to reveal what the laws of economics tell us about ourselves.

Economics Explained : Everything You Need to Know About How the Economy Works and Where It's Going--Economics Explained, by Robert L. Heilbroner and Lester C. Thurow, is the substantially revised and updated third edition of their primer on economics. Heilbroner and Thurow are two of today's better-known economists.