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The production, trade, and use of goods and services. The economy is the interaction between different actors, such as individuals, companies, and governments, in order to maximize the fulfillment of their needs through the use of scarce resources. The relationship between supply and demand is vitally important to how an economy operates, though economists disagree on exactly how.

There are a number of schools of thought within the study of the economy. Some major schools are classical economics, which considers the sources of production as well as the role of the Invisible Hand of the market, and Marxism, which considers the exploitation of labor by holders of capital. Other, modern schools of thought include Keynesianism, which emphasizes the role of demand as opposed to supply, and monetarism, which promotes the use of the free market and considers the role of money supply in economic growth. See also: Macroeconomics, Microeconomics.


a country defined in terms of the total composition of its economic activities and the ultimate location of economic decision-making.

The total value of goods and services produced in any one year is called the gross domestic product. The contribution made to total output by the various subdivisions of the economy can be split down in various ways: for example, by broad sectors such as the primary sector (agriculture), the industrial sector (including manufacturing) and the tertiary sector (services); or by individual activities (brewing, coal-mining, etc.).

Economic decision-making in the economy may be either highly centralized or decentralized. In a centrally planned economy the State owns the means of production (except labour) and decides what goods and services are to be produced in accordance with a national plan. Resources are allocated between producing units, and final outputs between consumers by the use of physical quotas. At the other extreme, in a private enterprise economy (free market or capitalist economy) the means of production are held by individuals and firms. Economic decision-making is highly decentralized with resources being allocated through a large number of individual goods and services markets. It is the MARKET which synchronizes the decisions of buyers and sellers by establishing market prices which determine how much of a product will be produced and sold. In practice, a large number of countries, including the UK, are mixed economies with some goods and services being provided by private enterprise and others, typically public-utility type products such as postal services and railways, being supplied by the State. The precise mix of private enterprise and State activities to be found in particular countries, however, does vary substantially between the two extremes and is very much influenced by prevailing political ideologies. See INDUSTRY, STRUCTURE OF INDUSTRY, NATIONALIZATION VERSUS PRIVATIZATION.


a country defined in terms of the total and composition of its economic activities. The total value of goods and services produced in an economy in any one year is called GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT (GDP). The contribution made to GDP by the various subdivisions or sectors of the economy can be viewed in a variety of ways: for example, either by broad sectors (the PERSONAL or household SECTOR, the CORPORATE or business SECTOR, the FINANCIAL SECTOR, PUBLIC (GOVERNMENT) SECTOR, the FOREIGN SECTOR), or by individual industries. See STRUCTURE OF INDUSTRY, ECONOMIC SYSTEM.
References in periodicals archive ?
Although Steuart argued that a Statesman should neither "establish what oeconomy he pleases" nor "overturn at will the established laws of it," he maintained the "principle object" of political economy is "to secure a certain fund of subsistence for all the inhabitants [and] to obviate every circumstance which may render it precarious." (35) Steuart contends that failures are endemic to the market, are not self-correcting, and produce poverty requiring public action.
(16.) Oeconomy means the "correct manner of managing individuals, goods, and wealth within the family...and making it thrive" (Foucault, 1979: 11).
34 Anulatikes 38 the 40 oeconomy 52 pretty)petty 60 Church)law 60 His)this 63 the devill)Too servile 69 Theres) there is 78 Scenes)Signes 90 trie)tire 117 skill)silke 178 lusty)bushy
19 The Oeconomy of the Fleete, or an apologeticall Answeare of Alexander Harris, (Late Warden there) unto XIX.
The Vicar calls his family a "little republic" (33), but "his familial politics appear to derive from similar [monarchial] principles."(6) Like the state, he believes the family requires the principle of "subordination" to preserve order and morality, and subordination is Providentially ordained; the Vicar preaches the principle in his sermon on Providence in chapter 29, and practices - or attempts to practice - it in his own family.(7) Calling his children "the offspring of temperance," he claims that they are "at once well formed and healthy" because "educated without softness" (19), and he "admonishe[s]" his wife "of her duty to me" by prematurely composing an epitaph "in which I extolled her prudence, oeconomy, and obedience till death" and placing it "over the chimney-piece" (22).
What Siebert sees as an excess of worldly materialism Alexander Carlyle interpreted as laudable: ~His Oeconomy was strict, as he lov'd independency, and yet he was able at that time to Give Suppers to his Friends in his small lodging in the Cannongate' (Anecdotes, s.v.
201, last sentence, last complete paragraph) has in his translation of the French text: 'If by great oeconomy and pinching himself somewhat of his necessities he can gradually accumulate some little capital, he will have every year less to borrow, and will at last arrive at keeping the whole of his third rent'.
Hugh Blair examines Addison's prose (152-53); Ann Fisher Robert Dodsley's 1750 The Oeconomy of Human Life (153); and Lindley Murray the King James Bible (58).
In The Oeconomy of Charity (1787), Sarah Trimmer argues that advice is more effective when it involves members of the same sex, since both parties share similar experiences: "Women are undoubtedly best able to judge of the faults and mismanagements of their own sex, and of their peculiar wants; which in many instances are unavoidably overlooked by those who are unacquainted with the minutiae of domestic business" (23).
If I had not deemed it of some value, I should not have made political oeconomy an object of my humble studies, from my very early youth to near the end of my service in parliament, even before, (at least to any knowledge of mine) it had employed the thoughts of speculative men in other parts of Europe.
The most explicit and general position is Steuart's, who shows a great influence of Montesquieu in his Inquiry into the Principles of Political Oeconomy, of 1767, in which he develops the thesis of modern economy as a brake to despotism.
You must lay it down for a Foundation in general, that there is Inequality in the Sexes, and that for the better Oeconomy of the World; Men who were to be the Lawgivers, had the larger share of Reason bestowed upon them; by which means your sex is the better prepar'd for the Compliance that is necessary for the performance of those duties which seem'd to be most properly assign'd to it.