Economics is defined as the study of how people choose to use their scarce resources in an attempt to satisfy their unlimited wants. In other words, we have unlimited possibilities in life to do whatever we want, but we are limited by the resources we have to do these things.
Economics builds scientific models to explain why people behave the way they do. And economists use these models, in conjunction with their observations of the world, to analyze and explain why things happen the way they do.
Economics is about solving problems. Even more, economics is about finding the truth, even if the truth may go counter to what you, and most people, may intuitively believe. From The Wealth of Nations to Freakonomics, the writings of economists have had a major impact on social thought and the decisions of policy makers.
Students majoring in Economics should have good analytical skills along with good writing skills. Economic graduates find employment in banking, finance, retail, government, planning, and forecasting. Also, Economics is a perfect preparation for Law School.
Top Student Research is recognized annually by our Adam Smith Prizes. These prizes are awarded to the top two research papers submitted each year. Beginning in 2010, this award is funded by alumnus John Haines. First prize is $2000 and second prize is $1000.
The Economics Department hosts the Joseph Lucia Memorial Lecture each year. Past speakers include several Nobel Laureates such as James Tobin, James Buchanan, and Joseph Stiglitz. Since 2003, this event has been funded by alumnus William Stewart.
One strength of the Economics degree is the wide variety of topics students can study –Public Finance, Industrial Organization, International Trade and Game Theory to name just a few of our upper division electives. In addition, students interested in graduate study, are strongly encouraged to take Econometrics, Mathematical Economics, and Advanced Macroeconomics.
Students in the College of Arts & Sciences majoring in Economics receive the Bachelor of Arts in Economics.
2020 Adam Smith Contest Announcement:
The Economics Department announces its 2020 Adam Smith Contest, its annual student research paper competition. Eligible papers (by Villanova Economics majors or minors in the class of 2019, 2020 or 2021 in conjunction with Villanova coursework) may address any economics topic. Entries up to 10,000 words are acceptable. Email submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org by midnight, 3/31/20. Finalists present papers at event on 4/28/20. Finalists are judged on both written content and oral presentation. First- and second-place winners are recognized with awards of $2000 and $1000, respectively; honorable mention awards (if any) are $500 each. The Adam Smith Contest is funded by a gift from John Haines (A&S ’79).