Thursday, February 12, 2009

What is an economist's lens?

What is economics? A study of dollars and cents? A study of people using more or less of one thing as its own price or the price of something else goes up and down? A study of cost minimization and profit maximization? It is each of those, but it is also more. The key is that it really represents a whole way of thinking about the world focusing specifically on incentives. It is a system. It is a world view. Even though I try not to talk about the economics of marriage or the economics of going to church, some economists do. It is interesting to test whether theories that economists use to explain some behaviors that don't immediately seem economic actually work. And, while I try to avoid "overusing" economics, I know that I am nearly always thinking about it in the back of my mind as I assess any situation.

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