what is economics

Topics: Economy, Social sciences, Economics Pages: 3 (1109 words) Published: April 1, 2014
There is no single adequate definition of what economics actually is, and the old joke that “economics is what economists do” is hardly helpful. A famous economist of the past, Alfred Marshall (1842-1924), said: Economics is the 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 well-being. Economics has also been defined as the study of decision-making; decisions which involve choosing between alternatives in the related activities of earning, spending, producing and consuming, all with the object of achieving material well-being. In short, economics is, like sociology, law and politics, a study on aspect of human behavior. It is important and relevant to all of us because it is concerned with such everyday activities as buying things, getting a job, using a bank and paying tax. Economics is concerns with people’s wants, in particular their material wants, and how they can be satisfied. Economics is often thought of as a science. However, it is a very inexact science because it is a social science, and is affected by the many influences that lead to incessant change. Human behavior cannot be examined with the same precision with which a natural scientist can examine laboratory specimens. The social sciences, which include economics, psychology, sociology, and political behavior, can never be exact sciences since human behavior is extremely difficult to test or measure. Much economic behavior is based on what is known as a value judgment, which means it is based on the personal values of individuals and so cannot be verified in a factual way. Economics is a living subject, which is constantly developing and it affects us all. To understand the society in which we live, we must be informed about what is going on in our society and what the issues are. As consumers we are interested in the goods and services which...
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