Friday, June 17, 2011

The Importance of Economics

Readers Question: What is the Importance of Economics?

I would suggest the main importance of economics is helping society decide on the optimal allocation of our limited resources. The fundamental problem of economic is said to be scarcity - the idea that wants (demand) is greater than the resources we have. Frequently we face choices on:
  • What to produce
  • How to produce
  • For whom to Produce
Economics helps to decide on questions like this. More specifically economics is important in these areas.

How to manage the macro economy.

Economists can advise governments how to manage the economy and avoid problems such as inflation and unemployment. Both inflation and mass unemployment can be devastating for society. Economists argue that both can be avoided through careful economic policies. For example:
If economics can help reduce unemployment, then it can make a big improvement to economic welfare. For example, the mass unemployment of the 1930s great depression, led to much political instability and the rise of extremist political parties across Europe.

However, the problem is that economists may often disagree on the best solution to these problems. For example, at the start of the great depression in 1930, leading economists in the UK Treasury suggested that the UK needed to balance the budget; i.e. higher taxes, lower unemployment benefits. But, this made the recession deeper and led to a fall in demand.

It was in the great depression that John Maynard Keynes developed his general theory of Employment, Income and Money. He argued that classical economics had the wrong approach for dealing with depressions. Keynes argued that the economy needed expansionary fiscal policy. - higher borrowing and government spending.

2. Overcoming Market Failure.

Generally it is considered that free markets offer a better solution than a planned economy (Communist) However, free markets invariable lead to problems such as

An economist can suggest policies to overcome these types of market failures. For example
The importance of economics is that we can examine whether society is better off through government intervention to influence changes in the provision of certain goods.

Some Topical Issues Economists are concerned with

Another area where economists have a role to play is in improving efficiency. For example economists may suggest supply side policies to improve the efficiency of an economy.

Individual Economics

Economics is also important for an individual. For example, every decision we take involves an opportunity cost - which is more valuable working overtime or having more leisure time?

Efficiency v Equity

In classical economics we often focus on maximising income and profit. However, this is a limited use of economics. Economics is also concerned with maximising overall economic welfare (how happy are people). Therefore economics will help offer choices between increasing output and reducing inequality.

Video on Importance of Economics


Economics is important for many areas of society. It can help improve living standards and make society a better place. Economics is like science in that it can be used to improve living standards and also to make things worse. It partly depends on the priorities of society and what we consider most important.

Leave a comment, if you would like to make a suggestion on the importance of economics in your daily life.


Anonymous said...

a big hand of appluse for the writer of da topic who made it so easy to understand and absorbant.

lea said...

this helped me a lot in my school project.a bit problem is there a filipino version?haha!

Anonymous said...

I really like the blog because of easy and focused approach that writer has used in simple and less words.
Useful for those who just want a overview about economics.

Enoch said...

very helpful and briefly detailed..thank you, writer.

Anonymous said...

this will help me 4 sure.. jejeje

Anonymous said...

your notes really helped me alot.
i have my exam tomorrow and and i easily mugged up these notes.

Anonymous said...

waw! So nice...u realy helped me, thnx alot

Anonymous said...

thanks a lot to the just saved me from my prof's course.

Jambo said...

Please elaborate on GDP Vs. Happiness?

sapeh daniel said...

Economics helps me to manage my money well when in school. thank you writer!

Anonymous said...

I will like to know how an economist is useful in an electoral decision or organization

STHA said...

I love the blog because the writer explained the importance of economics in simple terms and it helped me a lot with my school assignment