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Essay on Economics Defined

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It seems as though no one has ever succeeded in neatly defining the scope of economics. Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines economics as a social science concerned chiefly with description and analysis the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services (merriam-webster.com, 2015). Roger Arnold, states in his book “Economics,” writes “Economics is about the choices people and societies have to make. He further states more succinctly, that economics is the science of scarcity. More completely, economics is the science of how individuals and societies deal with the fact that wants are greater than the limited resources available to satisfy those wants (Arnold, 2012).” The economist Alfred Marshall, used to say that economics is “A 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” —ignoring the fact that sociologists, psychologists, and anthropologists frequently study exactly the same phenomena. Another economist, Lionel Robbins, has more recently defined economics as “The science which studies human behavior as a relationship between given ends and scarce means which have alternative uses.” This definition states that economics is the science of economizing. It captures and points out one of the striking characteristics of the economist's way of thinking but leaves out the macroeconomic appr...


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