"In its broadest sense, economics is the study of a process we find in all human societies—the process of providing for the material well-being of society."
Robert Heilbroner (1919-2005), author of The Worldly Philosophers, who spent his career as a Professor of Economics at the New School.
The Economics program at Eugene Lang College, which leads to a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, emphasizes the historical roots of economic ideas and their role in contemporary political and economic debates throughout the world. Courses explore topics such as world financial markets and institutions; economic development in rich and poor countries; inequality and unemployment; and the economic aspects of class, gender, racial, and ethnic divisions. Students are also trained in the quantitative methods of the field: economic modeling, econometrics, and the application of statistics to the understanding of economic issues.
The Economics program fits comfortably in the liberal arts tradition of Eugene Lang College, with courses in the history of economic thought and the philosophy of economics. Students may take an interdisciplinary approach and combine the study of economics with other fields, such as philosophy or global studies. Training in quantitative methods prepares students for further study in economics; for careers in law, politics, business, and the media; and for a wealth of other possibilities. Our graduates have found jobs with the United Nations, trade unions, community development organizations, and environmental groups.
New York City, site of the United Nations and home of Wall Street, offers unique opportunities for economics students. As part of their coursework or the student-run Political Economy Club, students have visited the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the New York Stock Exchange, apparel factories in Chinatown, and the United Nations.
The Economics faculty at Lang College have expertise in a variety of fields, including economic development, the history and philosophy of economic thought, labor, the environment, the economics of poverty and aging, international economics, Marxian and Keynesian economics, macroeconomics, econometrics, public finance, the economics of innovation, finance, money and banking, feminist economics, and industrial organization. There is ongoing faculty research on the economies of the United States, Latin America, South Asia, and Europe.
The department puts what Robert Heilbroner called "the worldly philosophy" (that is, informed, critical, and passionate investigation of the economic dynamics of contemporary society) at the heart of its teaching and research. Through the study of economics, students are empowered to participate effectively in debates about some of the central unresolved dilemmas of modern society.
Students can study economics as a major (BA Economics), a minor, or a self-designed major (BA or BS Liberal Arts).