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Economics is a social science that aims to understand and describe how wealth is produced, distributed, and consumed. In the 19th century, economists wrote on economic policy but were seldom consulted by lawmakers before choices were made; instead, they were the pastime of gentlemen of leisure and the profession of a select few academics. Nowadays, it is rare to find a government, an international organization, or a sizable commercial bank without a team of economists.
The goal of the social science of economics is to comprehend and describe the creation, distribution, and consumption of wealth. The profession of economics was reserved for a small group of academics and gentlemen of leisure in the 19th century, but economists were rarely consulted by politicians before decisions were made. A government, an international organization, or a big commercial bank these days is unlikely to exist without a staff of economists.
Nobody has ever been able to concisely define the field of economics. Numerous people have concurred with Alfred Marshall, a prominent English economist of the 19th century, that economics is “a study of mankind in the ordinary business of life; it examines that part of individual and social action which is most closely connected with the attainment, and with the use of the material requisites of wellbeing”—despite the fact that sociologists, psychologists, and anthropologists frequently study the same phenomena. English economist Lionel Robbins described economics in the 20th century as “the discipline which analyzes human behavior as a link between scarce means that have alternative uses and (given) aims.”
In other words, according to Robbins, economics is the study of saving money. His definition is both too broad (since it would include the game of chess in economics) and too restricted (even if it catches one of the remarkable qualities of the economist’s style of thinking) (because it would exclude the study of the national income or the price level). The definition of economics as what economists do, credited to Canadian-born economist Jacob Viner, maybe the only one that can be relied upon.
Economics Quiz MCQ Questions and Answers
010-Economics Quiz (25)
Even if it might be challenging to describe economics, it is simple to identify the kinds of issues that interest economists. They aim to examine the factors that affect pricing, including those of the resources utilized to manufacture products and services as well as the costs of those commodities and services themselves. Finding out what controls how land, labor, and machinery are used in combination for production as well as how to bring buyers and sellers together in a working market are necessary for this. Economists inquire as to how such a “price system” or “market mechanism” stays together and what circumstances are required for its existence because prices of the many goods must be connected.
These inquiries are typical of microeconomics, the branch of economics that examines how individuals such as customers, businesses, merchants, and farmers behave. Macroeconomics, the other main area of economics, focuses on aggregates like the level of income across the economy, the size of the entire labor force, the flow of total investment, and so on. Here, economists are interested in the factors that affect a nation’s income or amount of total investment. They want to understand why full employment is so elusive and what public policies may assist a nation to increase employment or maintain price stability.
These illustrations, however, do not cover the entire spectrum of issues that economists take into account. In addition, there is the crucial discipline of development economics, which investigates the mindsets and structures that aid in the process of economic development in both underdeveloped and wealthy nations (for example, development economics was at the heart of the Marshall Plan). The degree to which public policy may influence the variables influencing economic development is of interest to economists in this area.
The specialist subjects of public finance, money and banking, international commerce, labor economics, agricultural economics, industrial organization, and others in economics cut across these main categories. In order to evaluate the impact of governmental actions like taxes, minimum wage legislation, rent controls, tariffs, changes in interest rates, changes in government budgets, and so forth, economists are regularly consulted.
When Scottish philosopher Adam Smith published An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations in 1776, economics as a field of study truly came into being. Of course, economics existed before Smith. The Greeks and medieval scholastics both made substantial contributions and from the fifteenth through the eighteenth centuries, a vast quantity of pamphlet literature explored and refined the implications of economic nationalism (a body of thought now known as mercantilism). The first comprehensive book on economics, however, was written by Smith, who also established what succeeding generations would refer to as the “English school of classical political economy” and is now known as classical economics.
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