Economics as Limits, Alternatives, and Choices
In this chapter, you will learn about:
- define economics and place it in context with other social sciences–
- explain how benefit-cost analysis is used to inform economic decisions–
- identify important factors that limit individuals,’ businesses,’ and societies’ choices
- describe a choice, limit, and tradeoff for each of the following:
- societies as a whole
- define opportunity cost in terms of tradeoffs affecting individuals, consumers, firms, and societies as a whole
What is economics and why should you spend your time learning it? After all, there are other disciplines you could be studying, and other ways you could be spending your time. As the Bring it Home feature just mentioned, making choices is at the heart of what economists study, and your decision to take this course is as much as an economic decision as anything else.
Economics is probably not what you think. It is not primarily about money or finance. It is not primarily about business. It is not mathematics. What is it then? It is both a subject area and a way of viewing the world.