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The latter, an aspect of public choice theory , models public-sector behaviour analogously to microeconomics, involving interactions of self-interested voters, politicians, and bureaucrats. Much of economics is positive , seeking to describe and predict economic phenomena. Normative economics seeks to identify what economies ought to be like. Welfare economics is a normative branch of economics that uses microeconomic techniques to simultaneously determine the allocative efficiency within an economy and the income distribution associated with it.

It attempts to measure social welfare by examining the economic activities of the individuals that comprise society. Macroeconomics examines the economy as a whole to explain broad aggregates and their interactions "top down", that is, using a simplified form of general-equilibrium theory. It also studies effects of monetary policy and fiscal policy. Since at least the s, macroeconomics has been characterized by further integration as to micro-based modelling of sectors, including rationality of players, efficient use of market information, and imperfect competition.

Macroeconomic analysis also considers factors affecting the long-term level and growth of national income. Such factors include capital accumulation, technological change and labour force growth. The same factors are used to explain differences in the level of output per capita between countries, in particular why some countries grow faster than others, and whether countries converge at the same rates of growth.

Much-studied factors include the rate of investment , population growth , and technological change. These are represented in theoretical and empirical forms as in the neoclassical and endogenous growth models and in growth accounting.

The economics of a depression were the spur for the creation of "macroeconomics" as a separate discipline field of study. Keynes contended that aggregate demand for goods might be insufficient during economic downturns, leading to unnecessarily high unemployment and losses of potential output.

He therefore advocated active policy responses by the public sector , including monetary policy actions by the central bank and fiscal policy actions by the government to stabilize output over the business cycle. Over the years, understanding of the business cycle has branched into various research programmes , mostly related to or distinct from Keynesianism. The neoclassical synthesis refers to the reconciliation of Keynesian economics with neoclassical economics , stating that Keynesianism is correct in the short run but qualified by neoclassical-like considerations in the intermediate and long run.

New classical macroeconomics , as distinct from the Keynesian view of the business cycle, posits market clearing with imperfect information. It includes Friedman's permanent income hypothesis on consumption and " rational expectations " theory, [70] led by Robert Lucas , and real business cycle theory. In contrast, the new Keynesian approach retains the rational expectations assumption, however it assumes a variety of market failures.

In particular, New Keynesians assume prices and wages are " sticky ", which means they do not adjust instantaneously to changes in economic conditions. Thus, the new classicals assume that prices and wages adjust automatically to attain full employment, whereas the new Keynesians see full employment as being automatically achieved only in the long run, and hence government and central-bank policies are needed because the "long run" may be very long.

The amount of unemployment in an economy is measured by the unemployment rate, the percentage of workers without jobs in the labour force.

The labour force only includes workers actively looking for jobs. People who are retired, pursuing education, or discouraged from seeking work by a lack of job prospects are excluded from the labour force.

Unemployment can be generally broken down into several types that are related to different causes. Classical models of unemployment occurs when wages are too high for employers to be willing to hire more workers. Wages may be too high because of minimum wage laws or union activity. Consistent with classical unemployment, frictional unemployment occurs when appropriate job vacancies exist for a worker, but the length of time needed to search for and find the job leads to a period of unemployment.

Structural unemployment covers a variety of possible causes of unemployment including a mismatch between workers' skills and the skills required for open jobs. Structural unemployment is similar to frictional unemployment since both reflect the problem of matching workers with job vacancies, but structural unemployment covers the time needed to acquire new skills not just the short term search process.

While some types of unemployment may occur regardless of the condition of the economy, cyclical unemployment occurs when growth stagnates. Okun's law represents the empirical relationship between unemployment and economic growth. Money is a means of final payment for goods in most price system economies, and is the unit of account in which prices are typically stated.

Money has general acceptability, relative consistency in value, divisibility, durability, portability, elasticity in supply, and longevity with mass public confidence. It includes currency held by the nonbank public and checkable deposits. It has been described as a social convention, like language, useful to one largely because it is useful to others.

In the words of Francis Amasa Walker , a well-known 19th-century economist, "Money is what money does" "Money is that money does" in the original. As a medium of exchange , money facilitates trade. It is essentially a measure of value and more importantly, a store of value being a basis for credit creation. Its economic function can be contrasted with barter non-monetary exchange. Given a diverse array of produced goods and specialized producers, barter may entail a hard-to-locate double coincidence of wants as to what is exchanged, say apples and a book.

Money can reduce the transaction cost of exchange because of its ready acceptability. Then it is less costly for the seller to accept money in exchange, rather than what the buyer produces. At the level of an economy , theory and evidence are consistent with a positive relationship running from the total money supply to the nominal value of total output and to the general price level. For this reason, management of the money supply is a key aspect of monetary policy. Governments implement fiscal policy to influence macroeconomic conditions by adjusting spending and taxation policies to alter aggregate demand.

When aggregate demand falls below the potential output of the economy, there is an output gap where some productive capacity is left unemployed. Governments increase spending and cut taxes to boost aggregate demand. Resources that have been idled can be used by the government. For example, unemployed home builders can be hired to expand highways.

Tax cuts allow consumers to increase their spending, which boosts aggregate demand. Both tax cuts and spending have multiplier effects where the initial increase in demand from the policy percolates through the economy and generates additional economic activity. The effects of fiscal policy can be limited by crowding out. When there is no output gap, the economy is producing at full capacity and there are no excess productive resources.

If the government increases spending in this situation, the government uses resources that otherwise would have been used by the private sector, so there is no increase in overall output. Some economists think that crowding out is always an issue while others do not think it is a major issue when output is depressed. Sceptics of fiscal policy also make the argument of Ricardian equivalence. They argue that an increase in debt will have to be paid for with future tax increases, which will cause people to reduce their consumption and save money to pay for the future tax increase.

Under Ricardian equivalence, any boost in demand from tax cuts will be offset by the increased saving intended to pay for future higher taxes. International trade studies determinants of goods-and-services flows across international boundaries.

It also concerns the size and distribution of gains from trade. Policy applications include estimating the effects of changing tariff rates and trade quotas. International finance is a macroeconomic field which examines the flow of capital across international borders, and the effects of these movements on exchange rates. Increased trade in goods, services and capital between countries is a major effect of contemporary globalization.

The distinct field of development economics examines economic aspects of the economic development process in relatively low-income countries focusing on structural change , poverty , and economic growth. Approaches in development economics frequently incorporate social and political factors. Economic systems is the branch of economics that studies the methods and institutions by which societies determine the ownership, direction, and allocation of economic resources.

An economic system of a society is the unit of analysis. Among contemporary systems at different ends of the organizational spectrum are socialist systems and capitalist systems , in which most production occurs in respectively state-run and private enterprises. In between are mixed economies. A common element is the interaction of economic and political influences, broadly described as political economy. Comparative economic systems studies the relative performance and behaviour of different economies or systems.

Export-Import Bank defines a Marxist-Leninist state as having a centrally planned economy. Contemporary economics uses mathematics. Economists draw on the tools of calculus , linear algebra , statistics , game theory , and computer science. Mainstream economic theory relies upon a priori quantitative economic models , which employ a variety of concepts. Theory typically proceeds with an assumption of ceteris paribus , which means holding constant explanatory variables other than the one under consideration.

When creating theories, the objective is to find ones which are at least as simple in information requirements, more precise in predictions, and more fruitful in generating additional research than prior theories. In microeconomics , principal concepts include supply and demand , marginalism , rational choice theory , opportunity cost , budget constraints , utility , and the theory of the firm. In development economics , slower growth in developed nations has been sometimes predicted because of the declining marginal returns of investment and capital, and this has been observed in the Four Asian Tigers.

Sometimes an economic hypothesis is only qualitative , not quantitative. Expositions of economic reasoning often use two-dimensional graphs to illustrate theoretical relationships. At a higher level of generality, Paul Samuelson 's treatise Foundations of Economic Analysis used mathematical methods beyond graphs to represent the theory, particularly as to maximizing behavioural relations of agents reaching equilibrium.

The book focused on examining the class of statements called operationally meaningful theorems in economics, which are theorems that can conceivably be refuted by empirical data. Economic theories are frequently tested empirically , largely through the use of econometrics using economic data.

However, the field of experimental economics is growing, and increasing use is being made of natural experiments. Statistical methods such as regression analysis are common. Practitioners use such methods to estimate the size, economic significance, and statistical significance "signal strength" of the hypothesized relation s and to adjust for noise from other variables.

By such means, a hypothesis may gain acceptance, although in a probabilistic, rather than certain, sense. Acceptance is dependent upon the falsifiable hypothesis surviving tests. Use of commonly accepted methods need not produce a final conclusion or even a consensus on a particular question, given different tests, data sets , and prior beliefs. Criticisms based on professional standards and non- replicability of results serve as further checks against bias, errors, and over-generalization, [93] [94] although much economic research has been accused of being non-replicable, and prestigious journals have been accused of not facilitating replication through the provision of the code and data.

In applied economics, input-output models employing linear programming methods are quite common. Large amounts of data are run through computer programs to analyse the impact of certain policies; IMPLAN is one well-known example. Experimental economics has promoted the use of scientifically controlled experiments.

This has reduced the long-noted distinction of economics from natural sciences because it allows direct tests of what were previously taken as axioms. In behavioural economics , psychologist Daniel Kahneman won the Nobel Prize in economics in for his and Amos Tversky 's empirical discovery of several cognitive biases and heuristics.

Similar empirical testing occurs in neuroeconomics. Another example is the assumption of narrowly selfish preferences versus a model that tests for selfish, altruistic, and cooperative preferences.

The professionalization of economics, reflected in the growth of graduate programmes on the subject, has been described as "the main change in economics since around ". In the private sector, professional economists are employed as consultants and in industry, including banking and finance. Economists also work for various government departments and agencies, for example, the national Treasury , Central Bank or Bureau of Statistics.

The Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences commonly known as the Nobel Prize in Economics is a prize awarded to economists each year for outstanding intellectual contributions in the field. Economics is one social science among several and has fields bordering on other areas, including economic geography , economic history , public choice , energy economics , cultural economics , family economics and institutional economics. Law and economics, or economic analysis of law, is an approach to legal theory that applies methods of economics to law.

It includes the use of economic concepts to explain the effects of legal rules, to assess which legal rules are economically efficient , and to predict what the legal rules will be. Political economy is the interdisciplinary study that combines economics, law, and political science in explaining how political institutions, the political environment, and the economic system capitalist, socialist , mixed influence each other.

It studies questions such as how monopoly, rent-seeking behaviour, and externalities should impact government policy. Energy economics is a broad scientific subject area which includes topics related to energy supply and energy demand.

Georgescu-Roegen reintroduced the concept of entropy in relation to economics and energy from thermodynamics , as distinguished from what he viewed as the mechanistic foundation of neoclassical economics drawn from Newtonian physics. His work contributed significantly to thermoeconomics and to ecological economics. He also did foundational work which later developed into evolutionary economics. More recently, the works of Mark Granovetter , Peter Hedstrom and Richard Swedberg have been influential in this field.

Economic precepts occur throughout the writings of the Boeotian poet Hesiod and several economic historians have described Hesiod himself as the "first economist". Joseph Schumpeter described Aquinas as "coming nearer than any other group to being the "founders' of scientific economics" as to monetary , interest, and value theory within a natural-law perspective. Two groups, later called "mercantilists" and "physiocrats", more directly influenced the subsequent development of the subject.

Both groups were associated with the rise of economic nationalism and modern capitalism in Europe. Mercantilism was an economic doctrine that flourished from the 16th to 18th century in a prolific pamphlet literature, whether of merchants or statesmen. It held that a nation's wealth depended on its accumulation of gold and silver. Nations without access to mines could obtain gold and silver from trade only by selling goods abroad and restricting imports other than of gold and silver.

The doctrine called for importing cheap raw materials to be used in manufacturing goods, which could be exported, and for state regulation to impose protective tariffs on foreign manufactured goods and prohibit manufacturing in the colonies. Physiocrats , a group of 18th-century French thinkers and writers, developed the idea of the economy as a circular flow of income and output.

Physiocrats believed that only agricultural production generated a clear surplus over cost, so that agriculture was the basis of all wealth. Thus, they opposed the mercantilist policy of promoting manufacturing and trade at the expense of agriculture, including import tariffs.

Physiocrats advocated replacing administratively costly tax collections with a single tax on income of land owners. In reaction against copious mercantilist trade regulations, the physiocrats advocated a policy of laissez-faire , which called for minimal government intervention in the economy.

Adam Smith — was an early economic theorist. The publication of Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations in , has been described as "the effective birth of economics as a separate discipline. Smith discusses potential benefits of specialization by division of labour , including increased labour productivity and gains from trade , whether between town and country or across countries.

In an argument that includes "one of the most famous passages in all economics," [] Smith represents every individual as trying to employ any capital they might command for their own advantage, not that of the society, [c] and for the sake of profit, which is necessary at some level for employing capital in domestic industry, and positively related to the value of produce. He generally, indeed, neither intends to promote the public interest, nor knows how much he is promoting it.

By preferring the support of domestic to that of foreign industry, he intends only his own security; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention. Nor is it always the worse for the society that it was no part of it.

By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it. Thomas Robert Malthus used the concept of diminishing returns to explain low living standards. Human population , he argued, tended to increase geometrically, outstripping the production of food, which increased arithmetically. The force of a rapidly growing population against a limited amount of land meant diminishing returns to labour.

The result, he claimed, was chronically low wages, which prevented the standard of living for most of the population from rising above the subsistence level. While Adam Smith emphasized the production of income, David Ricardo focused on the distribution of income among landowners, workers, and capitalists. Ricardo saw an inherent conflict between landowners on the one hand and labour and capital on the other.

He posited that the growth of population and capital, pressing against a fixed supply of land, pushes up rents and holds down wages and profits. Ricardo was the first to state and prove the principle of comparative advantage , according to which each country should specialize in producing and exporting goods in that it has a lower relative cost of production, rather relying only on its own production.

Coming at the end of the classical tradition, John Stuart Mill parted company with the earlier classical economists on the inevitability of the distribution of income produced by the market system. Mill pointed to a distinct difference between the market's two roles: The market might be efficient in allocating resources but not in distributing income, he wrote, making it necessary for society to intervene. Value theory was important in classical theory.

Smith wrote that the "real price of every thing Smith maintained that, with rent and profit, other costs besides wages also enter the price of a commodity. Classical economics focused on the tendency of any market economy to settle in a final stationary state made up of a constant stock of physical wealth capital and a constant population size. Marxist later, Marxian economics descends from classical economics. It derives from the work of Karl Marx.

The first volume of Marx's major work, Das Kapital , was published in German in In it, Marx focused on the labour theory of value and the theory of surplus value which, he believed, explained the exploitation of labour by capital. At the dawn as a social science, economics was defined and discussed at length as the study of production, distribution, and consumption of wealth by Jean-Baptiste Say in his Treatise on Political Economy or, The Production, Distribution, and Consumption of Wealth These three items are considered by the science only in relation to the increase or diminution of wealth, and not in reference to their processes of execution.

One hundred and thirty years later, Lionel Robbins noticed that this definition no longer sufficed, [e] because many economists were making theoretical and philosophical inroads in other areas of human activity. In his Essay on the Nature and Significance of Economic Science , he proposed a definition of economics as a study of a particular aspect of human behaviour, the one that falls under the influence of scarcity, [f] which forces people to choose, allocate scarce resources to competing ends, and economize seeking the greatest welfare while avoiding the wasting of scarce resources.

For Robbins, the insufficiency was solved, and his definition allows us to proclaim, with an easy conscience, education economics, safety and security economics, health economics, war economics, and of course, production, distribution and consumption economics as valid subjects of the economic science. A body of theory later termed "neoclassical economics" or " marginalism " formed from about to The term "economics" was popularized by such neoclassical economists as Alfred Marshall as a concise synonym for "economic science" and a substitute for the earlier " political economy ".

Neoclassical economics systematized supply and demand as joint determinants of price and quantity in market equilibrium, affecting both the allocation of output and the distribution of income. It dispensed with the labour theory of value inherited from classical economics in favour of a marginal utility theory of value on the demand side and a more general theory of costs on the supply side. In microeconomics , neoclassical economics represents incentives and costs as playing a pervasive role in shaping decision making.

An immediate example of this is the consumer theory of individual demand, which isolates how prices as costs and income affect quantity demanded. Neoclassical economics is occasionally referred as orthodox economics whether by its critics or sympathizers. Modern mainstream economics builds on neoclassical economics but with many refinements that either supplement or generalize earlier analysis, such as econometrics , game theory , analysis of market failure and imperfect competition , and the neoclassical model of economic growth for analysing long-run variables affecting national income.

Neoclassical economics studies the behaviour of individuals , households , and organizations called economic actors, players, or agents , when they manage or use scarce resources, which have alternative uses, to achieve desired ends.

Agents are assumed to act rationally, have multiple desirable ends in sight, limited resources to obtain these ends, a set of stable preferences, a definite overall guiding objective, and the capability of making a choice. There exists an economic problem, subject to study by economic science, when a decision choice is made by one or more resource-controlling players to attain the best possible outcome under bounded rational conditions. In other words, resource-controlling agents maximize value subject to the constraints imposed by the information the agents have, their cognitive limitations, and the finite amount of time they have to make and execute a decision.

Economic science centres on the activities of the economic agents that comprise society. An approach to understanding these processes, through the study of agent behaviour under scarcity, may go as follows:. The continuous interplay exchange or trade done by economic actors in all markets sets the prices for all goods and services which, in turn, make the rational managing of scarce resources possible.

At the same time, the decisions choices made by the same actors, while they are pursuing their own interest, determine the level of output production , consumption, savings, and investment, in an economy, as well as the remuneration distribution paid to the owners of labour in the form of wages , capital in the form of profits and land in the form of rent.

Because of the autonomous actions of rational interacting agents, the economy is a complex adaptive system. Keynesian economics derives from John Maynard Keynes , in particular his book The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money , which ushered in contemporary macroeconomics as a distinct field.

Keynes attempted to explain in broad theoretical detail why high labour-market unemployment might not be self-correcting due to low " effective demand " and why even price flexibility and monetary policy might be unavailing. The term "revolutionary" has been applied to the book in its impact on economic analysis.

Keynesian economics has two successors. Post-Keynesian economics also concentrates on macroeconomic rigidities and adjustment processes.

Research on micro foundations for their models is represented as based on real-life practices rather than simple optimizing models. It is generally associated with the University of Cambridge and the work of Joan Robinson. New-Keynesian economics is also associated with developments in the Keynesian fashion. Within this group researchers tend to share with other economists the emphasis on models employing micro foundations and optimizing behaviour but with a narrower focus on standard Keynesian themes such as price and wage rigidity.

These are usually made to be endogenous features of the models, rather than simply assumed as in older Keynesian-style ones. The Chicago School of economics is best known for its free market advocacy and monetarist ideas. According to Milton Friedman and monetarists, market economies are inherently stable if the money supply does not greatly expand or contract. Ben Bernanke , former Chairman of the Federal Reserve, is among the economists today generally accepting Friedman's analysis of the causes of the Great Depression.

Milton Friedman effectively took many of the basic principles set forth by Adam Smith and the classical economists and modernized them. One example of this is his article in the 13 September issue of The New York Times Magazine , in which he claims that the social responsibility of business should be "to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits Other well-known schools or trends of thought referring to a particular style of economics practised at and disseminated from well-defined groups of academicians that have become known worldwide, include the Austrian School , the Freiburg School , the School of Lausanne , post-Keynesian economics and the Stockholm school.

Contemporary mainstream economics is sometimes separated into the Saltwater approach of those universities along the Eastern and Western coasts of the US, and the Freshwater, or Chicago-school approach. Within macroeconomics there is, in general order of their appearance in the literature; classical economics , Keynesian economics , the neoclassical synthesis, post-Keynesian economics , monetarism , new classical economics , and supply-side economics.

Alternative developments include ecological economics , constitutional economics , institutional economics , evolutionary economics , dependency theory , structuralist economics , world systems theory , econophysics , feminist economics and biophysical economics. According to various random and anonymous surveys of members of the American Economic Association , economists have agreement about the following propositions by percentage: It is often stated that Carlyle gave economics the nickname "the dismal science" as a response to the late 18th century writings of The Reverend Thomas Robert Malthus, who grimly predicted that starvation would result, as projected population growth exceeded the rate of increase in the food supply.

However, the actual phrase was coined by Carlyle in the context of a debate with John Stuart Mill on slavery , in which Carlyle argued for slavery, while Mill opposed it. In The Wealth of Nations , Adam Smith addressed many issues that are currently also the subject of debate and dispute. Smith repeatedly attacks groups of politically aligned individuals who attempt to use their collective influence to manipulate a government into doing their bidding.

In Smith's day, these were referred to as factions , but are now more commonly called special interests , a term which can comprise international bankers, corporate conglomerations, outright oligopolies, monopolies, trade unions and other groups.

Economics per se , as a social science, is independent of the political acts of any government or other decision-making organization; however, many policymakers or individuals holding highly ranked positions that can influence other people's lives are known for arbitrarily using a plethora of economic concepts and rhetoric as vehicles to legitimize agendas and value systems , and do not limit their remarks to matters relevant to their responsibilities.

Notwithstanding, economics legitimately has a role in informing government policy. It is, indeed, in some ways an outgrowth of the older field of political economy.

Some academic economic journals have increased their efforts to gauge the consensus of economists regarding certain policy issues in hopes of effecting a more informed political environment. Often there exists a low approval rate from professional economists regarding many public policies. Policy issues featured in one survey of American Economic Association economists include trade restrictions, social insurance for those put out of work by international competition, genetically modified foods, curbside recycling, health insurance several questions , medical malpractice, barriers to entering the medical profession, organ donations, unhealthy foods, mortgage deductions, taxing internet sales, Wal-Mart, casinos, ethanol subsidies, and inflation targeting.

In Steady State Economics , leading ecological economist and steady-state theorist Herman Daly argues that there exist logical inconsistencies between the emphasis placed on economic growth and the limited availability of natural resources. Issues like central bank independence, central bank policies and rhetoric in central bank governors discourse or the premises of macroeconomic policies [] monetary and fiscal policy of the state , are focus of contention and criticism.

Deirdre McCloskey has argued that many empirical economic studies are poorly reported, and she and Stephen Ziliak argue that although her critique has been well-received, practice has not improved.

A International Monetary Fund study assessed the national economic growth predictions from Consensus Forecasts in the s. Economics has been subject to criticism that it relies on unrealistic, unverifiable, or highly simplified assumptions, in some cases because these assumptions simplify the proofs of desired conclusions. Examples of such assumptions include perfect information , profit maximization and rational choices. Nevertheless, prominent mainstream economists such as Keynes [] and Joskow have observed that much of economics is conceptual rather than quantitative, and difficult to model and formalize quantitatively.

In a discussion on oligopoly research, Paul Joskow pointed out in that in practice, serious students of actual economies tended to use "informal models" based upon qualitative factors specific to particular industries. Joskow had a strong feeling that the important work in oligopoly was done through informal observations while formal models were "trotted out ex post ".

He argued that formal models were largely not important in the empirical work, either, and that the fundamental factor behind the theory of the firm, behaviour, was neglected. In recent years, feminist critiques of neoclassical economic models gained prominence, leading to the formation of feminist economics.

Primary criticisms focus on failures to account for: Feminist economics developed to address these concerns, and the field now includes critical examinations of many areas of economics including paid and unpaid work, economic epistemology and history, globalization, household economics and the care economy. In , Marilyn Waring published the book If Women Counted , in which she argues that the discipline of economics ignores women's unpaid work and the value of nature ; [] according to Julie A.

Nelson , If Women Counted "showed exactly how the unpaid work traditionally done by women has been made invisible within national accounting systems " and "issued a wake-up call to issues of ecological sustainability.

They argue that such a reshaping should include new advances within feminist economics that take as their starting point the socially responsible, sensible and accountable subject in creating an economy and economic theories that fully acknowledge care for each other as well as the planet.

The imperatives of the orthodox research programme [of economic science] leave little room for maneuver and less room for originality. Appropriate as many mathematical techniques and metaphorical expressions from contemporary respectable science, primarily physics as possible. Preserve to the maximum extent possible the attendant nineteenth-century overtones of "natural order" Deny strenuously that neoclassical theory slavishly imitates physics. Above all, prevent all rival research programmes from encroaching All theorizing is [in this way] held hostage to nineteenth-century concepts of energy.

In a series of peer-reviewed journal and conference papers and books published over a period of several decades, John McMurtry has provided extensive criticism of what he terms the "unexamined assumptions and implications [of economics], and their consequent cost to people's lives.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb and Michael Perelman are two additional scholars who criticized conventional or mainstream economics. Taleb opposes most economic theorizing, which in his view suffers acutely from the problem of overuse of Plato's Theory of Forms , and calls for cancellation of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics , saying that the damage from economic theories can be devastating. Despite these concerns, mainstream graduate programs have become increasingly technical and mathematical.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the social science. For other uses, see Economics disambiguation and Economic Theory journal. For a topical guide to this subject, see Outline of economics. A supply and demand diagram, illustrating the effects of an increase in demand. History of economics Schools of economics Mainstream economics Heterodox economics Economic methodology Economic theory Political economy Microeconomics Macroeconomics International economics Applied economics Mathematical economics Econometrics.

Economic systems Economic growth Market National accounting Experimental economics Computational economics Game theory Operations research. Production theory basics , Opportunity cost , Economic efficiency , and Production—possibility frontier. Division of labour , Comparative advantage , and Gains from trade. Theory of the firm , Industrial organization , Business economics , and Managerial economics. Information economics , Game theory , and Financial economics.

Market failure , Government failure , Information economics , Environmental economics , and Agricultural economics. Economics of the public sector and Public finance. Circular flow of income , Aggregate supply , Aggregate demand , and Unemployment. Inflation and Monetary policy. Money , Quantity theory of money , and History of money. Fiscal policy , Government spending , and Taxation. Economic methodology , Mathematical economics , and Schools of economics.

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Keynesian economics and Post-Keynesian economics. Chicago school of economics. This article may be unbalanced towards certain viewpoints. Please improve the article by adding information on neglected viewpoints, or discuss the issue on the talk page. Business and economics portal. Stiglitz classifies market failures as from failure of competition including natural monopoly , information asymmetries , incomplete markets , externalities , public good situations, and macroeconomic disturbances in "Chapter 4: Economics of the Public Sector: Fourth International Student Edition 4th ed.

The latter includes wages and labour maintenance, money, and inputs from land, mines, and fisheries associated with production. Besides this knowledge, the merchant must also understand the processes of his art. He must be acquainted with the commodities in which he deals, their qualities and defects, the countries from which they are derived, their markets, the means of their transportation, the values to be given for them in exchange, and the method of keeping accounts.

The same remark is applicable to the agriculturist, to the manufacturer, and to the practical man of business; to acquire a thorough knowledge of the causes and consequences of each phenomenon, the study of political economy is essentially necessary to them all; and to become expert in his particular pursuit, each one must add thereto a knowledge of its processes.

It does not attempt to pick out certain kinds of behaviour, but focuses attention on a particular aspect of behaviour, the form imposed by the influence of scarcity. Robbins , p. Archived from the original on 14 October Oxford English Dictionary 3rd ed. Subscription or UK public library membership required.

The Foundations of Positive and Normative Economics: Retrieved 27 October The Economics of Industry. The Theory of Political Economy second ed. Journal of Economic Literature. American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original PDF on 2 February Retrieved 21 October In Durlauf, Steven N. The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics.

The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics second ed. United Nations Environment Programme. On the Definition of Economics". Journal of Economic Perspectives. A Treatise on Political Economy. An Essay on the Principle of Population. Ludwig von Mises Institute. Scandinavian Journal of Economics. The Economic Approach to Human Behavior.

There are also schools of economic thought. Two of the most common are C lassical and Keynesian. Since true experiments cannot be created in economics, empirical economists rely on simplifying assumptions and retroactive data analysis.

However, some economists argue economics is not well suited to empirical testing, and that such methods often generate incorrect or inconsistent answers.

The building blocks of economics are the studies of labor and trade. Since there are many possible applications of human labor and many different ways to acquire resources, it is difficult to determine which methods yield the best results in equilibrium.

Economics demonstrates, for example, that it is more efficient for individuals or companies to specialize in specific types of labor and then trade for their other needs or wants, rather than trying to produce everything they need or want on their own. It also demonstrates trade is most efficient when coordinated through a medium of exchange , or money. But of course, human behavior can be unpredictable or inconsistent, and based on personal, subjective values another reason why economic theories often are not well suited to empirical testing.

As it is, economic laws tend to be very general, and formulated by studying human incentives: Economics can say profits incentivize new competitors to enter a market, for example, or that taxes disincentivize spending. Economic indicators are reports that detail a country's economic performance in a specific area. These reports are usually published periodically by governmental agencies or private organizations, and they often have a considerable effect on stock , fixed income , and forex markets when they are released.

Many investors, analysts and traders don't actually focus on the final annual GDP report, but rather on the two reports issued a few months before: This is because the final GDP figure is frequently considered a lagging indicator , meaning it can confirm a trend but it can't predict a trend.

In comparison to the stock market, the GDP report is somewhat similar to the income statement a public company reports at year-end. The report estimates the total merchandise sold by taking sample data from retailers across the country. This figure serves as a proxy of consumer spending levels. Because consumer spending represents more than two-thirds of the economy, this report is very useful to gage the economy's general direction. Also, because the report's data is based on the previous month sales, it is a timely indicator.

The content in the retail sales report can cause above normal volatility in the market, and information in the report can also be used to gage inflationary pressures that affect Fed rates. Industrial Production The industrial production report, released monthly by the Federal Reserve, reports on the changes in the production of factories, mines and utilities in the U. One of the closely watched measures included in this report is the capacity utilization ratio , which estimates the level of production activity in the economy.

It is preferable for a country to see increasing values of production and capacity utilization at high levels. Levels below 80 percent are usually interpreted as showing "slack" in the economy, which might increase the likelihood of a recession.

Generally, sharp increases in employment indicate prosperous economic growth. Likewise, potential contractions may be imminent if significant decreases occur. While these are general trends, it is important to consider the current position of the economy.

What is 'Economics'

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It gave birth to the definition of economics as the science of studying human behaviour as a relationship between ends and scarce means that have alternative uses. Austrian economic thinking was characterised by attributing all economic activity, including the behaviour of apparently impersonal institutions, to the wishes and actions of individuals.

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the branch of economics that concentrates on measures to increase output of goods and services in the long run. The basis is that marginal tax rates should be reduced to provide incentives to supply additional labor and capital, and thereby promote long term growth.

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Economics definition is - a social science concerned chiefly with description and analysis of the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. How to use economics in a sentence. But the founding of modern Western economics occurred much later, generally credited to the publication of Scottish philosopher Adam Smith's book, "An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the .

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Economy terms with their definitions. Learn and know the meaning of these Economy terms by their definitions here at The Economic Times. Economics definition, the science that deals with the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services, or the material welfare of humankind. See more.