Economics is the study of how people coordinate their wants and desires, given scarce resources and the decision-making mechanisms, social customs, and political realities of their societies. Decisions made by consumers, workers, investors, managers, and government officials interact to determine the allocation of scarce resources. Economics is a way of thinking about the world based on a set of principles that are useful for understanding almost any economic situation, from decisions that individuals make to the workings of highly complex international financial markets. Economists have developed principles that are useful in understanding the economic decisions of individuals and firms (Microeconomics). Economists also examine the behavior of the economy as a whole through such measures as unemployment, inflation, economic growth, and balance of trade (Macroeconomics).
Today’s students will face an increasing variety of important economic decisions in their personal lives and as citizens in a democratic society. The study of economics enables students to make reasoned judgments about both personal economic questions and broader questions of economic policy in a complex and changing world. A basic grasp of how markets works and of the tradeoffs involved in trying to meet unlimited wants with limited resources is essential for meaningful democratic dialogue on what government should or should not be doing.
Minnesota Council on Economic Education: http://www.mcee.umn.edu/
Center for Economic Education, MSU-Mankato:
National Council on Economic Education: http://www.ncee.net/