Outline of economics

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Economics classes make extensive use of supply and demand graphs like this one to teach about markets. In this graph, S and D refer to supply and demand and P and Q refer to the price and quantity. Supply-and-demand.svg
Economics classes make extensive use of supply and demand graphs like this one to teach about markets. In this graph, S and D refer to supply and demand and P and Q refer to the price and quantity.

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to economics:


Economics analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. It aims to explain how economies work and how economic agents interact.

Description of economics

Economics can be described as all of the following:

Branches of economics

Subdisciplines of economics

Methodologies or approaches

Multidisciplinary fields involving economics

Types of economies

Economy system of human activities related to the production, distribution, exchange, and consumption of goods and services of a country or other area.

Economies, by political & social ideological structure

Economies, by scope

Economies, by regulation

Economic elements

Economic activities

Economic forces

Economic problems

Economic measures

Economic participants

Economic politics

Economic policy

Economic policy





Types of markets

Aspects of markets

Market forms

Market form

  • Perfect competition, in which the market consists of a very large number of firms producing a homogeneous product.
  • Monopolistic competition, also called competitive market, where there are a large number of independent firms which have a very small proportion of the market share.
  • Monopoly, where there is only one provider of a product or service.
  • Monopsony, when there is only one buyer in a market.
  • Natural monopoly, a monopoly in which economies of scale cause efficiency to increase continuously with the size of the firm.
  • Oligopoly, in which a market is dominated by a small number of firms which own more than 40% of the market share.
  • Oligopsony, a market dominated by many sellers and a few buyers.

Market-oriented activities




Resource management

Resource management

Factors of production

Factors of production





Economic theory

Economic ideologies

History of economics

History of economic thought

History of economic thought

Economic history

Economic history

General economic concepts

Economics organizations

Economics publications

Persons influential in the field of economics

Nobel Memorial Prize–winning economic historians

Other notable economic historians

See also

Related Research Articles

Economics Social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services

Economics is the social science that studies how people interact with things of value; in particular, the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.

In economics, a free market is a system in which the prices for goods and services are self-regulated by the open market and by consumers. In a free market, the laws and forces of supply and demand are free from any intervention by a government or other authority, and from all forms of economic privilege, monopolies and artificial scarcities. Proponents of the concept of free market contrast it with a regulated market in which a government intervenes in supply and demand through various methods such as tariffs used to restrict trade and to protect the local economy. In an idealized free-market economy, prices for goods and services are set freely by the forces of supply and demand and are allowed to reach their point of equilibrium without intervention by government policy.

Keynesian economics

Keynesian economics are various macroeconomic theories about how economic output is strongly influenced by aggregate demand. In the Keynesian view, aggregate demand does not necessarily equal the productive capacity of the economy. Instead, it is influenced by a host of factors. According to Keynes, the productive capacity of the economy sometimes behaves erratically, affecting production, employment, and inflation.

Microeconomics Branch of economics that studies the behavior of individual households and firms in making decisions on the allocation of limited resources

Microeconomics is a branch of economics that studies the behavior of individuals and firms in making decisions regarding the allocation of scarce resources and the interactions among these individuals and firms.

Macroeconomics Branch of economics that studies aggregated indicators

Macroeconomics means using interest rates, taxes and government spending to regulate an economy’s growth and stability. It is a branch of economics dealing with the performance, structure, behavior, and decision-making of an economy as a whole. This includes regional, national, and global economies. Macroeconomists study topics such as GDP, unemployment rates, national income, price indices, output, consumption, unemployment, inflation, saving, investment, energy, international trade, and international finance.


In economics, stagflation or recession-inflation is a situation in which the inflation rate is high, the economic growth rate slows, and unemployment remains steadily high. It presents a dilemma for economic policy, since actions intended to lower inflation may exacerbate unemployment.

Inflation Rise in price level in an economy over time

In economics, inflation is a general rise in the price level in an economy over a period of time, resulting in a sustained drop in the purchasing power of money. When the general price level rises, each unit of currency buys fewer goods and services; consequently, inflation reflects a reduction in the purchasing power per unit of money – a loss of real value in the medium of exchange and unit of account within the economy. The opposite of inflation is deflation, a sustained decrease in the general price level of goods and services. The common measure of inflation is the inflation rate, the annualized percentage change in a general price index, usually the consumer price index, over time.

This aims to be a complete article list of economics topics:

Fiscal policy

In economics and political science, fiscal policy is the use of government revenue collection and expenditure (spending) to influence a country's economy. The use of government revenues and expenditures to influence macroeconomic variables developed as a result of the Great Depression, when the previous laissez-faire approach to economic management became unpopular. Fiscal policy is based on the theories of the British economist John Maynard Keynes, whose Keynesian economics theorized that government changes in the levels of taxation and government spending influences aggregate demand and the level of economic activity. Fiscal and monetary policy are the key strategies used by a country's government and central bank to advance its economic objectives. The combination of these policies enables these authorities to target inflation and to increase employment. Additionally, it is designed to try to keep GDP growth at 2%–3% and the unemployment rate near the natural unemployment rate of 4%–5%. This implies that fiscal policy is used to stabilize the economy over the course of the business cycle.


A price is the quantity of payment or compensation given by one party to another in return for one unit of goods or services. A price is influenced by production costs, supply of the desired item, and demand for the product. A price may be determined by a monopolist or may be imposed on the firm by market conditions.

Friedrich von Wieser

Friedrich Freiherr von Wieser was an early economist of the Austrian School of economics. Born in Vienna, the son of Privy Councillor Leopold von Wieser, a high official in the war ministry, he first trained in sociology and law. In 1872, the year he took his degree, he encountered Austrian-school founder Carl Menger's Grundsätze and switched his interest to economic theory. Wieser held posts at the universities of Vienna and Prague until succeeding Menger in Vienna in 1903, where along with his brother-in-law Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk he shaped the next generation of Austrian economists including Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek and Joseph Schumpeter in the late 1890s and early 20th century. He was the Austrian Minister of Commerce from August 30, 1917 to November 11, 1918.

Classical economics or classical political economy is a school of thought in economics that flourished, primarily in Britain, in the late 18th and early-to-mid 19th century. Its main thinkers are held to be Adam Smith, Jean-Baptiste Say, David Ricardo, Thomas Robert Malthus, and John Stuart Mill. These economists produced a theory of market economies as largely self-regulating systems, governed by natural laws of production and exchange.

Articles in economics journals are usually given classification codes according to a system originated by the Journal of Economic Literature. The JEL is published quarterly by the American Economic Association (AEA) and contains survey articles and information on recently published books and dissertations. The AEA maintains EconLit, a searchable data base of citations for articles, books, reviews, dissertations, and working papers classified by JEL codes for the years from 1969. A recent addition to EconLit is indexing of economics-journal articles from 1886 to 1968 parallel to the print series Index of Economic Articles.

Arnold Carl Harberger is an American economist. His approach to the teaching and practice of economics is to emphasize the use of analytical tools that are directly applicable to real-world issues. His influence on academic economics is reflected in part by the widespread use of the term "Harberger triangle" to refer to the standard graphical depiction of the efficiency cost of distortions of competitive equilibrium. His influence on the practice of economic policy is manifested by the high positions attained in national agencies such as central banks and ministries of finance, and in international agencies such as the World Bank.

Modern Monetary Theory also known as neo-chartalism, a macroeconomic theory

Modern Monetary Theory or Modern Money Theory (MMT) is a heterodox macroeconomic theory that describes currency as a public monopoly and unemployment as evidence that a currency monopolist is overly restricting the supply of the financial assets needed to pay taxes and satisfy savings desires.

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to finance:

An economy is an area of the production, distribution and trade, as well as consumption of goods and services by different agents. Understood in its broadest sense, 'The economy is defined as a social domain that emphasize the practices, discourses, and material expressions associated with the production, use, and management of resources'. A given economy is the result of a set of processes that involves its culture, values, education, technological evolution, history, social organization, political structure and legal systems, as well as its geography, natural resource endowment, and ecology, as main factors. These factors give context, content, and set the conditions and parameters in which an economy functions. In other words, the economic domain is a social domain of human practices and transactions. It does not stand alone.

The history of economic thought deals with different thinkers and theories in the subject that became political economy and economics, from the ancient world to the present day in the 21st Century. This field encompasses many disparate schools of economic thought. Ancient Greek writers such as the philosopher Aristotle examined ideas about the art of wealth acquisition, and questioned whether property is best left in private or public hands. In the Middle Ages, scholasticists such as Thomas Aquinas argued that it was a moral obligation of businesses to sell goods at a just price.

Perspectives on capitalism by school of thought

Throughout modern history, a variety of perspectives on capitalism have evolved based on different schools of thought.

This glossary of economics is a list of definitions of terms and concepts used in economics, its sub-disciplines, and related fields.