Updated: Jul 8, 2019
Economists typically do the following:
· Research economic issues
· Conduct surveys and collect data
· Analyze data using mathematical models, statistical techniques, and software
· Present research results in reports, tables, and charts
· Interpret and forecast market trends
· Advise businesses, governments, and individuals on economic topics
· Recommend solutions to economic problems
· Write articles for academic journals and other media
Economists apply both qualitative and quantitative economic analysis to topics within a variety of fields, such as education, health, development, and the environment. Some economists study the cost of products, healthcare, or energy, while others examine employment levels, business cycles, exchange rates, taxes, inflation, or interest rates.
Economists often study historical trends and use them to make forecasts. They research and analyze data using a variety of software programs. They sometimes present their research to various audiences.
Many economists work in federal, state, and local government. Federal government economists collect and analyze data about the U.S. economy, including employment, prices, productivity, and wages, among other types of data. They also project spending needs and inform policymakers on the economic impact of laws and regulations.
Economists working for corporations help managers and decision makers understand how the economy will affect their business. Specifically, economists may analyze issues such as consumer demand and sales to help a company maximize its profits.
Economists also work for international organizations, research firms, and think tanks, where they study and analyze a variety of economic issues. Their analyses and forecasts are frequently published in newspapers and journals.
Many PhD economists become postsecondary teachers.