The University of Winnipeg



Spotlight On: Economics

L to R: Professor Xiao-Yuan Dong, Student Chukwudi Ezeani, Alumnus Trevor Shaw

Economics analyzes how societies provide for their well-being, and the choices that must be made to do so. It studies the competition and cooperation that arises among individuals, private organizations, and governments in the process of allocating scarce resources for a variety of different uses. 

Studies lead to a Bachelor of Arts (3-Year, 4-Year, or Honours) with a major in economics, as well as a Master of Arts in Environmental, Resource and Development Economics (ERDE).  An economics and finance program is also available as either a Bachelor of Arts (4-year) or a Bachelor of Business Administration (4-year).

A BA in economics can lead to employment in business, financial services, government, and international organizations. Graduate level studies can lead to university teaching positions, independent consultancies, and research.

Professor: Xiao-Yuan Dong

Xiao-Yuan Dong is an economics professor at UWinnipeg, and an adjunct professor at Peking University in China. She researches China’s economic transition and development, with an emphasis on labor and gender issues.

Dong’s recent work, in collaboration with Peking University and the International Development Research Center of Canada, documents the impact of caregiving on Chinese women’s employment, earnings, mental health, and pension incomes. The study found that Chinese women work significantly longer hours than men and face limited employment opportunities due to caregiving responsibilities.

“While economic growth is of critical importance for a developing country, the growth will not be sustainable if its benefits are not widely shared,” says Dong.

Student: Chukwudi Ezeani

Chukwudi Ezeani is pursuing a Master of Arts in Environmental, Resource and Development Economics (ERDE). A native of Nigeria, he moved to Canada in 2016 after earning his bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Nigeria.

Witnessing Africa’s economic state firsthand inspired Ezeani to pursue economics as a means to effect positive change in the world. Despite much of the continent being underdeveloped, Ezeani sees potential for Africa to be a leader in sustainable growth.

“If African nations can tap into the insights of others, they have an opportunity to chart a course towards industrializing in a cleaner way using solar, hydro, and wind energy.” 

Ezeani plans to obtain a PhD in economics, and eventually work on policy with the Canadian government. His long-term goal is to return to Africa.

Alumnus: Trevor Shaw

As a fiscal manager for the Parliamentary Budget Officer in Ottawa, Trevor Shaw is responsible for providing non-partisan projections and advice on the Canadian economy and federal government finances.

“Knowing that parliamentarians reference my work in very tense policy discussions helps keep me focused,” he says.

Shaw’s work also informs Canadians on economic issues. “Ultimately, economic data needs to resonate with ordinary people. I enjoy taking complex questions with uncertain answers and boiling them down to key things the public should be aware of — trends in the economy, or financial issues the government may be facing.”

Shaw credits the instruction in UWinnipeg’s economics program with helping to prepare him for his master’s studies and guiding his passions towards a dream career.

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