Economics is the study of how individuals, businesses and governments choose to allocate resources to best satisfy their objectives. The study of economics serves a number of purposes: it helps students understand the functioning of markets, of firms and of financial organizations; it helps students understand public debate about economic policy, including taxation and government expenditure, trade and globalization, the development and growth of the economy, health and welfare; it prepares students for graduate study in business and law as well as graduate work in economics or public policy, leading to careers in teaching and research in economics; and it serves as a direct stepping stone towards employment in business, non-profits, finance, and government organizations.
The Brown Department of Economics faculty members engage in research ranging from pure theory to applied subjects. Distinguished in their specialties, they are often sought out for their expertise. Economics remains one of the most popular undergraduate majors at the university, and the department’s doctoral program attracts scholars from around the world.
The Department is housed in historic Robinson Hall, which was dedicated in 1878 as the Brown University Library. The architects, William Walker and Thomas Gould, designed the building in the fashionable Venetian Gothic style popularized by John Ruskin.
Robinson Hall currently provides offices for Economics faculty and graduate students, a conference room, and computer facilities. The rotunda is used for exhibitions, ceremonies, performances, and parties.