As my economics professors insisted, cost is determined by scarcity and demand.
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.
Phillips, 1896); A Brief Introduction to the Infinitesimal Calculus (1897); The Nature of Capital and Income (1906); The Rate of Interest 0907); National Vitality (1909); The Purchasing Power of Money (1911); Elementary Principles of Economics (1913); Why is the Dollar Shrinking?
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.
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.
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).
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.
Economics, therefore, under modern conditions, is not only a subject which may usefully occupy the attention of a leisured class of scientific men.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 ?
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.
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.
The appeal to authority cannot be permitted in economics any more than in chemistry, physics or astronomy.
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.
In modern economics " fertility " has no very definite meaning.
Byers, Economics of Railway Operation (New York, 1908); E.
- On economics of construction and of operation, see Wellington, The Economic Theory of Railway Location (5th ed., New York, 1896).
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.
There is no method of investigation which is peculiarly economic or of which economics has the monopoly.
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.
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.
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."
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.