Bristol University, Economics Personal Statement

Economics, Bristol, University of the West of England

My desire to study Economics at university stems from my interest in the incredible pace of change in the world. Development Economics fascinates me and I believe the greatest challenges in our future will be of an economic origin. I am intrigued by the on-going issues we face, such as allocating ever depleting resources and the ‘tragedy of the commons’, as well as issues which have become more acute in recent years, such as globalisation and global poverty.

Through reading around my Economics course I discovered how historical economic models could be applied to modern situations. A particular example which appealed to me was Harford’s demonstration in ‘The Undercover Economist’ of how Ricardo’s 1817 farming analysis could explain diverse situations, such as coffee shops and high rent prices in London. Recently I read Collier’s ‘The Bottom Billion’, after learning about high taxation in poor countries from an article in a June 2015 ‘The Economist’. I was drawn to the idea that this could stimulate growth because it contradicted the low taxation neoliberal hegemony I had previously encountered. I think Collier’s proposed solutions, despite some being controversial (e.g. military intervention), are sensible and could be highly effective. Naturally, I am yet to look at all of the solutions posed by different economists, however I believe it is a challenging and stimulating task to find viable resolutions.

Through my work-experience at Emirates NBD I learnt more about the application of economics to real-life. The real-estate team proved how scarcity influences the housing market: even during a slump in 2011, an apartment in Mayfair sold for above the asking price due to localised demand. I also shadowed the Emirates’ Head of the Treasury who explained how interest rates are set and the concept of net interest margin. This led me to explore financial management further: I am now able to follow market fluctuations in ‘The Financial Times’ with an informed opinion.

Living in Spain makes the study of European economics particularly fascinating for me. I enjoy following the Spanish and British economies; in particular, comparing the approaches taken by the Bank of England and the ECB to tackle their various economic issues. Although both the economies of Spain and the UK recovered slowly – with Britain having its longest recovery in 300 years of recorded history – the Spanish unemployment rate has remained persistently above that of the UK. For me, it is a fascinating challenge to understand the factors contributing to this ongoing problem for Spain.

Learning another language has given me a wider global perspective. It enables me to follow the news from more sources, giving alternate views, and keeping me informed on the Hispanic countries. Maths is an integral part of economics as it transforms theories into practical applications and I look forward to developing my skills and applying my knowledge in new ways. I enjoy tennis and drama. Last year I completed my Silver LAMDA qualification, which took commitment and careful time management. By tutoring maths I have also developed my communication style, in particular, the ability to convey complex information simply.

Economics is central to the human condition and gives the tools to understand some of the most important motivations of states and individuals in our increasingly global society.  I eagerly await the opportunity to understand more about the world we live in and, in the future, hopefully help to influence it for the better.

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