Economists and economics students need to keep abreast of the latest issues and trends in their field. As the world emerges from a truly unusual period, unique issues to do with the economy have unveiled themselves. Here is a quick rundown of some recent issues and trends in economics.
Understanding and managing inflation have always been one of the core broad tasks of economists working for governments around the world. Students of Boston College Applied Economics Masters Programs will be taught extensively about current issues driving inflation. Inflation adversely affects the cost of living, the health of the economy, and the strength of a nation’s currency. We are currently experiencing high inflation levels, which harms those on the lowest wages the most.
Rebuilding After A Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly cast a huge shadow over the economy of almost every nation. The world is by no means out of the woods yet, but already there has been a great deal of concern among economists about what an economic rebuild after a pandemic should look like. This is, of course, a question of politics and social justice as much as it is an economic one. These three zones of concern are, in reality, always interconnected.
The Great Resignation
2021 Has been a unique year in terms of the labor market. Across the United States of America, 4 million people quit their jobs in the month of July alone. This is due to have a very serious effect on the economy as a whole. Economists and sociologists have rushed to try and figure out the reason behind this ‘great resignation’ – which is taking place in the UK as well as the USA. Evidence suggests that mid-career employees are the most likely to resign, which could leave many businesses without the skilled and motivated staff they need in order to grow. Companies are now desperate to develop employee retention programs, but it is feared that the penny may have dropped for many employees who see themselves as underpaid, undervalued, and overworked in mid-level roles.
Economics has always been a field dominated by the use and analysis of data. In recent years, we have seen the rise of ‘big data’ as a resource in many fields, including economics. The term ‘big data’ refers to the huge, exponentially growing, and diversifying datasets created by our ever more networked world. These datasets can only be coded and analyzed with the help of machine learning algorithms and scalable data storage solutions. Economics and big data usage are evolving side by side.
Big data allows economists to – in theory – draw up much more accurate financial forecasts. It allows them to develop a constantly updating and renewing forecast of economic phenomena that may occur in the future. Forecasts that stand still and make use of static data are notoriously failure-prone. In theory, the constant expansion and diversification of big datasets will make economic strategic planning far less risky.