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Concept of Economics

The word economics is derived from the Greek word ‘oeconomics’. In Greek “oeco” means household and “nomics” means study. So, literally, it is the study of household management.

According to Greek philosopher Xenophon, “Economics is the science of household management”. But in the view of Aristotle, “Economics is not only the science of household management but also the science of exchange. He regarded economics as an important pillar of politics. The mercantilist, who was the leader of economic thought, took wealth and foreign trade as the base of economics. There was a slogan,” More gold, more wealth, more power”. The motive of them was to make economics a study of wealth from the angle of state. Around the mid 18th century, a group of economists was appeared known as Physiocratic School. They emphasized the development of the agricultural sector. They said that human satisfaction can be increased through natural law only.

Before the 18th century at different times, different philosophers and thinkers have defined and applied economics differently. At that time economics was treated as a part of political science, ethics, and religion. But after the publication of Adam Smith's book “An enquiry into the nature and cause of the wealth of nation” in 1776 A.D, economics got its independent identity. After that, economics has become a separate subject of study.

Economics grew up as a separate science with a growth of human society. It is concerned with the economic behavior of human beings. So, there is no single universally accepted definition of economics. Different economists have defined economics differently. Barbara Wotton has said that “Whenever six economists are gathered, there are seven opinions”. Likewise, Jacob Vainer has said that “Economics is what economists do”.

So, at present, there are various definitions of economics. Each definition lays stress on particular aspects of economic activities. The definitions of economics can be classified into three parts.