Day in the Life of a Professional Economist

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I'm thinking of Lectorial 3, "A Day in the Life of a Skilled Economist." Two of the topics that piqued my attention were the curriculum and preparation scheme and the Emissions-Related Fines. Though the course included a lot of material that wasn't particularly interesting to me, the two topics were because I intend to be a practicing economist in the future. I can relate to the topic of education and training system, which centers mostly on theory, and issues relating to emissions and fines that are mostly the application of the knowledge gained through learning. The two themes help me understand how I can apply economic theory to my future career.


The first theme, "education and training system," was intriguing because I wanted to find out how education and training affect the economy. Before learning the theme, I knew there was a positive relationship between an educated population and economic growth. The theme confirmed that indeed, the economy of a nation grows in terms of productivity because the percentage of employees with education increases. Individuals with good degrees are better suited to the transition from the learning world to the professional world (Cameron, 2016, pg. 8). According to Backhouse (2010, pg. 111), education is an important factor in developing and harnessing human capital. Education and training programs require financial investment. Thus, opportunity cost, an important economic concept, finds application in education and training.

In the theme of training and education system, I observed that problems within the economy could result from a poor education system beginning from the pre-school level. This explicates the interdependencies of education and the economy. I also found that letting children remain in school for a long time relative to the time out for school holidays had a negative relationship to performance. In countries like Singapore, Finland, and Hong Kong where school days are short, schools have better outcomes. From this observation, I learned an important application of the concept of marginal benefit. If children stay at school for long, the marginal benefit of learning diminishes. When children do not learn well because the education and training system denies them enough time to relax, the economy cannot grow well unlike where the system ensures that school days are minimal. On the same theme, I learned the critical role that wages play in an economy. I found an application of the Cobweb Model, which explicates shifts in demand for different kinds of employees. An important event that exemplifies this theme is the shedding of employees as companies tried to cope following the introduction of a minimum wage in various U.S. states.

The other theme of emissions-related fines had important lessons on how economic theory may not apply in all situations. For instance, an event that reflects this theme is when Ireland targeted that by 2020, emissions would go down by 20%. Academic forecasters used economic and other models, but their work was only to offer advice. Official forecasts took place with political influence, and this intrigued me. I believe such issues justify the study of political economy. I also find the theme important because economists need to take into account political and other factors as they apply economic models. Regarding interdependencies, it is clear what shapes economic events is more than just economic factors. Various elements of the economy such as consumption, elasticities, taxes, wages, technology, education, and inflation keep changing. Thus, it might not be possible to apply economic theories at all times. For instance, Enhancing technology and boosting skill levels can contribute significantly to economic growth (Earle et al., 2016, pg. 43).


This lecture will help me in the future because I will ensure to apply economic models while considering other factors. Similarly, I will see to it that my salary is commensurate with the time and resources I have spent while studying. I understand that learning is an opportunity cost and so I have to compensate for it. As an economist, I will use the knowledge of the concepts to avoid making general assumptions in any economic scenario. The significance of the themes is that I will be a better economist in the future, and I will have an easy time in my economist career. My view of economic theory has changed after closely following the lecture. I will be able to apply the theory learned in class to the practical world as recommended by Burns and Sinfield (2008, pg. 225). I understand that an economist has to be careful not to analyze economic phenomena or events wrongly. My education will result in increased proficiency as an economist, and, therefore, I will be a better person in terms of professional development.


Backhouse, R.E., 2010. The Puzzle of Modern Economics: Science or Ideology? Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.

Burns, T. & Sinfield, S., 2008. Essential Study Skills: The Complete Guide to Success at University. Thousand Oaks, California, United States: SAGE Publications Ltd.

Cameron, S., 2016. The Business Student's Handbook. 6th ed. London, England, UK: Pearson Education Limited.

Earle, J., Moran, C. & Ward-Perkins, Z., 2016. The Econocracy: The Perils of Leaving

Economics to the Experts. illustrated ed. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.

November 23, 2022

Science Life

Subject area:

Theory Training Knowledge

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