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The New York Stock Exchange floor

In the social sciences, economics is the study of human choice behavior and the methodology used to make associated investment and production decisions; in particular, though not limited to, how those choices and decisions determine the allocation of scarce resources and their effect on production, distribution, and consumption. The word "economics" is from the Greek words οἶκος [oikos], meaning "family, household, estate", and νέμω [nemo], or "distribution, allocation", hence meaning "household management" or "management of the state". An economist is a person using economic concepts and data in the course of employment, or someone who has earned a university degree in the subject. Economics undergraduate courses cover at least two main branches:

  • Microeconomics studies the behavior of individual households and firms in making decisions on the allocation of limited resources. Microeconomics applies to markets where goods or services are bought, and sold. It examines how decisions and behaviors affect the supply and demand for goods and services, which determines prices, and how prices, in turn, determine the quantity supplied and quantity demanded of goods and services.
  • Macroeconomics studies inflation, price levels, rate of growth, national income, gross domestic product and changes in unemployment of a company, rather than the more specific details that microeconomics studies. [[1]]


There are also other sub-fields of economics.

In economics, economic systems study and analyze the organizing of production, distribution, consumption and investment. As well as, the study of optimal resource allocation and institutional design. Traditionally, the study of economic systems was based on a dichotomy , or set, between market economies and planned economies, but contemporary studies compare and contrast a number of different variables, such as ownership structure (Public, Private or Collective), economic coordination (planning, markets or mixed), management structure (Hierarchy versus adhocracy), the incentive system, and the level of centralization in decision-making. An economy can be analyzed in terms of its economic sectors, the classic breakdown being into primary, secondary and tertiary. A business, also known as an enterprise or a firm, is an organization involved in the trade of goods, services, or both to consumers. Businesses are prevalent in capitalist economies, where most of them are privately owned and provide goods and services to customers in exchange of other goods, services, or money. Businesses may also be not-for-profit or state-owned. Management in business and organizations is the function that coordinates the efforts of people to accomplish goals and objectives using available resources efficiently and effectively. Management comprises planning, organizing, staffing, leading or directing, and controlling an organization or initiative to accomplish a goal. Management is also an academic discipline, and is traditionally taught at business schools. Economic policy refers to the actions that governments take in the economic field. It covers the systems for setting interest rates and government budget as well as the labor market regulations, national ownership, trade policy, monetary policy, fiscal policy, regulatory policy, anti-trust policy and industrial policy. In economics, sustainable development refers to development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Selected article

William Barley (1565?–1614) was an English bookseller and publisher. He completed an apprenticeship as a draper in 1587, but was soon working in the London book trade. As a freeman of the Drapers' Company, he was embroiled in a dispute between it and the Stationers' Company over the rights of drapers to function as publishers and booksellers. He found himself in legal tangles throughout his life.


Selected picture

1933 double eagle coin
Photo credit: User:293.xx.xxx.xx

The 1933 double eagle is a United States 20-dollar gold coin. Although 445,500 specimens of this Saint-Gaudens double eagle were minted in 1933 none were ever officially circulated and all but two were melted down. Supposedly, 20 found their way into the hands of collectors, but 19 of these were subsequently seized or voluntarily turned in to the Secret Service, who destroyed nine of them, making this one of the world's rarest coins. Five are still missing out of the 20.

Selected economy

North Tehran Towers.jpg

The economy of Iran is a mixed and transition economy with a large public sector. Some 60% of the economy is centrally planned. It is dominated by oil and gas production, although over 40 industries are directly involved in the Tehran Stock Exchange, one of the best performing exchanges in the world over the past decade. With 10% of the world's proven oil reserves and 15% of its gas reserves, Iran is considered an "energy superpower".

It is the world's eighteenth largest by purchasing power parity (PPP) and thirty-second by nominal gross domestic product. The country is a member of Next Eleven because of its high development potential.

A unique feature of Iran's economy is the presence of large religious foundations called Bonyad, whose combined budgets represent more than 30% of central government spending.


Selected quote

"There used to be a lot of advice given to officials not to hide behind their titles. The very necessity for the advice showed a condition that needed more than advice to correct it. And the correction is just this—abolish the titles. A few may be legally necessary; a few may be useful in directing the public how to do business with the concern, but for the rest the best rule is simple: "Get rid of them."

As a matter of fact, the record of business in general just now is such as to detract very much from the value of titles. No one would boast of being president of a bankrupt bank. Business on the whole has not been so skillfully steered as to leave much margin for pride in the steersmen. The men who bear titles now and are worth anything are forgetting their titles and are down in the foundation of business looking for the weak spots. They are back again in the places from which they rose—trying to reconstruct from the bottom up. And when a man is really at work, he needs no title. His work honours him.

All of our people come into the factory or the offices through the employment departments. As I have said, we do not hire experts—neither do we hire men on past experiences or for any position other than the lowest. Since we do not take a man on his past history, we do not refuse him because of his past history. I never met a man who was thoroughly bad. There is always some good in him—if he gets a chance. That is the reason we do not care in the least about a man's antecedents—we do not hire a man's history, we hire the man. If he has been in jail, that is no reason to say that he will be in jail again. I think, on the contrary, he is, if given a chance, very likely to make a special effort to keep out of jail. Our employment office does not bar a man for anything he has previously done—he is equally acceptable whether he has been in Sing Sing or at Harvard and we do not even inquire from which place he has graduated. All that he needs is the desire to work. If he does not desire to work, it is very unlikely that he will apply for a position, for it is pretty well understood that a man in the Ford plant works."

Henry Ford, My Life and Work Chapter VI, 1922

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On this day in Business history...

December 12:

Did you know...

  • ...that dismal science is a derogatory alternative name for economics coined by the Victorian historian Thomas Carlyle in the 19th century to draw a contrast with the then-familiar use of the phrase "gay science"?
  • ...that, according to historical legend, Laissez-faire stems from a meeting in about 1681 between the powerful French finance minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert and a group of French businessmen led by a certain M. Le Gendre?
  • ...that Antoine Augustin Cournot derived the first formula for the rule of supply and demand as a function of price and in fact was the first to draw supply and demand curves on a graph in his Researches on the Mathematical Principles of the Theory of Wealth?
  • ...that the Toyota Production System (TPS) developed by Toyota, that comprises its management philosophy and practices, organizes manufacturing and logistics for the automobile manufacturer, including interaction with suppliers and customers?

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