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Which economics dissertation topics should you choose?

A degree in economics is greatly sort after, not just in academia but also in the workplace. Therefore, when choosing the topic, you wish to base your economics dissertation around, it is important that you put thought and effort into it. Your economics dissertation topic will help mould the way you are presented to the outside world, whether you wish to use your degree to work in government, work in the City or help those in need through charities, your degree will become your calling card and your dissertation a mark of your intellectual capacity and your ability to analyse how best you can aid the world.

Economics is a subject that, like most subjects, have a variety of areas from which you can choose. There are too many areas for anyone to possibly spend too long deliberating over, so this article will help you narrow the field and utilise your interest in the subject and how best you can help advance it to help you choose which out of the many economics dissertation topics you want to pick.


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As economics is a vast subject, let’s look over the variety of subsections of it that you could choose for your dissertation. Remember that once you have picked your topic and your question, that you are committing to it, so make sure that the area you are interested in is one that you aren’t doing simply because you think it will be easy or that it is an area nobody else has tackled and you want to show off – make sure you are genuinely interested in the topic area and know you will be able to contribute to it. This article will go over the subsections in detail and allow you to properly asses which you should choose as your economics dissertation topics.

  • Economic geography. This part of economics is often associated with combined degrees, which we will move onto later, and can be seen as not pure economics so for those who want to simply deal with that, then this may not be the topic for you. However, if you are interested in how economics works in relation to its surroundings, this is the topic for you. Economic geography mainly focusses on how a nation or areas topography effects its means of producing capital and what type of capital that is. It can also be connected to how the variables of location can be related to how speculated growth can occur. This may be interesting for those who want to know the impact of how capital works with the physical nature of a nation or area, but it shouldn’t be confused with more sociological economics. This may be an interesting topic for those who wish to go into aid work.
  • Economic sociology. This area of economics is usually related, like with geography, to a more combined degree, however it can be easily dealt with on its own. Economic sociology tends to deal with the sociological effects of capital and how society is influenced by the economy and visa versa. This topic can be of particularl interest to students who wish to go into politics or who want to go into sociological research as economic sociology can often help with understanding the fundamentals of why humans act in the way they do and what a great spread of capital means for society.
  • Institutional economics. Institutional economics deals with institutions that are related to consumption, distribution and the production of goods for the masses. This type of economics will often relate to other types of disciplines as it is a key way to understand how big business and government uses resources and how it distributes those resources for the populace to use. This topic is particularly linked with history and sociology as it gives students an insight into how the industrial revolution and industrialisation has impacted on the world and changed the way that humans interact both with one another and with authority. It can be also linked to anthropology and the general study of the “evolution” of humanity in the face of technological advancement.
  • Microeconomics and macroeconomics. These are two separate branches of economics but as they are directly linked, it is easier to talk about them under one heading. Microeconomics deals with how individuals, in business or in life in general, impact on the economy by the decisions they make. Macroeconomics deals with how the global market deals with financial markets and how areas like inflation impact on the economy. Both subjects can be seen as more “pure” economics because, though they do have connections to other fields of research, it is not so obvious as in economic sociology or economic geography. If you want to understand how the financial market and the city works, then you couldn’t go wrong with these two subjects – if you are more interested in individual economic impact then microeconomics is for you. Whereas, if you want to know more about the market and how it relates directly to big business and multinationals, on is the macroeconomics economics dissertation for you. Either of these two economics dissertation topics will be a sure winner for someone wanting to work in the banking sector.
  • Regional development. This topic, as is suggested by the title, deals with the development of regional economies and how they are impacted by other regions and the nation which they reside ins economy. Regional development can be seen as connected more to other disciplines and as such may be more suitable for those doing a combined degree. However, if you wish to pursue a job in regional business management or are interested in how regional economics functions then this is the topic for you.
  • Employment economics. This area of economics deals with the concept of employees as individuals and how to make sure that as much as the population stays in work as possible. This discipline is seen as more connected with “pure” economics and would be particularly useful for someone wanting to go into a field of work that concentrated on employment, such as a civil servant or someone who wishes to work with the treasury.
  • Financial economics. This type of economics focuses on financial markets and the impact they have on the wider economy. This topic would certainly suit those who wish to pursue a job in finance, but it could also be useful for those who want to use their degree to better understand how the markets are regulated and work, so an aspiring politician would not find a better topic in the field of economics dissertation topics to choose. Financial economics would also be beneficial for students who want to study the impact market policies have on the rest of society and how they impact on people in general. This is something to considered if you do a combined degree and want to reflect aspects of your other course in your economics dissertation.

It is worth briefly talking about the situation of a combined or double degree. Some students will do economics and another discipline and as such it is talking about how this may impact upon your economics dissertation – presuming you do your dissertation in economics and not in your other subject. If you are in this situation then it is worth considering how best to tackle this. If you want to do your dissertation in economics, then it is a good idea to reflect your other degree in your choice; for example, if you do economics and sociology then pick a question in the Economic Sociology subsection. If you do economics and politics, then you may find picking a question from Institutional Economics a wise choice. This way you aren’t trying to learn something that is entirely irrelevant to the other part of your degree and you can use knowledge from that part to aid with your dissertation. This means that you’ll be able to save time in both the planning and writing stages because you are doing something that you will already have a grasp of from your completed degree. This is an excellent way to ensure that you are easily able to whittle down which economics dissertation topics you don’t want and which you do.

It is important when thinking about which economic dissertation topic to pick that you question the motives behind your choice. You can’t simply pick one topic without considering the larger ramifications on your degree and your personal life. Are you choosing this topic simply because it sounds fun, because it sounds easy or because you want to do something you’re good at that will help to advance your career? It is worth the time you will be investing into it? What will you get out of it? And more importantly, how will you be able to contribute to the field of academic research? These questions about your motivations must be asked by yourself, so that you are sure whether you want to do this topic or not. If you don’t want to do it or feel that you are doing it for a reason other than to help with the advance of research and come out with an excellent piece of work, then you perhaps need to rethink which topic in economics you wish to do and why.

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