Occidental has long had a strong program in economics as an integral part of its liberal arts approach to high-quality undergraduate education.
The department aims to ensure that students majoring in economics (1) understand the framework that professional economists use to analyze social and economic issues; (2) recognize how economic behavior and policies can affect both the aggregate level of prosperity and differentials in prosperity across members of society distinguished by characteristics such as race, gender, and socioeconomic status; (3) have proficient decision-making and problem-solving skills; (4) are competent in writing and speaking; and (5) possess critical-thinking skills that enable them to apply the theoretical and empirical tools of professional economists to a wide range of issues.
The department is committed to effective student learning. Courses focus on the concrete application of economics concepts, through examples, exercises, interactive handouts, supplementary readings, discussions, writing assignments, projects, debates, and presentations. The department promotes active learning and encourages students to work together through the use of a variety of tools like the cooperative learning lab. Course examinations emphasize essay and problem-solving questions, in contrast to the reported results of a recent survey of examinations in introductory economics courses which found that multiple-choice questions constituted an average of 30 percent of examination grades at other liberal arts colleges and 70 percent at universities.
- Chair Office: Fowler 225
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: (323) 259-1304
- Fax: (323) 259-2704