We put the "cent" in "incentive."


The next time you turn on the news, see if you can go five minutes without hearing the word "economy." Seriously, it's a big deal. It doesn't matter whether you watch Fox News or NBC, it's always "economy this" and "economy that." Some of that might have to do with the Financial Crisis of 2008, but there's another reason "economy" is such a buzz word on TV and in our everyday lives.

Not to sound self-obsessed, but the United States is pretty much at the center when it comes to the world economy. What happens here affects not only everyone in the county, but the rest of the world, too. A lot of other countries rely on the United States for work and goods, so if we go kaput, they go kaput. Of course, we rely on other countries, too (cough China cough).

And you know, majoring in economy doesn't necessarily mean you'll only be studying the economy, or macroeconomics. There are plenty of microeconomic theories that explain why individual people do what they do. For example, if there's a highway roadblock that impedes traffic, you can bet there'll be just about as much traffic on alternate routes. Also, if you've ever "sweetened the deal," that's called providing incentive.

People who major in economics tend to be business-savvy number-crunchers and are probably the most formulaic grocery shoppers. They analyze the outcomes and risks of certain policies to help influence where our country goes. Hey, maybe decreasing taxes will help, or perhaps going back to using gold as currency. An economics major will be able to tell you which idea is silly and why, which is what Shmoop lives for.

Famous People who majored in Economics

  • Cate Blanchett
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • Ronald Reagan
  • George H. W. Bush
  • Diane von Furstenberg
  • Tiger Woods
  • Lionel Richie
  • Matthew Fox

Percentage of US students who major in Economics:


Stats obtained from this source.