Portal:Economics
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Portal:Economics

The business and economics portal

The New York Stock Exchange floor

In the social sciences, economics is the study of human choice behavior and the methodology used to make associated investment and production decisions; in particular, though not limited to, how those choices and decisions determine the allocation of scarce resources and their effect on production, distribution, and consumption. The word "economics" is from the Greek words [oikos], meaning "family, household, estate", and ? [nemo], or "distribution, allocation", hence meaning "household management" or "management of the state". An economist is a person using economic concepts and data in the course of employment, or someone who has earned a university degree in the subject. Economics undergraduate courses cover at least two main branches:

  • Microeconomics studies the behavior of individual households and firms in making decisions on the allocation of limited resources. Microeconomics applies to markets where goods or services are bought and sold. It examines how decisions and behaviors affect the supply and demand for goods and services, which determine prices, and how prices, in turn, determine the quantity supplied and quantity demanded of goods and services.
  • Macroeconomics studies inflation, price levels, rates of growth, national income, gross domestic product and changes in unemployment of a country, rather than the more specific details that microeconomics studies.

There are also other sub-fields of economics.

In economics, the field economic systems studies and analyzes the organizing of production, distribution, consumption and investment, as well as optimal resource allocation and institutional design. Traditionally, the study of economic systems was based on a dichotomy between market economies and planned economies, but contemporary studies compare and contrast a number of different systems, such as ownership structure (public, private or collective), economic coordination (planning, markets or mixed systems), management structure (hierarchy versus adhocracy), the incentive system, and the level of centralization in decision-making. An economy can be analyzed in terms of its economic sectors, the classic breakdown being into primary, secondary and tertiary.

Economic policy comprises the actions that governments take in the economic field. It covers the systems for setting interest rates and the government budget as well as the labor market regulations, national ownership, trade policy, monetary policy, fiscal policy, regulatory policy, anti-trust policy and industrial policy. In economics, sustainable development refers to development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

A business, also known as an enterprise or a firm, is an organization involved in the trade of goods, services, or both to consumers. Businesses are prevalent in capitalist economies, where most of them are privately owned and provide goods and services to customers in exchange of other goods, services, or money. Businesses may also be not-for-profit or state-owned. Management in business and organizations is the function that coordinates the efforts of people to accomplish goals and objectives using available resources efficiently and effectively. Management comprises planning, organizing, staffing, leading and directing, and controlling an organization or initiative to accomplish a goal. Management is also an academic discipline, and is traditionally taught at business schools.


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The FairTax is a proposal to reform the federal tax code of the United States. It would replace all federal income taxes (including the alternative minimum tax, corporate income taxes, and capital gains taxes), payroll taxes (including Social Security and Medicare taxes), gift taxes, and estate taxes with a single broad national consumption tax on retail sales. The Fair Tax Act would apply a tax, once, at the point of purchase on all new goods and services for personal consumption. The proposal also calls for a monthly payment to all family households of lawful U.S. residents as an advance rebate, or "prebate", of tax on purchases up to the poverty level.


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Village fair by Flemish artist Gillis Mostaert,1590

A fair (archaic: faire or fayre) is a gathering of people to display or trade produce or other goods, to parade or display animals and often to enjoy associated traveling carnival or travelling funfair entertainment. It is normally of the essence of a fair that it is temporary; some last only an afternoon while others may last as long as ten weeks. Activities at fairs vary widely. Some trade fairs are important regular business events either where products are traded between businesspeople, as at the Frankfurt Book Fair, where publishers sell book rights in other markets to other publishers, or where products are showcased to consumers, as for example in agricultural districts where they present opportunities to display and demonstrate the latest machinery on the market to farmers.

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North Tehran Towers.jpg

The economy of Iran is a mixed and transition economy with a large public sector. Some 60% of the economy is centrally planned. It is dominated by oil and gas production, although over 40 industries are directly involved in the Tehran Stock Exchange, one of the best performing exchanges in the world over the past decade. With 10% of the world's proven oil reserves and 15% of its gas reserves, Iran is considered an "energy superpower".

It is the world's eighteenth largest by purchasing power parity (PPP) and thirty-second by nominal gross domestic product. The country is a member of Next Eleven because of its high development potential.

A unique feature of Iran's economy is the presence of large religious foundations called Bonyad, whose combined budgets represent more than 30% of central government spending.


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It is the business of the production engineer to know every single item that constitutes his finished product, and every step involved in the handling of every piece. He must know what is the most advantageous manufacturing quantity of every single item so as to secure uniformity of flow as well as economy of manufacture. He must know how long each step ought to take under the best attainable working conditions. He must be able to tell at any time the exact condition as regards quantity and state of finishedness of every part involved in his manufacturing process.

The engineer must be able not only to design, but to execute. A draftsman may be able to design, but unless he is able to execute his designs to successful operation he cannot be classed as an engineer. The production engineer must be able to execute his work as he has planned it. This requires two qualifications in addition to technical engineering ability: He must know men, and he must have creative ability in applying good statistical, accounting, and " system" methods to any particular production work he may undertake.

With regard to men, he must know how to stimulate ambition, how to exercise discipline with firmness, and at the same time with sufficient kindness to insure the good-will and cooperation of all. The more thoroughly he is versed in questions of economics and sociology, the better prepared will he be to meet the problems that will daily confront him. As economic production depends not only on equipment and plant, but on the psychological effect of wage systems, he must be able to discriminate in regard to which wage system is best applicable to certain classes of product.

--Hugo Diemer, Factory Organization and Administration, 1910

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