- Student Corner
Economics is "a social science concerned chiefly with description and analysis of the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services" according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. The discipline was renamed in the late 19th century primarily due to Alfred Marshall from "political economy" to "economics" as a shorter term for "economic science" at a time when it became more open to rigorous thinking and made increased use of mathematics, which helped support efforts to have it accepted as a science and as a separate discipline outside of political science and other social sciences.
Economics focuses on the behaviour and interactions of economic agents and how economies work. Consistent with this focus, textbooks often distinguish between microeconomics and macroeconomics. Microeconomics examines the behaviour of basic elements in the economy, including individual agents and markets, their interactions, and the outcomes of interactions. Individual agents may include, for example, households, firms, buyers, and sellers.