Economics is the study of how society manages its scarce resources. This field provides insights into the basic social questions of what a society should produce, how to produce the output most efficiently, and how to distribute the output. The Economics program at West Point includes required courses on the national and international economies, the decision-making processes of firms and individuals, and the application of economic principles to national security issues. In addition, there are courses on international trade, comparative economic systems, developing economies, principles of finance and accounting, managerial economics, and financial institutions. Each course emphasizes the development of principles which can be applied to help resolve important public policy issues. The Economics program supports graduate study in the social sciences in general, with particular relevance to economics, operations research, engineering management, business administration, and domestic and international affairs.
Cadets may pursue the study of economics as a major, or as a major with honors.
The West Point Economics program provides students with a solid understanding of the core economic principles and theories, enables students to quantitatively and qualitatively analyze critical economic issues and policies, and affords students the opportunity to take related courses both in and out of the Department. After mastering the core concepts, students can tailor their program towards defense economics, the international economy, the economics of public policy, business, or economic theory. The economics and related electives provide the students with specific knowledge in the respective areas of study and afford them the opportunity to apply the appropriate theories and principles in their analysis of complex economic and political issues. Finally, the integrative experience provides an in-depth study of national security to include applying microeconomic analysis to defense personnel policies and weapon-system acquisition procedures, analyzing the defense budgeting process, examining how the Department of Defense manages its contracting relationships, and studying the macroeconomic impact of national security decisions.
The integrative experience enables cadets to apply both the core curriculum concepts and the economic principles and theories they have learned in an analysis of the critical national security issues. Economics majors take Economics of National Security (SS477) as their integrative experience. Economics of National Security provides an in-depth study of national security to include applying micro- and macroeconomic analysis to case studies on defense personnel policies and weapons-system acquisition and analyzing defense budgeting from a public finance perspective.