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[What is Economics]

Economics is a social science that studies society's allocation of scarce resources to meet desires and wants.

Table of contents
- Economic assumptions
- Economic language
- Areas of study in economics
- Branches of economics and related subjects
- Development of economic thought
- Economics and other disciplines

Economics begins with the premise that resources are in limited supply and that it is necessary to choose between competing alternatives. The subject is said to be positive when it attempts to explain the consequences of different choices given a set of assumptions and normative when it prescribes a certain route of action.

Aspects receiving particular attention in economics are resource allocation, trade and competition. A small number of economists prefer to define economics as the study of how and why people trade (this definition implies scarcity).

Economics is broadly divided into two main branches: microeconomics, which deals with individual agents, and macroeconomics, which considers the economy as a whole. Economics may in principle be applied to any problem that involves choice under scarcity; this includes such diverse topics as the governance of production, distribution of wealth as well as the various related problems of finance, taxation, labour, law, poverty, pollution etc.

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