General economics 1,2

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Economics is the social science that studies how individuals, organizations, and societies manage the scarce resources under their control for the satisfaction of their needs and desires.

Economics focuses on the behavior and interactions of economic agents and how those interactions work particularly and as a whole. Microeconomics analyzes individual agents, industries and markets, their interactions, and the outcomes of their interactions. Individual agents may include, for example, households, firms, buyers, and sellers. Macroeconomics analyzes the entire economy (meaning aggregated production, consumption, saving, and investment) and issues affecting it, including unemployment of resources (labor, capital, and land), inflation, economic growth, and the public policies that address these issues (monetary, fiscal, and other policies). See glossary of economics.

Other broad distinctions within economics include those between positive economics, describing “what is”, and normative economics, advocating “what ought to be”; between economic theory and applied economics; between rational and behavioural economics; and between mainstream economics and heterodox economics.

Economic analysis can be applied throughout society, in real estate business, finance, health care, and government. Economic analysis is sometimes also applied to such diverse subjects as crime, education, the family, law, politics, religion, social institutions, war, science, and the environment.

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