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Brad Saunders

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Brad is an economist at Capital Economics, a macroeconomic research firm. He has been with the company for just over a year, having graduated with a degree in Economics from the University of Bath in 2022. Away from Economics he enjoys all things politics, music and football.

Why did you choose to study economics?

I actually sort of stumbled across economics by accident. When choosing my A-Levels, I was unable to pick all of the subjects I wanted due to their incompatibility within the option blocks presented to me by my college. Economics was a second-best available alternative, and given I was good at maths and had a bit of an interest in finance, I decided to pick it. I soon realised it was completely unlike my preconception (in the best way) and I was fascinated. Going on to study it further at university quickly became a no brainer.

How would you describe economics?

I think of Economics as the study of choices and the quest to pick the best available. This applies to virtually all contexts, from an individual deciding what to buy in the supermarket right the way up to governments deciding how to allocate enormous sums of money between different policies. Economics involves studying how these decisions are made, why they’re made, and how they can be influenced in order to achieve the best possible outcome for the parties involved. Picking these optimal choices will become increasingly important as the climate deteriorates and the global population grows.

If you had a time machine and could meet your 16-year-old self, what advice would you give them?

Make sure you get a good understanding of the basics. Economics is an enormous, constantly-changing field and it can be difficult to keep up sometimes, but it is built on top of some pretty constant ideas and relationships. Understanding these well gives you a great grounding to tackle most areas of Economics.

What is your favourite part of economics?

The thing I enjoy most about Economics is that it is at the centre of almost every action an individual takes each day. It is both constantly driven by events and the key driver of events. As such, Economics is everchanging and faced with new problems to solve, which keeps it exciting. And it also means that Economics possesses great power in its ability to do good. It’s a very powerful tool when used well.

Is there anything you would do differently if you had the chance?

Ask more questions, for sure. There is an awful lot to Economics and it can get quite complicated, so it’s natural to feel like you don’t understand it all. Asking others who are specialists in a particular area can really help you to understand how the whole puzzle fits together and economic decisions move through the system, which is ultimately the most important thing to know when making decisions. This is still something I am working on.

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