Economics Personal Statement
The crucially important role that Economics plays in all of our lives has been continually impressed upon me through both study and employment experience. Through critical thinking and mathematical analysis, Economics adopts a scientific, evidence-based approach to the ethical and political debates that shape policy, such as the dialectic between the ideal of consumer sovereignty and the restrictions of competition policy. Interacting with the economics sector of the Welsh Assembly, I have witnessed the complexity of integrating economic theory with political policy. I was introduced to elements of cost benefit analysis and the difficulty of placing values on non-monetized social costs and benefits. Asked by the Chief Economist to consider the cost of building a new, potentially safer road, I contrasted their current system of calculating the value of human life in relation to the wage paid in high risk jobs with a more nuanced system based on compensation pay-outs in cases of work-related death. It was hugely rewarding to discuss these theoretical complexities and their practical implications. Spending time with the Migration Advisory Committee offered hands-on experience of applying theory to a specific situation. Presented with academic literature and statistical information, I summarised the potential effects of lifting current restrictions on economic migration from Bulgaria and Romania. Working with the assumption of these economies being based on a higher percentage of low skilled labour I concluded that higher immigration would lead to a temporary increase in low skilled unemployment and high skilled wages, followed by a long term fall in employment as the economy expands. This stimulating, enjoyable exercise not only offered practise in the analysis of economic research but also alerted me to the importance of this analysis in the creation of policy.
My interests in economic policy have also led to me undertaking additional course exploring in the field. A five-week course, run by the Ludwig Von Mises Academy, entitled “Competition, Monopoly and Antitrust” combined extensive reading and lectures, presenting a picture of competition as a potentially dynamic process in opposition to static equilibrium and the ironic way in which antitrust laws can interfere with this process. While Professor called for their abolition, he also encouraged an analytical approach to the material and I came away aware of the imperfections of these laws but convinced of the need for reform rather than abandonment. Data must be carefully interpreted so that industries in which we see high concentration ratios, the presence of profit and low output values are not simply assumed to be non-competitive rather than the product of efficiency within individual companies.
The ability to undertake self-tutoring will help me to complete Further Maths during my gap year, honing my ability to deal with the complex mathematical concepts involved in Economics. This ability to teach myself extends from extensive tutoring work. I have been asked to continue tutoring A-level Economics students, mentoring A* students and will also be providing advice on essay writing online. This will utilise my interpersonal and communication skills, which I will also be building on through voluntary work coaching football to adults with learning difficulties through MENCAP.
The more I learn about the complexities of economic policy, the more I value the scientific approach Economics brings to bear on resolving important issues. I believe that I have the potential to make a real contribution to the field in the future, whether in an academia or in policy research drawn from an expanded understanding of the way in which issues such as competition or migration have potential effects on us all.
If you are thinking of applying to study Economics you might find this Economics personal statement example helpful during your university application.