This is intended to be the first lesson in Economics for students entering into the college after class 10.Most students of this predominantly tribal and backward area have their schooling in the regional language.So the standards of English are kept deliberately low in the classroom until the students come to the graduation level. I have used PowerPoint 2003 to make this presentation.
What is Economics?What is Economics?
-An Introduction-An Introduction
The term ‘Economics’ has beenThe term ‘Economics’ has been
defined in different ways.defined in different ways.
1.Adam Smith-Wealth Definition1.Adam Smith-Wealth Definition
Adam Smith fromAdam Smith from ScotlandScotland considered theconsidered the
‘father of economics’ regarded Economics‘father of economics’ regarded Economics
as the ‘science of wealth’.as the ‘science of wealth’.
Adam Smith is famous for his bookAdam Smith is famous for his book ‘An‘An
Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of theInquiry into the Nature and Causes of the
Wealth of Nations’Wealth of Nations’ published in 1776.Wepublished in 1776.We
can use the shorter title ‘The Wealth ofcan use the shorter title ‘The Wealth of
2.Alfred Marshall-Welfare Definition2.Alfred Marshall-Welfare Definition
Marshall an Englishman does not agreeMarshall an Englishman does not agree
with the view of Smith.with the view of Smith.
To Marshall, Economics is moreTo Marshall, Economics is more
concerned with those human activities thatconcerned with those human activities that
Marshall is the author ofMarshall is the author of ‘Principles of‘Principles of
3.Lionell Robbins-Scarcity Definition3.Lionell Robbins-Scarcity Definition
Robbins of England gave perhaps the most acceptedRobbins of England gave perhaps the most accepted
definition of Economics.definition of Economics.
To Robbins, human wants are unlimited while theTo Robbins, human wants are unlimited while the
resources to satisfy them are not only limited or scarceresources to satisfy them are not only limited or scarce
but also have alternative uses.but also have alternative uses.
This problem of having to satisfy unlimited wants by theThis problem of having to satisfy unlimited wants by the
use of limited resources is called anuse of limited resources is called an ‘economic problem’.‘economic problem’.
The solution to this problem is arrived at by making aThe solution to this problem is arrived at by making a
choice of the wants that need to be satisfied over thechoice of the wants that need to be satisfied over the
less important ones. So the definition is also known asless important ones. So the definition is also known as
thethe ‘choice’‘choice’ definition.definition.
Robbins was the author of the book ‘The Nature andRobbins was the author of the book ‘The Nature and
Significance of Economic Science’.Significance of Economic Science’.
4.Modern view4.Modern view
Modern economists do not completelyModern economists do not completely
agree with the view of Robbins.agree with the view of Robbins.
Paul SamuelsonPaul Samuelson, an American argues that, an American argues that
Economics is not just concerned with theEconomics is not just concerned with the
use of the existing resources, it is alsouse of the existing resources, it is also
concerned with the problems of growthconcerned with the problems of growth
and development.and development.