Economics @ X Home Page

Welcome to the Department of Economics at StFX

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.

Careers

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 Canadian study finds that, out of 50 different disciplines, graduates of only eight disciplines earn statistically more than Economics graduates. In the United States, a 2015 report by Kiplinger finds that Economics ranks fourth among all majors for career and earning prospects, placing ahead of disciplines such as Finance, Physics, Civil Engineering and Actuarial Mathematics.

This informative nine-minute video produced by the American Economic Association provides first-hand accounts of the types of careers that can be pursued with an Economics background.

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 almost 80%, reflecting heightened student interest in this field and the department's strong teachers. Students graduating from the department's Honours programs are among the very best in the country, as reflecting in job placements and graduate school placements. As a group, our graduates last year were offered over $500,000 in graduate school funding, with the average offer being over $30,000 to puruse a 12-month master's program in Economics.

The department is responding to this higher demand by offering new courses and hiring new tenure-track faculty. In 2013 the department welcomed Zeynep Ozkok (Ph.D. Carlos III - Madrid), who specializes in International Economics. In 2015 we were joined by Cornelius Christian (D.Phil. Oxford), who specializes in Economic History, the Economics of Violence and Development Economics. In 2016 we are pleased to welcome Brandon Malloy (Ph.D. Western Ontario), who will teach Macroeconomics and International Trade.

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 will have a unique opportunity to witness the behind-the-secnes conference preparations and to participate in its success.