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Thesis Ideas in Economics

by Michael Wolfe, Demand Media

    Although putatively the study of the exchange of goods, services, and money, economics is in many ways an interdisciplinary field, combining an understanding of math, science, psychology, and history. This makes the subject ripe with rich material on which to write a thesis. Economics theses generally take two forms: the explanatory, in which the author susses out causes of an action or event, and the predictive, in which the author attempts to layout the future effects of a present trend.

    Causes of the Mortgage Crisis

    Much ink has been spilled on the mortgage crisis of 2008-09, and its subsequent roiling of world credit and stock markets. Yet, historians and economists have only begun to crack the surface of the causes of this crisis, and the event remains fertile ground for deep study. Given the scope of the topic, theses might want to focus in on smaller topics, such as the finances and decision-making of particularly entities -- such as Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers, mortgage companies, home buyers -- and examine how their actions contributed to the collapse in housing prices.

    The Effects of Financial Regulation

    In the wake of the mortgage crisis, new proposals arose in Congress for the regulation of certain kinds of financial instruments, such as bundled mortgages and credit default swaps. The effect of such regulation has been hotly debated, with some parties claiming it is necessary to keep financial entities in check and others claiming it will unnecessarily constrict the flow of markets. A thesis paper could examine the economic effects of previous efforts at regulation and deregulation.

    Media Impact on Consumer Confidence

    One measure of the economic health of a country is the level of consumer confidence, or the consumer's faith in the strength of the economy and their willingness to spend money. Given that purchasing decisons made by consumers are based on the information made available to them, the media's reporting on the state of the economy has a very real effect on the purchasing decisions made by consumers. For example, if the media reports that the economy is healthy, consumers may be more likely to make purchases, thereby further bolster; the reverse is also true, with negative reporting deflating consumer confidence. A thesis could examine the media's effect on the consumer confidence and decision making, perhaps within a single industry.

    The National Debt and Its Effects

    As the national debt of the U.S. grows, so, too, will its political and economic effects. Using historical examples, a thesis paper could examine and predict the likely impact of a high national debt on the national economy. This could involve a close look at how government borrowing affects both public policy and various private sectors.

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    About the Author

    Michael Wolfe has been writing and editing since 2005, with a background including both business and creative writing. He has worked as a reporter for a community newspaper in New York City and a federal policy newsletter in Washington, D.C. Wolfe holds a B.A. in art history and is a resident of Brooklyn, N.Y.

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    • stocks and shares image by Warren Millar from Fotolia.com

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