WHY STUDY AT UCLA?
Choosing a university is no small feat. It’s important to make sure that the schools you apply to have the programs and resources that meet your personal and academic needs. It’s also important to understand what the schools expect from you.
We believe UCLA offers some of the best academic and student-services programs around; our undergraduates are some of the most accomplished and motivated students anywhere. Find out for yourself. Use the links found on the website below to learn more about what it takes to be a Bruin.
WHY STUDY ECONOMICS?
An undergraduate degree in economics seeks to educate students about how choices are made by individuals and firms, and how these decisions aggregate into economy-wide phenomena. Economics is often dryly described as studying “the allocation of scarce resources”. In practice, we study three major types of problems. These are described below.
First – we study incentives, meaning that we are interested in how people make choices, and how they react to changes in prices and other aspects of the environment. For example, how will a household’s decision about whether to take out a mortgage depend on their expectation of future house prices? And, how will a mortgage broker’s decision to approve a risky loan depend on their ability to quickly sell it off to an investor (e.g. a pension fund)?
Second – we are interested in the strategic interaction of agents. When someone makes a decision, they must anticipate how other players will react, and what information is conveyed by these decisions. For example, if one mortgage broker weakens their mortgage requirements, will other brokers loosen theirs? And, if a mortgage broker tries to sell off a mortgage rather than hold onto it themselves, what should the investor infer about the quality (i.e. riskiness) of the underlying mortgages?
Third – we are interested in how all these individual decisions aggregate at the industry-level or economy-level, sometimes with unexpected effects. For example, in the run up to the 2008 financial crisis, mortgage brokers to made very risky loans knowing that they could sell them to pension funds, causing a bubble in housing prices. On the other hand, new financial innovation can allow the peoples’ retirement savings to be channeled into new investment opportunities and generate economic growth.
A B.A. degree in economics provides a theoretical and empirical toolkit to investigate how people make decisions, and how markets perform.
If this sounds interesting – then an undergraduate degree in economics might just be the perfect program for you.
For more information about our undergraduate programs in UCLA’s Department of Economics, we encourage you to review our Economics Undergraduate Student Handbook.