Reflections on Economics at Michigan

For my 40th blog post (about an hour before the last post is due) I wanted to reflect on a few details of my economics major at Michigan. I hope that some of the other seniors in the class will agree with some of the points that I make here.

First off, I would like to echo professor Kimball’s words. To paraphrase; while we obviously learn a lot in each class, that dwarfs what we can learn from a lifetime of following the news and reading articles related to Economics. This is true not just of this course, but the economics program as a whole. I am sure that maybe someone going on to a PHD or Masters in Economics may disagree, but since I am stopping my formal studies of economics at the undergraduate level, I am hoping that I can continue learning a substantial amount using my economics studies at Michigan as a lens with which I can view the rest of the information that I consume throughout my career.

I would also like to mention one of the courses that I took at Michigan that has had a substantial impact on me. The first elective that I took in the economics department was Econ 395, the Economics of Education with Adam Stevenson. The course looked at economics models of why people choose a given amount of education and examined different ways to improve education in the United States, among other things. Not only did this class do an excellent job of preparing me for Econ 401 and other upper level courses, it gave me an interest in education policy in the United States that has stuck with me for the past three years. With the amount of resources spent per pupil, it is amazing that our elementary and high school students are not performing better on international comparisons. While this is all unrelated to the job I will be starting in a few months, education policy is something that I follow on news sites such as politico (not to mention, it gave me a better understanding of the education reform bill that was discussed throughout the first several episodes of House of Cards).

I could write a similar paragraph about most of the economics courses that I took here. My point is that as many of us get ready to move on to the next chapter of our lives, we shouldn’t forget the impact that each class has had on us and how truly valuable our economics degrees will be to us.

2 thoughts on “Reflections on Economics at Michigan

  1. jhchamot

    Good point. What Professor Kimball said, and you in this post, about learning so much from reading and following the news is incredibly true. For me, this class really opened by eyes to this fact as it forced us to read articles and learn about so many things.

  2. schultka

    Nice reflection. As a graduating economics major myself, I definitely agree with the points you make. The elective econ classes that I’ve taken here at Michigan; such as Health Economics, American Industries, Economics of Population, and this class, have definitely been eye opening for me. Although these classes are unrelated to the job field that I will be going into, they definitely made me appreciate the roles of economics in each sector and I have learned a great deal.

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