Defining Economics in the Twenty First Century

DOI: 10.4236/me.2012.35079   PDF   HTML     6,814 Downloads   17,022 Views   Citations

Abstract

Economics as a subject matter has been given a variety of definitions over the last 200 years, however all the definitions have a similar concept that they lean towards, a general principle one can say. The definitions are not wrong, this paper does not seek to prove that they are wrong, but only to show they where right for their time, a subject matter like economics, though studied over the centuries only formally became a discipline in its own right in the last two centuries, and as such is fairly young and as we know more there perhaps is a time to seek a definition for economics for the twenty first century. This paper seeks to give such a definition in light of the increased understanding of economics or at the least we have access to greater information concerning the discipline economics than say Adam Smith, Alfred Marshall or Hayek. Take the definition by Samuelson, “Economics is the study of how societies use scarce resources to produce valuable commodities and distribute them among different people”, though correct, is the definition sufficient for the twenty first century and beyond, that is all this paper seeks to answer, for it is the definition of a discipline that guides the readers thoughts. The objective of this paper is to simply reaffirm the modern definition of what is economics given we know so much more than 100 years ago.

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B. Khumalo, "Defining Economics in the Twenty First Century," Modern Economy, Vol. 3 No. 5, 2012, pp. 597-607. doi: 10.4236/me.2012.35079.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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