My Fascination With Economics Studies
I believe we can have a better world. But to improve it I must understand it. This course will help me do that. Shadowing a QC Judge allowed me to observe the impact of judicial institutions on society, see how the judge came to conclusions and evaluate decisions. As a MyEurope and YEB member I have engaged in debates; appreciating reasoned argument and critical examination of sources. Participation in Young Enterprise taught me how to express complex ideas clearly to a team and creating a product encouraged an ability to think broad and open, seeing problems from varying perspectives. I am committed to the open exchange of ideas as Head Girl and enjoy reading widely and staying up to date with current affairs as a Young Reporter. Work experience at Evershed’s and training days at 4 companies involved developing solutions to problems; solutions that were economically, socially and ethically informed. My fascination for economics lies in the nature of markets.
A tutorial at KCL on market efficiency exposed me to Thomas Hobbes and Game Theory. I learnt that markets encode voluntarism, aligning decision making with demand; with economic liberty producing efficiency. Though asymmetric information riddles the market, the right incentives prevail. I found the analysis of asymmetric information cogent as the prisoners’ dilemma exemplified that rational individual’s may not cooperate even if it is in their best interest. I was surprised to find Hobbes mentioned in relation to economic theory. Upon further research I learnt that unlike Jon Elster, Hobbes drew no distinction between the ‘forum’ and the ‘market’, analogising the forum to the market. Hobbes argued markets are also a process of deliberation and argumentation. Attending a talk at LSE on The Great Economists confirmed that markets are socially indispensable intuitions that can be dangerous if participants manipulate the market in their favour, as I saw in my A level studies of George Akerlof.
A further interest of mine is in theories regarding state power in parallel to economic implications. This led me to read Nozick’s Anarchy, State and Utopia. I was fascinated by Nozick’s evolution of the state of nature, as ‘ultra minimal’ states, which arose from a system of private protective associations, turned into minimal states -providing protective services to all. This surprised me as the state’s primary function to protect against harm has since expanded; now consisting of 3 branches each relied upon to sustain the functioning of the UK. I see the State today to be responsible for economic policy, the provision of public goods and welfare state. Unlike Nozick, I believe in an enlarged and enabling state, considering positive more important than negative liberty. I think an individual is only free when social obstacles such as poverty and discrimination is eradicated – a job for the state. Psychology uses empirical methods to examine philosophical questions such as the mind body problem, which I explored when reading Nagel’s What Does It All Mean? Having enjoyed an empirical understanding of the brain I am keen to face more transcendent problems using priori methods.
I have met concepts such as free will vs. determinism and cognitive neuroscience and want to study further the epistemology of philosophical ideas. If the brain and mind are one, determined by physical change, can humans claim free will? After watching a video by Simon Blackburn, I agree that the mind is an abstract noun, dangerously implying it is a thing. I believe the mind measures functionality and separating it from the brain produces scepticism which is unanswerable. Presenting to tutors at Bath on voting, writing a paper on culture at KCL, attending a week of tutorials at UCL and going to places like the Inner Temple with QMUL have given me the requisite qualities to succeed in higher education. These 4 summer schools have confirmed to me that I am committed to and excited for university!
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