Applied in: Winter 2013

University Offers: LSE, UCL, Bath, Surrey

My parents have instilled a sense of inquisitiveness in me, alongside a willingness to share ideas through daily conversations, ranging from contemporary issues to their business plans. Seeing an advertising billboard on the way home from school, we discussed how effective it was, looking at the target group and its location. Playing chess with my father challenged me to work out the best strategies to maximise my chances of winning. It demonstrated a situation where there is a conflict in interest between players - each trying to maximise their pay-offs. These experiences raised questions in my mind about the concepts behind them, and I have found that Economics holds the key to all.

I believe human actions are driven by incentives on the basis of self-interest. As evidenced in 'Naked Economics', if we have perfect information about incentives and their consequences, we can influence people's behaviours. This knowledge allows firms to devise ideal marketing strategies, while the ability of governments to precisely predict the outcome of these incentives is vital in terms of the implementation of policies. Theoretically, policies are designed to achieve economic prosperity and high levels of contentment. However, in reality, I think governments act in their own interests instead of the general public’s. Growing up in Thailand exposed me to populist policies. One example is the recent controversial rice scheme, which has received widespread criticisms on its costs and benefits. This situation demonstrates public choice theory introduced in '30-Second Economics'.

Taxation is one of the most controversial policies attributable to a trade-off between efficiency and income redistribution. As Thailand is becoming a part of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015, tax reform plays a crucial role in the dynamic of changing economic conditions because taxation affects everyone - it distorts market decisions. I had an opportunity to examine this when contributing to a paper on Thailand's tax reform during my internship at the Macroeconomics Bureau of the Fiscal Policy Office. Studying Mankiw's Optimal Taxation in Theory and Practice paper, which combines models and theories suggesting the theoretically best tax structure, extended my knowledge further. By attending a meeting between Moody's and the government's representatives on the prospect of investments in Thailand, I appreciated how theories in 'The Economics Book', such as Frank Knight's risk and uncertainty theory, have been put into practice. Macroeconomics analyses the past and creates models for the future to improve the standard of living and social welfare. To deepen my understanding of macroeconomics in action, I attended a symposium titled 'Fiscal Risk: Challenge on Policy'. This made me think that you can compare economies to human bodies, and economics to doctors: policymakers rely on economics to ensure healthy and stable economies. It immunises against future crises, yet if such crises arise, it also provides the remedies.

The use of numerical and analytical skills within Mathematics has prepared me for the handling of quantitative data and economic models. Exploring the world through Physics and Chemistry has enabled me to approach and solve complicated problems using simplified models and limited cases. As the Head of Junior School at my old school and a current Deputy Head of House, I have learnt to be selfless and supportive - acting and speaking for others - as well as acquiring responsibility, commitment and leadership. Performing and arranging music has taught me to play by rules, accepting various ideas and techniques then adjusting them accordingly to each particular piece of music, just like how theories of economics are adapted to tackle real-world problems in different countries.

I am convinced that Economics will provide me with the capability to probe and eventually answer the questions raised in this dynamic and increasingly integrated world.

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