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Published by: anon-63507 on Sep 13, 2008
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to:navigation, search Face-to-face trading interactions on the trading floor of astock exchange. Financialdecisions are only one among many economic choices people may make.
is thesocial science that studies the production,distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The term
comes from the Greek for 
(house) and
(custom or law), hence "rules of the house(hold)."
Modern economics developed out of the broader field of  political economyin the late 19
century, owing to a desire to use anempiricalapproach more akin to the physicalsciences.
A definition that captures much of modern economics is that of LionelRobbinsin a1932 essay: "the science which studies human behaviour as a relationship  between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses."
 Scarcitymeans thatavailableresourcesare insufficient to satisfy all wants and needs. Absent scarcity andalternative uses of available resources, there is noeconomic problem. The subject thusdefined involves the study of choices as they are affected by incentives and resources. Areas of economics may be divided or classified into various types, including:
 positive economics("what is") andnormative economics("what ought to be")
fields and broader categories within economics. One of the uses of economics is to explain howeconomies,as economic systems, work  and what the relations are between economic players (agents) in the larger society.
), generally regarded asinitiatingmodern economics.Although discussions about production and distribution have a long history, economics inits modern sense as a separate discipline is conventionally dated from the publication of Adam Smith's
in 1776.
There Smith describes the subject inthese practical and exacting terms:Political economy, considered as a branch of the science of a statesman or legislator, proposes two distinct objects: first, to supply a plentiful revenue or  product for the people, or, more properly, to enable them to provide such arevenue or subsistence for themselves; and secondly, to supply the state or 

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