- About LIKES
- Workshop 1: SCU, 2007
- Workshop 2: NC A&T
- Workshop 3: VT, 2008
- Workshop 4: Villanova
- Workshop 5: VT, 2009
- Workshop 6: Durham, 2010
Computers have drastically changed the landscape of professional economics. Computers have made the practical application of complex economic principles possible through various software applications utilized in the professional realm.
Although individuals who study economics can be found in a wide range of professional venues, there remain three general categories of professional economists. These categories include business economists, government economists, and academic economists. Business economists work in fields such as manufacturing, mining, transportation, communications, banking, insurance, retailing, and investment, among others. Government economists are hired by local, State, and Federal governments to participate in analysis and policy making. Academic economists go on to post-graduate studies in economics often becoming instructors or professors. Computers feature prominently in each of these areas of professional economics primarily as a tool to aid financial modeling and market analysis.
Each of these professions utilizes econometrics, which is defined as “a set of quantitative techniques that are useful for making ‘economic decisions’.” More specifically, econometrics is the application of statistical and mathematical techniques in solving problems as well as in testing and demonstrating theories. The practical application of econometrics is greatly aided by computers both as extremely powerful calculators and tools that enable extensive economic and financial modeling. Other areas of economics that are enhanced through the use of computers include symbolic optimization, designing an incentive-compatible contract, market engineering, economic dynamics, perturbation and growth models, general equilibrium models, long-range dynamics and symbolic algebra programming, finding Nash equilibria, application of Mathematica to game theory—co-operative games, diffusion, stochastic calculus, stochastic processes, option valuation, asset price and models, econometric packages, Bayesian packages, time-sharing models and decision analysis.
The actual software employed in the field of professional economics is almost as varied as the specific uses for that software. Software ranges from relatively basic applications, such as Microsoft Excel, to more complex and field specific software, such as Mathematica. Mathematica is a popular application that is used in complex financial modeling. Another example of relevant software is the GAUSS package developed by Aptech System, which is a highly flexible and powerful programming language for statistical computation. Yet another example is the CUFFS-88 financial modeling language. According to the CUFFS-88 website “CUFFS-88 financial modeling language is the result of unusual teamwork between financial modeling experts and world-renowned computer scientists, who have created by far the most flexible, powerful, elegant, and ‘intelligent’ corporate financial modeling and planning tool available.” The examples of the ways in which computers have revolutionized the field of economics are virtually endless. Computers have made the practical application of complex economic principles possible in each of the fields of business, government, and academia.