What is economics?
Economics has been described, simply, as the study of wealth. A slightly more complex description is that it is the study of how people and societies choose to allocate scarce resources.
Where have you heard about economics?
Economics is most usually cited in relation to government policy and to the state of a particular country. Interested parties pressing a particular case, such as for or against a new oil pipeline or tax cut, may well produce economists to bolster their case.
What you need to know about economics.
Economics is famously argumentative; one joke has it that two economists will produce three opinions. But there are some shared assumptions in this field, such as that a price rise is likely to reduce demand for the goods or services in question, and that neither penal nor zero rates of taxation will produce much by way of government revenue. There are two main branches of the discipline: micro-economics, which studies the individual firm and household, and macro-economics, whose focus is on the national and international level. Economists as a group were criticised for failing to warn against the financial crisis of 2008.
Find out more about economics.
To learn more about economics, see our definition of economy.