Introduction To Economics Social Issues And Economic Thinking Pdf
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- An Introduction to Behavioral Economics
- An Introduction to Economics
- Centre for Economic Policy Research
An Introduction to Behavioral Economics
Economics focuses on the behaviour and interactions of economic agents and how economies work. Microeconomics analyzes basic elements in the economy, including individual agents and markets , their interactions, and the outcomes of interactions. Individual agents may include, for example, households, firms, buyers, and sellers. Macroeconomics analyzes the economy as a system where production, consumption, saving, and investment interact, and factors affecting it: employment of the resources of labour, capital, and land, currency inflation , economic growth , and public policies that have impact on these elements.
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 ,  engineering  and government.
The discipline was renamed in the late 19th century, primarily due to Alfred Marshall , from " political economy " to "economics" as a shorter term for "economic science". At that time, it became more open to rigorous thinking and made increased use of mathematics, which helped support efforts to have it accepted as a science and as a separate discipline outside of political science and other social sciences.
There are a variety of modern definitions of economics ; some reflect evolving views of the subject or different views among economists. Jean-Baptiste Say , distinguishing the subject from its public-policy uses, defines it as the science of production, distribution, and consumption of wealth.
The science which traces the laws of such of the phenomena of society as arise from the combined operations of mankind for the production of wealth, in so far as those phenomena are not modified by the pursuit of any other object.
Alfred Marshall provides a still widely cited definition in his textbook Principles of Economics that extends analysis beyond wealth and from the societal to the microeconomic level:. Economics is a study of man in the ordinary business of life.
It enquires how he gets his income and how he uses it. Thus, it is on the one side, the study of wealth and on the other and more important side, a part of the study of man. Lionel Robbins developed implications of what has been termed "[p]erhaps the most commonly accepted current definition of the subject": . Economics is a science which studies human behaviour as a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses. Robbins describes the definition as not classificatory in "pick[ing] out certain kinds of behaviour" but rather analytical in "focus[ing] attention on a particular aspect of behaviour, the form imposed by the influence of scarcity.
This is because war has as the goal winning it as a sought after end , generates both cost and benefits; and, resources human life and other costs are used to attain the goal. If the war is not winnable or if the expected costs outweigh the benefits, the deciding actors assuming they are rational may never go to war a decision but rather explore other alternatives.
We cannot define economics as the science that studies wealth, war, crime, education, and any other field economic analysis can be applied to; but, as the science that studies a particular common aspect of each of those subjects they all use scarce resources to attain a sought after end.
Some subsequent comments criticized the definition as overly broad in failing to limit its subject matter to analysis of markets. From the s, however, such comments abated as the economic theory of maximizing behaviour and rational-choice modelling expanded the domain of the subject to areas previously treated in other fields. Gary Becker , a contributor to the expansion of economics into new areas, describes the approach he favours as "combin[ing the] assumptions of maximizing behaviour, stable preferences , and market equilibrium , used relentlessly and unflinchingly.
Among economists more generally, it argues that a particular definition presented may reflect the direction toward which the author believes economics is evolving, or should evolve. Economic precepts occur throughout the writings of the Boeotian poet Hesiod and several economic historians have described Hesiod himself as the "first economist".
Joseph Schumpeter described Aquinas as "coming nearer than any other group to being the "founders' of scientific economics" as to monetary , interest, and value theory within a natural-law perspective.
Two groups, who later were called "mercantilists" and "physiocrats", more directly influenced the subsequent development of the subject.
Both groups were associated with the rise of economic nationalism and modern capitalism in Europe. Mercantilism was an economic doctrine that flourished from the 16th to 18th century in a prolific pamphlet literature, whether of merchants or statesmen. It held that a nation's wealth depended on its accumulation of gold and silver. Nations without access to mines could obtain gold and silver from trade only by selling goods abroad and restricting imports other than of gold and silver.
The doctrine called for importing cheap raw materials to be used in manufacturing goods, which could be exported, and for state regulation to impose protective tariffs on foreign manufactured goods and prohibit manufacturing in the colonies.
Physiocrats , a group of 18th-century French thinkers and writers, developed the idea of the economy as a circular flow of income and output.
Physiocrats believed that only agricultural production generated a clear surplus over cost, so that agriculture was the basis of all wealth. Thus, they opposed the mercantilist policy of promoting manufacturing and trade at the expense of agriculture, including import tariffs. Physiocrats advocated replacing administratively costly tax collections with a single tax on income of land owners.
In reaction against copious mercantilist trade regulations, the physiocrats advocated a policy of laissez-faire , which called for minimal government intervention in the economy.
Adam Smith — was an early economic theorist. The publication of Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations in , has been described as "the effective birth of economics as a separate discipline. Smith discusses potential benefits of specialization by division of labour , including increased labour productivity and gains from trade , whether between town and country or across countries. In an argument that includes "one of the most famous passages in all economics,"  Smith represents every individual as trying to employ any capital they might command for their own advantage, not that of the society, [b] and for the sake of profit, which is necessary at some level for employing capital in domestic industry, and positively related to the value of produce.
He generally, indeed, neither intends to promote the public interest, nor knows how much he is promoting it. By preferring the support of domestic to that of foreign industry, he intends only his own security; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention.
Nor is it always the worse for the society that it was no part of it. By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it. The Rev. Thomas Robert Malthus used the concept of diminishing returns to explain low living standards. Human population , he argued, tended to increase geometrically, outstripping the production of food, which increased arithmetically. The force of a rapidly growing population against a limited amount of land meant diminishing returns to labour.
The result, he claimed, was chronically low wages, which prevented the standard of living for most of the population from rising above the subsistence level. While Adam Smith emphasized the production of income, David Ricardo focused on the distribution of income among landowners, workers, and capitalists. Ricardo saw an inherent conflict between landowners on the one hand and labour and capital on the other.
He posited that the growth of population and capital, pressing against a fixed supply of land, pushes up rents and holds down wages and profits. Ricardo was the first to state and prove the principle of comparative advantage , according to which each country should specialize in producing and exporting goods in that it has a lower relative cost of production, rather relying only on its own production. Coming at the end of the classical tradition, John Stuart Mill parted company with the earlier classical economists on the inevitability of the distribution of income produced by the market system.
Mill pointed to a distinct difference between the market's two roles: allocation of resources and distribution of income. The market might be efficient in allocating resources but not in distributing income, he wrote, making it necessary for society to intervene. Value theory was important in classical theory.
Smith wrote that the "real price of every thing Smith maintained that, with rent and profit, other costs besides wages also enter the price of a commodity. Classical economics focused on the tendency of any market economy to settle in a final stationary state made up of a constant stock of physical wealth capital and a constant population size.
Marxist later, Marxian economics descends from classical economics and it derives from the work of Karl Marx. The first volume of Marx's major work, Das Kapital , was published in German in In it, Marx focused on the labour theory of value and the theory of surplus value which, he believed, explained the exploitation of labour by capital. At the dawn as a social science, economics was defined and discussed at length as the study of production, distribution, and consumption of wealth by Jean-Baptiste Say in his Treatise on Political Economy or, The Production, Distribution, and Consumption of Wealth These three items are considered by the science only in relation to the increase or diminution of wealth, and not in reference to their processes of execution.
One hundred and thirty years later, Lionel Robbins noticed that this definition no longer sufficed, [d] because many economists were making theoretical and philosophical inroads in other areas of human activity. In his Essay on the Nature and Significance of Economic Science , he proposed a definition of economics as a study of a particular aspect of human behaviour, the one that falls under the influence of scarcity, [e] which forces people to choose, allocate scarce resources to competing ends, and economize seeking the greatest welfare while avoiding the wasting of scarce resources.
For Robbins, the insufficiency was solved, and his definition allows us to proclaim, with an easy conscience, education economics, safety and security economics, health economics, war economics, and of course, production, distribution and consumption economics as valid subjects of the economic science. A body of theory later termed "neoclassical economics" or " marginalism " formed from about to The term "economics" was popularized by such neoclassical economists as Alfred Marshall as a concise synonym for "economic science" and a substitute for the earlier " political economy ".
Neoclassical economics systematized supply and demand as joint determinants of price and quantity in market equilibrium, affecting both the allocation of output and the distribution of income. It dispensed with the labour theory of value inherited from classical economics in favour of a marginal utility theory of value on the demand side and a more general theory of costs on the supply side.
In microeconomics , neoclassical economics represents incentives and costs as playing a pervasive role in shaping decision making. An immediate example of this is the consumer theory of individual demand, which isolates how prices as costs and income affect quantity demanded.
Neoclassical economics is occasionally referred as orthodox economics whether by its critics or sympathizers. Modern mainstream economics builds on neoclassical economics but with many refinements that either supplement or generalize earlier analysis, such as econometrics , game theory , analysis of market failure and imperfect competition , and the neoclassical model of economic growth for analysing long-run variables affecting national income.
Neoclassical economics studies the behaviour of individuals , households , and organizations called economic actors, players, or agents , when they manage or use scarce resources, which have alternative uses, to achieve desired ends. Agents are assumed to act rationally, have multiple desirable ends in sight, limited resources to obtain these ends, a set of stable preferences, a definite overall guiding objective, and the capability of making a choice.
There exists an economic problem, subject to study by economic science, when a decision choice is made by one or more resource-controlling players to attain the best possible outcome under bounded rational conditions. In other words, resource-controlling agents maximize value subject to the constraints imposed by the information the agents have, their cognitive limitations, and the finite amount of time they have to make and execute a decision.
Economic science centres on the activities of the economic agents that comprise society. An approach to understanding these processes, through the study of agent behaviour under scarcity, may go as follows:. The continuous interplay exchange or trade done by economic actors in all markets sets the prices for all goods and services which, in turn, make the rational managing of scarce resources possible. At the same time, the decisions choices made by the same actors, while they are pursuing their own interest, determine the level of output production , consumption, savings, and investment, in an economy, as well as the remuneration distribution paid to the owners of labour in the form of wages , capital in the form of profits and land in the form of rent.
Because of the autonomous actions of rational interacting agents, the economy is a complex adaptive system. Keynesian economics derives from John Maynard Keynes , in particular his book The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money , which ushered in contemporary macroeconomics as a distinct field.
Keynes attempted to explain in broad theoretical detail why high labour-market unemployment might not be self-correcting due to low " effective demand " and why even price flexibility and monetary policy might be unavailing. The term "revolutionary" has been applied to the book in its impact on economic analysis. Keynesian economics has two successors. Post-Keynesian economics also concentrates on macroeconomic rigidities and adjustment processes.
Research on micro foundations for their models is represented as based on real-life practices rather than simple optimizing models. It is generally associated with the University of Cambridge and the work of Joan Robinson. New-Keynesian economics is also associated with developments in the Keynesian fashion.
Within this group researchers tend to share with other economists the emphasis on models employing micro foundations and optimizing behaviour but with a narrower focus on standard Keynesian themes such as price and wage rigidity.
These are usually made to be endogenous features of the models, rather than simply assumed as in older Keynesian-style ones. The Chicago School of economics is best known for its free market advocacy and monetarist ideas. According to Milton Friedman and monetarists, market economies are inherently stable if the money supply does not greatly expand or contract.
An Introduction to Economics
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c. Empirical economics - relies upon facts to present a description of economic activity. d. Economic theory - relies upon principles to analyze behavior of.
Centre for Economic Policy Research
Economics is the scientific study of the ownership, use, and exchange of scarce resources — often shortened to the science of scarcity. Economics is regarded as a social science because it uses scientific methods to build theories that can help explain the behaviour of individuals, groups and organisations. Economics attempts to explain economic behaviour, which arises when scarce resources are exchanged. In terms of methodology, economists, like other social scientists, are not able to undertake controlled experiments in the way that chemists and biologists are. Hence, economists have to employ different methods, based primarily on observation and deduction and the construction of abstract models.
How Does Rational Choice Theory Apply to Social Work?
It seems that you're in Germany. We have a dedicated site for Germany. The book compares neoclassical and Marxian economics and points out that both the schools of thought seek to analyze how a capitalist society functions. The authors show that the neoclassical economics vindicates capitalism and prescribes policies that further the interest of the rich giant capitalists , who own most of the non-human productive resources of the economy, whereas Marxian analysis yields the result that a capitalist society is exploitative and crisis-prone. Marxian economics also suggests that the class struggle inherent in a capitalist society will eventually transform it into an equal, just and humane socialist society.
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Take your behavioral economics expertise to the next level with our new online ethics course. To learn more about the subject and the latest ideas, please download our free annual Behavioral Economics Guides. By Alain Samson, Ph. Think about the last time you purchased a customizable product. Perhaps it was a laptop computer.
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