Portal:Business and economics

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The Business and economics Portal

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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 others sub-field of economics (see JEL classification codes).

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 traditionaly 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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Artist's sketch of William Jennings Bryan after the Cross of Gold speech at the 1896 Democratic National Convention

The Cross of Gold speech was delivered by William Jennings Bryan, a former congressman from Nebraska, at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago on July 9, 1896. In the address, Bryan supported bimetallism or "free silver", which he believed would bring the nation prosperity. He decried the gold standard, concluding the speech, "you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold". Bryan's address helped catapult him to the Democratic Party's presidential nomination; it is considered one of the greatest political speeches in American history. For twenty years, Americans had been bitterly divided over the nation's monetary standard. Many Americans believed bimetallism (making both gold and silver legal tender) was necessary to the nation's economic health. Bryan's speech, delivered at the close of the debate on the party platform, electrified the convention and is generally credited with getting him the nomination for president. However, he lost the general election to William McKinley and the United States formally adopted the gold standard in 1900.

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John D. Rockefeller as an industrial emperor, 1901 cartoon from Puck magazine
Photo credit: Dontworry

John D. Rockefeller was an American industrialist and philanthropist and founder of Standard Oil. This cartoon from Puck magazine satirizes Rockefeller as an industrial emperor.

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Index (USA) Last Change
NYSE (USA)
10296.771
Green Arrow Up.svg 10296.77
NASDAQ (USA)
4131.906
Red Arrow Down.svg 11.16
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1831.37
Red Arrow Down.svg 0.61
AMEX (USA)
2397.622
Green Arrow Up.svg 2397.62
Index (World) Last Change
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Green Arrow Up.svg 639.84
CAC 40 (France)
4247.65
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9435.15
Green Arrow Up.svg 35.11
Hang Seng (HK)
22817.279
Red Arrow Down.svg 522.77
Nikkei 225 (Japan)
16291.31
Green Arrow Up.svg 112.37
IPC (Mexico)
42064.969
Red Arrow Down.svg 123.48
FTSE (UK)
6730.67
Green Arrow Up.svg 12.76

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