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Yousuf Hamid

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Why did you choose to study economics?

Initially I studied economics as I saw how valued it was my employers and that economics graduates earned some of the highest salaries in the country. It was only when I actually started studying the subject that I realised it was so much more than a ticket to a high-paid job and that it gives students the tools to tackle the most pressing issues our society fails.

How would you describe economics?

Economics is the study of how resources are allocated. Why do some people have more than others? Why do some countries prosper whilst other do not? Is inequality inevitable? Is there a way for people to get richer whilst protecting the environment? It is quicker to describe what economics isn't as it covers almost every facet of human life.

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

Do not overly worry about future careers and embrace learning for the joy that it is. You have your whole life to plan your future. For most people school and university is the one chance to become totally immersed in learning with no additional responsibilities. Embrace it!

What is your favourite part of economics?

How broad it is. The tools that you learn can be applied to tackle almost every contemporary problem. From the impacts of mass migration, gender pay gaps and growth of social media companies, there is almost nothing that the study of economics does not illuminate.

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

I would have gone beyond what is taught in conventional economic textbooks and learn more about alternative views of what economics should be. From psychology to biology to geography, the insights from other disciplines have led economists to alter their perspectives on different issues and it is vital that students get exposure to a broad range of views.

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