As my economics professors insisted, cost is determined by scarcity and demand.
In the case of many subjects this would matter very little, but in that of economics, which touches the ordinary life of the community at so many points, it is of great importance, especially at a time like the present, when economic questions determine the policy of great nations.
If we take the mere popular view of what is meant by the " old Political Economy," that is, that a generation or so ago economics was comprised in a neatly rounded set of general propositions, universally accepted, which could be set forth in a question we have really to determine is how we can make the best use of the accumulated knowledge of past generations, and to do that we must look more closely into the economic science of the 10th century..
But in spite of the relative economic displacement they all cause, free trade, outsourcing, and technological displacement all have a positive net effect on the economics of the planet.
In common with other sciences, economics makes use of " abstractions"; but if for some problems we employ symbolic processes of reasoning, we must keep clearly in view the limits of their significance, and neither endow the symbols with attributes they can never possess, nor lose sight of the realities behind them.
No one is concerned to prove that the Ricardian economics applies to the manorial system, and it is generally supposed at any rate that the world has been approximating more and more nearly during the last century to the conditions assumed in most of the reasoning of that school.
In all branches of economics, even in what is called the pure theory, there is an implied reference to certain historical or existing conditions of a more or less definite character; to the established order of an organized state or other community, at a stage of development which in its main features can be recognized.
The appeal to authority cannot be permitted in economics any more than in chemistry, physics or astronomy.
How can such a huge mass of general propositions as are necessarily included in a system of economics ever be thoroughly tested by an appeal to facts ?
1827), an authority upon banking and economics generally; and Sir Reginald Francis Douce Palgrave.
The study of telephone economics showed that the proper basis for charging was the " message-mile," on the theory that the user should pay according to the facilities offered and the extent to which he made use of them.
We now have categories for Dutch writers, Dutch historians, Journalism (linked to Industry and business), Animal Husbandry and Horticulture (linked to agriculture and agriculture was linked to economics and biology).
There is in existence a vast store of accumulated knowledge, and few, if any, departments of economics have been left quite unilluminated by the researches of former generations.
Medieval economics was little more than a casuistical system of elaborate and somewhat artificial rules of conduct.
Economics, therefore, under modern conditions, is not only a subject which may usefully occupy the attention of a leisured class of scientific men.
Experimental psychology may in course of time have an important bearing on economics, but the older science cannot be said to be of much significance except in its historical aspects.
It is in the adaptation of biological conceptions and methods, in the positive contributions of jurisprudence, law and history, in the rigorous application, where possible, of quantitative tests, that the explanation of the present position of economics is to be found.
The methods applied to economics in the 18th and the early part of the 19th century were no more invented with a special view to that subject than the principles of early railway legislation, in the domain.
But the big question is whether these same economics would apply in a world one hundred times richer than we are right now.
That they must be studied closely by every one who wishes to follow the history of economics goes without saying.
In modern economics " fertility " has no very definite meaning.
Hadley's Economics: An Account of the Relations between Private Property and Public Welfare (1896).
The historical relations between philosophy and economics are of great importance in tracing the development of the latter, and have done much to determine its present form.
Mathematics has influenced the form and the terminology of the science, and has sometimes been useful in analysis; but mathematical methods of reasoning, in their application to economics, while possessing a certain fascination, are of very doubtful utility.
There is no method of investigation which is peculiarly economic or of which economics has the monopoly.
Of what possible use are the works of the so-called classical writers, except in relation to the history of economics and the practical influence of theory in past times ?
In stating the position of economics during this time we cannot ignore all writers, except those who belonged to one group, however eminent that group may have been, simply because they did not represent the dominant ideas of the period, and exercised no immediate and direct influence on the movement of economic thought.
If we take this broadly historical view of the progress of economics, it is obvious that even in England there was no general agreement, during the 19th century, as to the methods most appropriate to economic investigation.
In the history of economics or the biography of Ricardo it is of interest to show that he anticipated later writers, or that his analysis bears the test of modern criticism; but no economist is under any obligation to defend Ricardo's reputation, nor is the fact that a doctrine is included in his works to be taken as a demonstration of its truth.
But apart from the applied science, there is an aspect of pure geography which concerns the theory of the relation of economics to the surface of the earth.
- On economics of construction and of operation, see Wellington, The Economic Theory of Railway Location (5th ed., New York, 1896).
The application of the a priori method in economics was an accident, due to its association with other subjects and the general backwardness of other sciences rather than any exceptional and peculiar character in the subject-matter of the science itself.
On the principles we have explained, therefore, the Ricardian economics should supply just that body of general theory which is required in the investigation of modern economic problems, and the reputation of at any rate the leading writers should be as great as ever.
At present the language of economics is for the ordinary Englishman like a foreign language of exceptional difficulty, because he is constantly meeting with words which suggest to his mind a whole world of associations quite different form those with which economic theory has clothed them.
The scientific study of the economics of local administration is, however, in its infancy, and requires to be taken up in earnest by economists.
Byers, Economics of Railway Operation (New York, 1908); E.
There would probably have been no controversy at all on this subject but for the fact that economics was elaborated into systematic form, and made the basis of practical measures of the greatest importance, long before the remarkable development in the 19th century of historical research, experimental science and biology.
Where the newer methods were assimilated, the position of economics was strengthened and its practical utility increased.
To many minds the interest and usefulness of economics depend entirely on the application of these methods, for it is the actual working of economic institutions about which the statesman, the publicist, the business man and the artisan wish to know.
We must include the pioneers of the historical school, the economic historians, the socialists, the statisticians, and others whose contributions to economics are now appreciated, and without whose labours the science as we know it now would have been impossible.
In a subject like economics it must always be very difficult to decide how far a departure from the traditional form and.
Economics is therefore, on the whole, an intensely conservative science, in which new truths are cautiously admitted or incorporated merely as extensions or qualifications of those enunciated by previous writers.
Others, which were considered of fundamental importance, owe their position in modern economics and the form in which they are stated to the " tradition of the elders."
There are few if any conceptions in economics which cannot be expressed in it without depleting the ordinary vocabulary.
TREATIES; TRUSTS; MONEY; FINANCE; &c. The bibliography of economics as a whole would include a history of all the writers on the subject, and .is beyond our scope here; see the numerous articles on economic subjects throughout this work.
There are two excellent secondary accounts: Samuel P. Orth, The Centralization of Administration in Ohio, in the Columbia University Studies in History, Economics and Public Law, xvi.
Wilcox, Municipal Government in Michigan and Ohio, in the Columbia University Studies in History, Economics and Public Law, v.
The first sign we have of his interest in economics is a letter (1749) on paper money, written to his fellow student the abbe de Cice, refuting the abbe Terrasson's defence of Law's system.
We understand by economics the science which investigates the manner in which nations or other larger or smaller communities, and their individual members, obtain food, clothing, shelter and whatever else is considered desirable or necessary for the maintenance and improvement of the conditions of life.
It is easy to understand, therefore, why we trace the beginnings of economics, so far as England is concerned, in the 16th century, and why the application of strict scientific tests in this subject of human study has become possible only in comparatively recent times.
Moreover, the study of the theory of rent has had a very great influence on all branches of economics by destroying the notion that it is possible to draw sharp lines of distinction, or deal with economic conceptions as though they were entirely independent categories.
As my professors told me the first day I started studying economics in college (and never tired of repeating), scarcity is the central underlying assumption of all economic theory.