Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Economics: In SAIS's hard wiring

From SAIS's inception, economics has been intrinsic to the program. Economics was not tacked on to a menu of other social science courses as an after-thought. It is a main dish.

Here is how the International Economics department puts it on our website:

Prof. Carbonara
The strong emphasis placed on economics in the curriculum is one of the unique characteristics that sets SAIS apart from other graduate programs in international affairs....

This required concentration in international economics is designed to provide students with a solid understanding of economic theories and concepts as well as the important role economics processes play in international affairs. Whether you are interested in pursuing a career in international finance, public policy, business, or economic development, our program provides students with the knowledge, skills, and analytical capacity required for success in both the public and private sector.

Can you think of a current global issue that does not have an economic dimension? The euro zone crisis? The U.S. fiscal cliff? Regional tensions in Asia?

SAIS students are taught to look at problems from a variety of perspectives, something the multidisciplinary curriculum encourages.

Prof. Alvisi
A while back we published a post on the economics program and included a question from a final exam in International Monetary Theory, one of four required economics courses.

Today we publish the mid-term microeconomics exam given by Professors Alvisi and Carbonara last month. You can read the exam here.

If you haven't taken intermediate micro yet, please do not be intimidated by this exam. (My reaction when I read the exam was, "Goodness, I'm glad I satisfied the SAIS economics requirement three decades ago!")

The point is that students are taught to be able to answer these kinds of questions, which help them tackle complex problems besetting the world. It's not so much economics for economics' sake as economics for the world's sake.

Nelson Graves

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I like this one! "It's not so much economics for economics' sake as economics for the world's sake".