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Economics is the study of how people choose to use resources.
Resources include the time and talent people have available, the land, buildings, equipment, and other tools on hand, and the knowledge of how to combine them to create useful products and services.
Important choices involve how much time to devote to work, to school, and to leisure, how much money to spend and how much to save, how to combine resources to produce goods and services, and how to vote and shape the level of taxes and the role of government.
Often, people appear to use their resources to improve their well-being. Well-being includes the satisfaction people gain from the products and services they choose to consume, from their time spent in leisure and with family and community as well as in jobs, and the security and services provided by effective governments. Sometimes, however, people appear to use their resources in ways that don't improve their well-being.
In short, economics includes the study of labor, land, and investments, of money, income, and production, and of taxes and government expenditures. Economists seek to measure well-being, to learn how well-being may increase over time, and to evaluate the well-being of the rich and the poor.
Although the behavior of individuals is important, economics also addresses the collective behavior of businesses and industries, governments and countries, and the globe as a whole. Microeconomics starts by thinking about how individuals make decisions. Macroeconomics considers aggregate outcomes. The two points of view are essential in understanding most economic phenomena.
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