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Economics

Scope/Overview

The  American Economic Association describes economics as follows:

What is economics? 

Understanding the discipline

  • Why are some countries rich and some countries poor? 
  • Why do women earn less than men?
  • How can data help us understand the world?
  • Why do we ignore information that could help us make better decisions?
  • What causes recessions?

Economics can help us answer these questions...

Economics can be defined in a few different ways. It’s the study of scarcity, the study of how people use resources and respond to incentives, or the study of decision-making. It often involves topics like wealth and finance, but it’s not all about money. Economics is a broad discipline that helps us understand historical trends, interpret today’s headlines, and make predictions about the coming years.

Economics ranges from the very small to the very large. The study of individual decisions is called microeconomics. The study of the economy as a whole is called macroeconomics. A microeconomist might focus on families’ medical debt, whereas a macroeconomist might focus on sovereign debt.

Related Guides

These guides were created for a specific class, but you may find them useful in your research.