Criticism of Lionel definition

Criticism of Lionel definition:

The statement of Marshall classified human behavior onto economic and non-economic activity. It considered only such activities that promoted material welfare as an economic activity. However Robbins’ definition covers the entire field. When there is scarcity of a thing in relation to the demand for it, it becomes the subject – matter of economics. In that way, even the labor of those who gives services (example, lawyers, doctors, & actors) is taken for study in economics.

The other advantage of Robbins’ statement is it makes economics a scientific study. The ethical aspects of economic troubles are not taken into account in consideration. In another word, the moral aspects are not regarded. And it does not try to found a link among economics and welfare. However some economists criticize this vision. They say that as economics is a social science, its goal must be promotion of human welfare. That is why few economists say Robbins’ statement has no human touch about it. It appears at economics only as the science of pricing procedure. However economics is more than a theory of value or resource allotment.

According to Robbins, an economic trouble will arise only when there is shortage, however it may occur during times of abundance as well. For illustration, the great depression of 1930s was caused not so much by scarcity although by abundance. That is why the world depression was explained as poverty in the middle of abundance.

Despite the above criticisms, we have to observe that most of the economists have accepted the statement of Robbins since it emphasizes scarcity and selection that are two significant facts of life under all political, economic, and legal systems.

It is true that there have been enhancements in the techniques of production since of technological advancements. However scarcities are always with us. That is why we state economics is the science of scarcity.


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