Nature and Scope of Economics - Theoretical Economics

What do you understand by the term Economics?

Everywhere human beings are found to make efforts and make money and then spend this money to satisfy their needs. Hence, the activities concerning the earning and spending of wealth are studied under the term Economics. (Eco.)

Various Definitions of Economics

i) Adam Smith         :    Economics is the study of "an enquiry into the nature and causes of riches of the nations."

ii) J.S. Mills          :    Economics is the study of "the practical/sensible science of the production and distribution of the wealth."

iii) L. Robbins          :    Economics is the "science which studies human behaviour as a connection between end and scarce               income which have alternative uses."

iv) Richard Lipsey   :    Modern eco. concerns: -

a)   The allocation of a society's resources among alternative uses and the distribution of the society's output amid individuals and group.

b)   The ways in which production and allocation changes over the time period.

c)   The efficient and inefficiencies of the economic systems.

General Definition

Definition: Economics is the study of how people allocate their limited resources for instance land, labour and capital to provide for their infinite wants.

Economic concepts 

General problems in different types of economic systems comprises of: 

* What to produce and in what quantity or amount (private goods or public goods, consumption or investment, etc.) 

* How to produce them i.e. what is required for the production (coal or nuclear power, who farms or teaches, how much and what kind of machinery, etc.) 

* For whom to produce, which reflects the distribution of income from output. 

The subject therefore defined includes the study of choices as they are impacted with resources and incentives. 


Areas of economics can be divided into several groups, which include: 

  1. Macroeconomics and Microeconomics 
  2. Normative economics ("what ought to be") and Positive economics ("what is") 
  3. Mainstream economics and Heterodox economics 

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