An understanding of the principles of economic thought and the ability to analyze economic behavior are essential tools for the historian seeking to gain a more thorough understanding of past societies and peoples. Economic crises, government interventions in the economy, labor markets, foreign trade, supply and demand, capital investment for future returns, and entrepreneurialism are not simply modern phenomena. They shaped the lives of countless peoples in civilizations across the globe for the past 5,000 years and more.
Just as importantly, our ability to analyze the nature of modern economic systems depends in fundamental ways on our knowledge of historical precedents that offer contextualization to current issues and problems. Former Chair of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke and former Governor of Israel’s central bank, Stanley Fischer both found their backgrounds in economic history “useful in combating the 2008 crisis”.
The double-major program with a B.A. in History and in Economics provides students in both the College of Liberal Arts and in the Paul School an opportunity to have the best of both worlds. They will receive a solid grounding in economic principles and thought, and also gain the historical perspective that will allow them to analyze the past in economic terms, and the present economy in historical terms. This combination of skills has proven exceptionally useful in the job market where our students have been very competitive and thereafter throughout the course of our graduates’ careers.
The History major allows two economic courses to be counted toward the major requirements, and the Economics major allows one history course to be counted toward major requirements.