Portal:Business and economics

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The New York Stock Exchange floor

In the social sciences, economics is the study of human choice behavior and the methodology used to make associated investment and production decisions; in particular, though not limited to, how those choices and decisions determine the allocation of scarce resources and their effect on production, distribution, and consumption. The word "economics" is from the Greek words οἶκος [oikos], meaning "family, household, estate", and νόμος [nomos], or "custom, law", and hence literally means "household management" or "management of the state". An economist is a person using economic concepts and data in the course of employment, or someone who has earned a university degree in the subject. Economics undergraduate courses always cover at least the two main branches:

  • Microeconomics studies the behavior of individual households and firms in making decisions on the allocation of limited resources. Microeconomics applies to markets where goods or services are bought and sold. It examines how decisions and behaviors affect the supply and demand for goods and services, which determines prices, and how prices, in turn, determine the quantity supplied and quantity demanded of goods and services.
  • Macroeconomics deals with the performance, structure, behavior, and decision-making of an economy as a whole, rather than individual markets. This includes national, regional, and global economies.

However, there are also other sub-fields of economics.

In economics, economic systems is the study and analysis of organizing production, distribution, consumption and investment and the study of optimal resource allocation and institutional design. Traditionally the study of economic systems was based on a dichotomy between market economies and planned economies, but contemporary studies compare and contrast a number of different variables, such as ownership structure (Public, Private or Collective), economic coordination (planning, markets or mixed), management structure (Hierarchy versus adhocracy), the incentive system, and the level of centralization in decision-making. A business, also known as an enterprise or a firm, is an organization involved in the trade of goods, services, or both to consumers. Businesses are prevalent in capitalist economies, where most of them are privately owned and provide goods and services to customers in exchange of other goods, services, or money. Businesses may also be not-for-profit or state-owned. Management in business and organizations is the function that coordinates the efforts of people to accomplish goals and objectives using available resources efficiently and effectively. Management comprises planning, organizing, staffing, leading or directing, and controlling an organization or initiative to accomplish a goal. Management is also an academic discipline, and is traditionally taught at business schools. An economy can be analyzed in terms of its economic sectors, the classic breakdown being into primary, secondary and tertiary. Economic policy refers to the actions that governments take in the economic field. It covers the systems for setting interest rates and government budget as well as the labor market regulations, national ownership, trade policy, monetary policy, fiscal policy, regulatory policy, anti-trust policy and industrial policy. In economics, sustainable development refers to development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

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Crop diversification was carried out, phasing out rubber in favour of oil palms

The Second Malaysia Plan was an economic development plan set out by the government of Malaysia, with the goal of implementing the aims of the New Economic Policy. It aimed to "restructure" Malaysian society and overturn Chinese Malaysian and foreign hegemony in the economy of Malaysia so that the Malays would not be disadvantaged economically. Although the First Malaysia Plan had also set out to tackle the problem of poverty, especially among the Malays, it had not been very successful, and may have been a factor in the May 13 Incident when racial rioting broke out in Kuala Lumpur. The Second Malaysia Plan was regarded by some as excessive in its zeal to increase Malay participation in the economy, and the government accordingly scaled back the emphasis on restructuring the economy when the plan ended.

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Infosys headquarters
Photo credit: Indianhilbilly
The multimedia studio at the headquarters of Infosys Technologies Limited in Bangalore, India.


Infosys is a multinational information technology company, with nine development centers in India and over 30 offices worldwide. Infosys and its subsidiaries employ over 80,501 professionals. Its annual revenues for the fiscal year 2006-2007 exceeded US$3.1 billion with a market capitalization of over US$30 billion.

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US county household median income 2009.png

The United States of America is the world's largest single national economy. The United States' nominal GDP was estimated to be $17.295 trillion as of Q2 2014, approximately a quarter of nominal global GDP. Its GDP at purchasing power parity is also the largest of any single country in the world, approximately a fifth of the global total. The U.S. dollar is the currency most used in international transactions and is the world's foremost reserve currency. Several countries use it as their official currency, and in many others it is the de facto currency. Its six largest trading partners are Canada, China, Mexico, Japan, Germany, and Italy.

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"Condit's successors once again emphasized civil aviation. The 777 is a success, and the Dreamliner appears a better vehicle for the future than the huge Airbus 380. By 2008, Boeing had regained from Airbus its leading position in commercial aviation and the share price its earlier value. At Boeing, as at ICI, shareholder value was most effectively created when sought obliquely.

That profit-seeking paradox, like the conundrum of happiness, illustrates the power of obliquity. Comparisons of the same companies over time are echoed in contrasts between different companies in the same industries. Jim Collins and Jerry Porras undertook paired comparisons between outstanding ('visionary') companies and adequate, but less remarkable firms with similar operations. Merck and Pfizer was one such comparison. Collins and Porras compared oblique philosophy of George Merck-'We try never to forget that medicine is for the people. It is not for the profits. The profits follow, and if we have remembered that, they have never failed to appear. The better we have remembered it, the larger they have been'-with the directness of John McKeen of Pfizer-'So far as humanly possible, we aim to get profit out of everything we do'."

John Kay, Obliquity, 2010
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Data taken from Yahoo! Finance as of 19:21, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

Index (USA) Last Change
NYSE (USA)
10796.03
Green Arrow Up.svg 10796.03
NASDAQ (USA)
4464.927
Green Arrow Up.svg 11.92
S&P 500 (USA)
1955.06
Red Arrow Down.svg 0.12
AMEX (USA)
2714.257
Green Arrow Up.svg 2714.26
Index (World) Last Change
iBovespa (Brazil)
56963.648
Green Arrow Up.svg 1183.24
CAC 40 (France)
4174.36
Red Arrow Down.svg 31.07
DAX (Germany)
9092.60
Red Arrow Down.svg 132.50
Hang Seng (HK)
24954.939
Green Arrow Up.svg 153.58
Nikkei 225 (Japan)
15318.34
Green Arrow Up.svg 3.77
IPC (Mexico)
44629.328
0.00
FTSE (UK)
6689.08
0.00

On this day in Business history...

October 20:

Did you know...

  • ...that dismal science is a derogatory alternative name for economics coined by the Victorian historian Thomas Carlyle in the 19th century to draw a contrast with the then-familiar use of the phrase "gay science"?
  • ...that, according to historical legend, Laissez-faire stems from a meeting in about 1681 between the powerful French finance minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert and a group of French businessmen led by a certain M. Le Gendre?
  • ...that Antoine Augustin Cournot derived the first formula for the rule of supply and demand as a function of price and in fact was the first to draw supply and demand curves on a graph in his Researches on the Mathematical Principles of the Theory of Wealth?
  • ...that the Toyota Production System (TPS) developed by Toyota, that comprises its management philosophy and practices, organizes manufacturing and logistics for the automobile manufacturer, including interaction with suppliers and customers?

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