economics


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Economics

Economics

The study of how people produce, trade, and use goods and services. Economists look at how different actors, such as individuals, companies, and governments, interact with one another to maximize the fulfillment of their needs through the use of scarce resources. Economics also includes the study of supply, demand, and the relationship between the two. There are a number of schools of thought within economics. 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 the considers the role of money supply in economic growth. See also: Macroeconomics, Microeconomics.

economics

the study of the way in which countries endowed with only a limited availability of economic resources (natural resources, labour and capital) can best use these resources so as to gain the maximum fulfilment of society's unlimited demands for goods and services. Economics has a macroeconomic and a microeconomic dimension. Macroeconomics is concerned with the overall efficiency of resource use in the economy, in particular the achievement of full employment, and with the growth of resources over time (see ECONOMIC POLICY). Micro-economics is concerned with the efficient supply of particular goods and services (see MARKET SYSTEM).

economics

the study of the problem of using available FACTORS OF PRODUCTION as efficiently as possible so as to attain the maximum fulfilment of society's unlimited demands for GOODS and SERVICES. The ultimate purpose of economic endeavour is to satisfy human wants for goods and services. The problem is that whereas wants are virtually without limit, the resources (NATURAL RESOURCES, LABOUR and CAPITAL) available at any one time to produce goods and services are limited in supply; i.e. resources are scarce (see SCARCITY) relative to the demands they are called upon to satisfy. The fact of scarcity means that we must always be making CHOICES. If, to take a simple example, more resources are devoted to producing motor cars, fewer resources are then available for providing hospitals and other goods. Various ECONOMIC SYSTEMS may be employed to allocate resources and deal with such choices.

Economics has a microeconomic and a macroeconomic dimension. Microeconomics is concerned with the efficient supply of particular products. Macroeconomics is concerned with the overall efficiency of resource use in the economy, in particular the achievement of FULL EMPLOYMENT of current resources and the growth of output over time. See OPPORTUNITY COSTS, PRODUCTION POSSIBILITY BOUNDARY, EFFICIENCY, PRICE SYSTEM, ECONOMIC GROWTH.

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