College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences

Mission & Vision

Mission Statement

The Department of Economics is committed to the advancement of knowledge and learning in the field of economics as a social science.

The Department provides a broad framework of economic and policy analysis both within the General Education framework and beyond its limits. Students are provided foundations of cultural, historical, social, political, and ethical concepts as they apply to interaction in the local, regional, national, and global economies.

The Department provides an opportunity beyond its General Education offerings for the "intellectual, personal, and professional development" of its Majors, Minors, and Graduate students by "preparing students for life, leadership, and careers in a changing, multicultural world" through the process of learning and application in a polytechnic university setting.

Critical thinking as a tool of analytical thinking is encouraged at all levels, while quantitative analysis is pursued through an ever-expanding technology.

The Department provides a learning opportunity for students in an environment of collegiality, collaboration, and enthusiasm for learning within the local as well as the global community.

The most fundamental instructional goal of the economics program at Cal Poly Pomona can . perhaps be best described by the following quotation (from the 1991 American Economics Association Papers and Proceedings, Siegfried et al, "The Goal of the Economics Major"):

Enabling students to develop a capacity to "think like an economist" is the overarching goal... All other virtues follow. Thinking like an economist involves using chains of deductive reasoning in conjunction with simplified models (such as supply and demand, benefit-cost analysis, and comparative advantage) to illuminate economic phenomena. To some, economists tend to abstract too much from the richness of human behavior and reality; to many economists, the strength of our analysis is the provision of focus and clarity of thought...

Thinking like an economist also involves identifying and evaluating tradeoffs in the context of constraints, distinguishing positive from normative analysis, and tracing behavioral implications of change while abstracting from aspects of reality. It, moreover involves... amassing data to evaluate economic events, and testing hypotheses about how consumers and producers make choices and how the economy works. Finally, thinking like an economist involves examining many problems through a filter of efficiency - coping with limited resources.

Thinking like an economist requires creative skills, too. Identifying economic issues and problems, framing them in ways other people do not see, devising novel policy proposals for dealing with problems, analyzing both the intended and unintended effects of policies, and devising innovative methods to estimate the magnitude of these effects - all are as central to the discipline as is the development of logically coherent theories.