General policies and principles for the Library's collections are stated in the General Collection Development Policy.

Purpose of the Collection

The purpose of the collection activity in economics is to support the instructional curriculum and research activity of the Economics Department. The primary clientele for the collection are undergraduates, graduates, and faculty in Economics.

Academic Department/Program Description

UCSB Economics reflects the breadth of the discipline in general. The Department conducts research and teaching in economic theory and methods, from centuries-old economic philosophy to the most modern methods. Recent trends in Economics include usage of many methods from mathematics and natural sciences, and along with the variety of work in applied economics -- whose subject matter could be any social science -- Economics is a most interdisciplinary of sciences.

In addition to the Economics degree, the department offers undergraduate majors for Economics/Mathematics (reflecting a mathematical emphasis to economic methods), and Economics with Accounting (which acts as a professional accounting program).

The Economics Department’s Graduate program offers not only a doctorate program, but also a unique terminal one year master’s degree. Doctorate candidates also have the opportunity to obtain a Ph.D. emphasis in Economics and Environmental Science through our joint efforts with the Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management.

Subject Parameters

The Library collects relevant materials on economic theory and methods. Collecting, especially in applied areas, is focused on areas of current faculty research and teaching. Collected areas include, but are not limited to: econometrics and mathematical economics, finance, fiscal and monetary economics, labor economics, development economics, environment and natural resources economics, experimental economics, game theory, industrial organization, operations research, health economics, public finance, economics and law, insurance and risk, and economic history.

Materials are also selected to support the Accounting emphasis, and, when not covered above, to support the Business research needs on campus. The latter includes some materials on management, marketing, and entrepreneurship.

The interdisciplinary nature of much of Economics study requires coordination and consideration of at least several other departments at UCSB, including the Bren School of Environmental Management, the Technology Management Program, and the Departments of Political Science, Sociology, Education, and other social sciences.


Geographical Coverage

There are no geographical limits. Collecting reflects current research.


English is the primary language. Materials in other languages are also acquired on a selective basis. Translations into English are preferred.

Chronological Limits/Period Coverage

Primary collecting interest is in current, recently published research. Retrospective materials may be purchased as need arises. Reprints of classical works may also be purchased when needed.

Types of Materials Collected

Collection activity is primarily for periodicals, monographs, and relevant electronic mediums such as data repositories, bibliographic databases, and reference materials. To maximize limited resources, most journals will not be available in more than one format; in general, electronic versions are preferred, so long as they have reliable and perpetual access.

Popular books are generally not collected, with the exception of works of significant quality or relevance. Textbooks are acquired selectively, reflecting areas in the discipline that are more driven by method. With few exceptions, the following types of material are not ordinarily purchased: reprints; selected works when the Library owns the collected works; collections of reprinted articles; and minor revisions.

Because the budget for serials is fully committed, new subscriptions are considered only if an equivalent dollar amount of existing local subscriptions can be cancelled.

Systemwide and Other Resources

The sheer volume of published material makes it nearly impossible to collect any discipline -- and especially economics -- at anything resembling a comprehensive level. As such, Interlibrary Loan is used heavily, and monitored to provide insight into collection areas requiring increased attention.

When possible, consortia and cooperative agreements are used to augment collections and maximize the utility of spending. UCSB actively works with other University of California campuses to pool resources, negotiate purchases, and share materials.

Related Collection Development Policies

Subject librarian: Paige Sundstrom
Policy Last Updated: September 2017