What is the value of volunteering and charitable giving?

“Economics is one of the best careers to give you the skills and knowledge to help society and to make the world a better place” Associate Professor Duygu Yengin (WEN Careers in Economics Video)

When asked to think about economics, many people think of the stockmarket, tax rates, interest rates, exchange rates and trade. These things are certainly part of economics – but there is much more!

At the heart of economics is the question of how to improve people’s wellbeing.

Economists collect information to analyse and figure out what factors matter for people’s wellbeing. With this
information, they design policies to not only enhances people’s economic outcomes, such as job opportunities, but their health, safety, living standards, and overall happiness in life.

With this focus on wellbeing, economics can be used to answer a wide range of real world problems such as:

How should the government allocate its budget?

How can we better manage our natural resources and climate change?

What explains the gender pay gap?

How do we look after the needs of people in regional and remote areas?

What are the economic impacts of migration? 

How do we provide better health and education services?

How should we design our cities?

What is the most effective way to deliver services to people with mental health challenges and disabilities?

How do we lift living standards in developing countries?

What sparks greater innovation and entrepreneurship?

What is the effect of international politics on Australia’s economy?

How can we tackle poverty and homelessness?

What is the value of volunteering and charitable giving?

How do we improve opportunities for people from Indigenous, migrant or disadvantaged backgrounds?

What will be the impact of AI and technological change on jobs in the future?

What skills will the workforce need in the future?

The list of possible questions for economists to explore is endless!


Economists use their skills to predict economic conditions, to analyse the effects of changes in economic conditions or government policy, and to provide policy advice to governments and organisations. For example, a major event that takes place each year is the announcement of the government’s budget. This is when economists will look beyond the politics to analyse how budget will affect the wellbeing of Australians, both today and in the future.


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