The goal of this report is to consider the relationship between the goals and objectives of the economics major and goals and objectives of a liberal education. Is the economics major playing its part in meeting those objectives? Should it be changed? And if it should be changed, how should change be brought about?
The report is structured as follows. We first discuss the goals of a liberal education and the complaints that have been developed about the major’s role in general (and the economics major’s role in specific) in meeting those broader goals. Second, we discuss the goals of the economics major—what it is meant to do, and what it isn’t, and how those goals relate to a liberal education. Third, we discuss the reasons for differences in goals, and whether those differences should be of concern. Fourth, we discuss some structural changes that might lead to a better fit between the two. Finally, we discuss the role of pedagogy in a liberal education, and some changes that might better promote goals of the economics major within this broader context.