Economics Personal Statement
Economics Personal Statement
As the recent debt crisis in the Eurozone, when contrasted with the rapid economic development of China, exhibits; no economy exists in isolation from the global context. Equally, Economics itself does not exist in isolation from the drives of the individuals and groups whose behaviour it describes. While it is essential to understand the logical, mathematical approach of this key discipline, therefore, one’s understanding can only be enhanced by considering the motivations, ethics and applicability of the systems observed.
Economics necessarily attempts to rationalise the often irrational behaviour of human beings. The history of political philosophy is littered with works whose attempts to do this have inevitably gone on to shaped economic thought. The Social Contract by Rousseau, for example, which discusses the relationship between the sovereignty of the people and the power of the state, is still relevant when applied to capitalist democracies; which must balance the concentration of economic power against the will of the people. The development of the welfare state in post-war Britain, its vulnerable contemporary position, and the relative levels of support it receives in different economic contexts, provides a fascinating example of the continuing applicability of these debates in both contemporary politics and economics.
Keeping up with current affairs is also essential in a subject with such an impact and I read ‘The Economist’ and a range of other news media to ensure that I am up to date. Reading about China’s alarming gender disparity, demonstrated how socio-political reformation, such as the “One child policy”, has altered future economic stability, both for China and the rest of the world, demonstrating now short term economic solutions can lead to longer term problems. Reading about the history of financial risk taking in Niall Ferguson’s The Ascent of Money, particularly the way in which John Law’s flawed schemes threatened the stability of 18th century France, demonstrated how this form of short-termism is nothing new and the importance of studying financial history in not to repeating these mistakes.
Two weeks paid work experience within the export market, demonstrated the interconnection between society and economics in literal terms. Using my knowledge of A-level Economics, such as the balance of payments position and depreciation of exchange rates, I found it easier to interpret trade patterns with our main export agents in order to consolidate and achieve the best wholesale price possible. In addition to honing my communication skills, this role also taught me the value of accepting individual responsibility for my work, as I had to use time management skills to interpret large amounts of statistical data in the most efficient manner possible.
My roles as House Prefect and in the MUN have fostered confidence and a sense of responsibility and leadership. I have also undertaken voluntary roles with disabled children and the elderly, as well as working with Mencap, enhancing my ability to communicate with a range of people and offering significant emotional rewards. To relax, I am a keen reader and writer, having edited and published in two school publications. I also enjoy playing badminton and swimming on a regular basis.
I am fascinated by the way in which economics shapes our world and the way in which it is, in turn, shaped by our history, politics and philosophy. By gaining a further understanding of the way in which the connections between these elements can create and assuage the economic hardship I have observed, I hope to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to make a positive impact on society upon graduation.