What is an 'Economist'

An economist is an expert who studies the relationship between a society's resources and its production or output. The societies studied may range from the smallest of local communities to an entire nation or even the global economy.

The expert opinions and research findings of an economist are used to help shape a wide variety of policies, including interest rates, tax laws, employment programs, international trade agreements and corporate strategies.


There is a good chance that someone interested in a career as an economist will work for the government. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, roughly 50% of all economists work for either a federal or state agency. The remainder are employed as professors, by corporations or as part of economic think tanks.

A career as an economist has two main requirements. First, economists generally hold advanced degrees, such as a PhD or a master's degree. Second, economists typically develop an area of specialization where they focus their research efforts.

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