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Economics is a liberal arts discipline that combines history, social science, philosophy, and mathematics in the study of human behavior. The economics program at Knox stresses problem solving and writing as skills which are necessary for a successful life and career.
Economics is primarily concerned with two questions faced by any group of people: how to allocate scarce resources among the many competing demands for them and how to distribute the fruits of the productive process among the members of the group. The study of economics applies theoretical, historical, institutional, and quantitative approaches to the analysis of these questions. Students have the benefit of small classes, courses that include research opportunities, access to numerous off-campus programs of special interest to economics majors, and professors who are both scholars and teachers. The major prepares students for graduate study in economics, business, law and public affairs, as well as for careers in these and many other fields.
Economic literacy is a valuable asset in business, and the department's introductory courses in microeconomics, macroeconomics, statistics, and accounting are especially recommended for students interested in business careers.
All Knox economics majors take a core curriculum consisting of two courses each in microeconomics, macroeconomics, and statistics, along with single courses in calculus and accounting. Among the electives in the department are the following courses: Economic Development, Industrial Organization, Labor Economics, Environmental Economics, International Economics, and Econometrics.Economics majors also take a senior seminar that addresses the nature of economic theory as a whole, and emphasizes the application of economic theory. The faculty stress the development of problem-solving abilities and familiarity with computer applications, as well as the implicit and explicit value judgments involved in economic analysis and decision making -- preparation that is highly valued by employers.
Knox College's Centel Data Analysis Lab in George Davis Hall is reserved specifically for statistical work in economics and the social sciences. The lab has 25 computer workstations and peripherals, all linked through the College's campus-wide fiber-optic network. Standard and specialized software applications also are available across the network.
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