A large deficit in the US trade balance caused the dollar to plunge... The unemployment rate in Switzerland remains one of the lowest in the world... The price hike for oil may trigger inflation... The introduction of CO2 emission certificates will help to fight global warming... Risk-taking by investment banks endangers world economic growth... An aging population threatens social security funding... If such phenomena raise your interest, if you would like to better understand their causes and consequences in order to help make informed decisions, then economics is here for you.
For decades economic research has developed a methodology that improves our understanding of economic phenomena and helps us cope with the many challenges of our global economy. Economics is a vast subject since allmost all problems and challenges facing our society have, more or less, an economic dimension. Broadly speaking, economics can be split into two main branches of study. The first one is microeconomics which is concerned with the behaviour of individual decision-making units, such as a consumer, a firm, a worker or a financial institution. This branch aims to study how the different markets – for goods and services, labour, financial assets and insurance contracts – operate. The second one is macroeconomics which addresses global economic phenomena. It strives to explain the evolution and the interdependence of economic aggregates such as the national product, consumption, employment, the general price level, interest rates, the balance of payments, wages and profits.
The two micro and macro approaches are applied to different domains in economics such as international economics, labour economics, public economics, monetary and financial economics, or health economics. They are complemented by econometrics, which introduces the quantitative, statistical dimension in the study of economic phenomena, and by economic history, which introduces the time dimension in the long run analysis of economic change.
Economics in Geneva was represented for a long time by a chair in political economy and, starting in 1970, by a Department of political economy. Faculty members in this department contributed to the international reputation of Geneva University by their teaching, research and publications in some key domains of economic science : international economics, monetary and financial economics, public finance, labour economics, economic growth and environmental economics. This department merged in 2011 with two others – econometrics and economic history (see econometrics in Geneva and economic history in Geneva ) – to form a large Department of economics with an international reputation in selected areas: international and regional economics, financial economics, environmental economics, econometrics, statistics and economic history.
The Department of economics brings together faculty members specializing in economics, econometrics, mathematics, statistics and economic history. It maintains tight links with several research centres in the University of Geneva : Laboratory of Applied Economics , Paul Bairoch Institute of Economic History , Institute of Statistics , Geneva Finance Research Institute , Institute of Environment , and Institute of Demography .