Department of Economics

Johannes Kepler University

Why Economics?

Studying economics is an excellent preparation for a wide range of functions in business and the public sector. It gives you a thorough training in analyzing a range of economic problems. Economists can be found as financial analysts, economic consultants, human resource managers, policy advisors, researchers. They work for private banks, multinational companies, consultancy firms, governments, international organizations or research institutions.

During your studies you learn about a wide range of topics: macroeconomic relationships between inflation, unemployment and economic growth; the organization of markets and the possibility to fight cartels with regulation; economic links between countries and the spillover effects of financial crises; the organization of the labor market and the impact of for example minimum wages; financial markets and the role of banks in the economic system.

The relations between economic variables are analyzed in a rigorous way in economics. This training helps you a lot in your later career to analyze complex problems quickly in a comprehensive way. You also acquire basic quantitative skills which are indispensable at many positions in today’s society. The comparative advantage of economics relative to other studies is the combination of the training in analyzing complex problems quickly with the vast knowledge about a wide range of topics.

Where Do we Find Economists? Five examples . . .

  1. As advisor of the executive board of Voestalpine you advice this company about the extension of its production abroad. As economist you compare the local labor market conditions, the legal institutions, the infrastructure and the size of the market in different locations. As economist you are trained to evaluate the importance of these different elements and give a well-informed advice.
  2. As asset liabilities manager you decide about the investment strategies of BankAustria in Eastern European countries. You trade off the risks of investing in emerging markets against the possibilities of attractive returns.
  3. As researcher at the European Central Bank you make projections about economic growth, inflation and unemployment next years. You use computer simulations to make these projections. The ECB bases its interest rate decisions on your research.
  4. As consultant with Ernst and Young you advice a large hospital about a new system of payments of medical specialists that leads to more efficiency and cost savings. As economist you have learned about efficient incentive schemes.
  5. As policy advisor with the ministry of finance you advice the Austrian government about tax reform. As economist you have studied optimal taxation and the way the Austrian tax system is organized.

What do You Learn During Your Studies?

To be successful in jobs as described above you will be equipped both with economic theory and analytical tools. All our teaching combines Economic Theory, which provides a rigorous analytical background to address management decisions, and Applied Economics, where the use of statistical and econometric tools is central. Graduates of our program have a solid understanding of the fundamental quantitative tools from economic theory, probability, statistics, optimization and computer science. To a greater degree than at any time in the past, there is a body of knowledge that is essential for the proper analysis and management of the decisions of private businesses, but also government policy.

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