The word “economics” comes from the Greek for “household management.” As a field of study and knowledge, economics is concerned with the creation and management of wealth on every level of organization from the household to international trade. The primary focus of economics is with the production of wealth, its distribution in communities and the world, and the use and consumption of that wealth. Because wealth is tied to production and innovation in goods and services that are traded for wealth, the secondary concern of economics is with matters related to labor, production of goods, finance, trade mechanisms and regulations and taxation. It is also concerned with the wealth and welfare of members of communities and societies, how that wealth influences the societies and how production and distribution affect the environment.
Economics has traditionally focused almost entirely on the production of goods. Its concerns have been with four essential decisions: (1) what products need to be produced, (2) in what quantity, (3) by what means, and (4) for whom. Economics must also be concerned with trade policies, taxation issues, distribution of goods once they are produced and with such matters as supply and demand for raw materials for product production and pricing of finished goods.
Students of economics commonly work in areas of banking and public policy, including: banking, investment, manufacturing, distribution, Finance, government, political consulting, transportation and non-profit organizations. Economists are increasingly found also in global corporations where they can advise business leaders on the implications and ramifications of foreign production and issues of taxation and trade regulation. Because of their skill in analyzing trends and forecasting future outcomes of current actions, economics majors also frequently find employment as actuaries, underwriters for insurance firms or lending institutions, and the like.
We currently hear a great deal from economists about the world economies and their struggles to deal with debt, economic recession, regulation of lending and investment and overseas production as related to national jobless rates. As various national and regional economies continue to adjust to globalization and international production and taxation, economics can be a vital and fascinating field.