Economics @ X Home Page

Welcome to the Department of Economics at StFX

NEW! 2016 Economics Student Research Day

Honours thesis presentations of students working in the Department of Economics will occur on Wednesday, April 6. This year we have 14 presentations by BA, BBA and BSc students, divided among six sessions. Download the program.

NEW! Tenure Track Position in the Department of Economics

The Department of Economics is expanding, and is currently accepting applications for a new tenure-track position. Preference will be given to candidates specializing in macroeconomics and related fields. Closing Date: 12 February, 2016. THIS POSITION HAS NOW BEEN FILLED. THANKS FOR YOUR INTEREST.

NEW! Department of Economics 2015-16 Newsletter:

Download the Fall 2015 edition of Economics News, the department's newsletter. It contains a wealth of information regarding recent student and faculty achievements in the department.

NEW! Fall 2015 Economics Seminar Schedule:

Download the Fall 2015 Economics Research Seminar Schedule. Economists from StFX and elsewhere present some of their latest research findings on Fridays from 3:30 to 5:00 in Schwartz 289. Although occasionally technical, students and faculty from all departments are welcome to attend.

NEW! 2015-16 Edition of the Economics Student Handbook

Download the 2015-16 Economics Student Handbook for helpful advice on Economics program and course selections, as well as stories and examples about how an Economics degree can lead to rewarding careers.

NEW Course in 2015-16:

ECON 491 Selected Topic: The Economics of Violence

This course examines the economic causes and consequences of violent conflict, whether it be from the perspective of nation states (eg. war, revolution), or between individuals (eg. civil unrest, domestic abuse). We will use both microeconomic theory and well-identified empirical evidence to analyse fundamental questions, such as “How can we prevent violence?” By the end of this course, you should have a thorough understanding of the economic literature on violence, and be able to engage with the most current issues in the field. More generally, you will learn how to apply theory and evidence to policy. Pre-requisites: ECON 201, (MATH 111 or ECON 271). Instructor: Cornelius Christian

What is Economics?

Economics studies the challenges facing human beings as a result of the limited amounts of natural resources, human effort, skills and tools, buildings and materials produced in the past. The better use we make of these resources, the richer our lives can be. This focus of economics leads it to examine the major problems facing rich and poor nations today - unemployment, inflation, poverty and inequality, pollution and environmental degradation, lack of sustainable development, depletion of fish stocks and deforestation, government spending and taxation, budget deficits and national debts.

Why study Economics?

Economics is an essential component of an education in business administration since it can explain the behavior of markets and asset prices. The study of economics is also an integral part of a liberal arts education because it interprets the structure and organization of society while developing a student's ability to analyze problems logically. Students of disciplines such as political science, history, geography, sociology and anthropology find that economics enriches their understanding of these fields. Students of engineering, geology and other sciences benefit from familiarity with the economic causes and consequences of problems they tackle, such as declining fish stocks or the construction of a bridge.


Governments and international organizations employ many economists to assist with the design and analysis of economic policy. For example, the Bank of Canada, Department of Finance, Department of Foreign Affairs and the International Monetary Fund all hire many Economics graduates.

Within the private sector, economics graduates can also be found working as journalists, lawyers, bankers and managers. Given this employment flexibility, surveys have shown that the salaries of economics graduates tend to be among the highest among social science and applied science graduates. A recent study also finds that, out of 50 different disciplines, graduates of only eight disciplines earn statistically more than Economics graduates.

Economics @ X

Although small in terms of faculty numbers, members of the Economics department can teach a broad range of courses and are active in many areas of research. Faculty members regularly present their work at national and international conferences and have published in many highly-ranked peer-reviewed journals, such as the Journal of Econometrics, the Journal of Economic Growth, the Review of Economics and Statistics and Econometric Reviews. Every summer they hire upper-year students to work as research assistants, thereby providing further valuable training to students.

In the past five years enrolment in Economics courses at St FX has grown by over 60%, reflecting heightened student interest in this field and the department's strong teachers. Last fall, as a group Economics faculty received the third highest student evaluation score at StFX, while Professor Rosborough was the recipient of the 2014 StFX Outstanding Teaching Award.

The department is responding to this higher demand by offering new courses and hiring new tenure-track faculty. In 2012 the department welcomed Patrick Withey (Ph.D. Victoria), a specialist in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics; in 2013 we were joined by Zeynep Ozkok (Ph.D. Carlos III - Madrid), who specializes in International Economics; and in 2015 we are pleased to welcome Cornelius Christian (D.Phil. Oxford), who specializes in Economic History, the Economics of Violence and Development Economics.

The department also has the honour of hosting the 51st annual meeting of the Canadian Economics Association (CEA) in June, 2017. Over 800 economists from academia and government, from across Canada and around the world, are expected to descend on campus over a four-day period to present their latest research. This will be the first time that the CEA has chosen to hold its conference outside a major urban centre, so students entering our program beginning in 2013 will have a unique opportunity to witness the behind-the-secnes conference preparations and to participate in its success.