In general, economists:
- devise systems for collecting economic and statistical data regarding economic resources, how those resources are utilized, and the production and distribution of goods and services
- develop models for projecting economic and related activities
- compile, analyze and interpret results from a wide range of economic data and activity
- help others interpret economic data
- write reports to inform policy development and decision-making in government or business. Such reports may be grounded in statistical evidence and/or in economic theory.
Economists may specialize in various areas, including consumer economics, development economics, energy economics, financial economics, health economics, industrial and firm organization, international economics, labour economics, monetary and fiscal policy, political economy, public finance, resource and environmental economics, as well as urban and regional economics. Many students take advanced courses in securities, derivatives, financial planning, or insurance.