Chapter -1 Introduction
Economy: – An economy is a system of organizations and institutions that either facilitate or play a role in the production and distribution of goods and services in a society. Economies determine how resources are distributed among members of a society; they determine the value of goods or services; and they even determine what sorts of things can be traded or bartered for those services and goods.
Three Types of economy:
- Market/capitalist economy: – In this type of Economy the factors of production are owned and operated by individuals or group of individuals. Main objective of production is selfinterest or profit maximization. Central problems are solved by price mechanism or market forces of demand & supply.
- Planned/centrally planned/ socialistic economy: – Factors of production are owned and operated by Govt. Main objective of production is social welfare. Central problems are solved by
central planning authority.
- Mixed Economy: – The Economy in which factors of production are owned and operated by both Govt. and private sector. Main objective is profit maximization (private sector) and social welfare (Government sector). Central problems are solved by central planning authority(in public sector) and price mechanism (in private sector)
Economics: – Economics is a branch of social science focused on the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services. The origin of economics can be traced to Adam Smith’s book, ‘An inquiry into the Nature and Causes of Wealth of Nature’ published in the year 1776. Economics was used to mean home management with limited funds available in the most economical manner possible. The word ‘economics’ comes from two Greek words, ‘eco’ meaning home and ‘nomos’ meaning
accounts. The subject has developed from being about how to keep the family accounts into the wide-ranging subject of today.
Economics is actually:-
• economics is about the study of scarcity and choice
• economics finds ways of reconciling unlimited wants with limited resources
• economics explains the problems of living in communities in terms of the
underlying resource costs and consumer benefits
• economics is about the co-ordination of activities which result from specialisation
Definition of Economics: – Robbins emphasises that economics is a study of human behaviour, where there is a relationship between ends and scarce means and that the scarce means have alternative uses. Samuelson’s definition of economics is most comprehensive, relevant and accepted. The
definition includes both the aspects of economics, i.e., distribution of limited resources and problem of economic development.
Microeconomics and Macroeconomics:-
Both micro and macroeconomics are complementary and should be utilised for proper understanding of an economy.
Difference between Planned Economy and Market Economy is as follows:-
Difference between Positive Economics and Normative Economy is as follows:-
Central Problems of an Economy:-
• Basic economic problem is the problem of choice which is created by the scarcity of resources. It is also called problem of economising the resources, i.e., the problem of fuller and efficient utilisation of the limited resources to satisfy maximum number of wants.
• Main causes of central problems are unlimited human wants, limited economic resources and alternative uses of resources.
• Resources of factors of production can be natural like (land, air), human (i.e., labour), capital (like machines, building) and entrepreneurial (i.e., a person who bears risk).
• Central problems facing every economy are like allocation of resources:-
(i) What to produce and how much to produce?
(ii) How to produce?
(iii) For whom to produce?
• What to produce: – An economy have unlimited wants and limited means
having alternative use. Economy can’t produce all type of goods like consumer goods, producer goods etc. So, Economy has to make a choice what type of goods and services are to be produced and in what quantities.
• How to produce: – It is the problem of choice of technique of production. There are two techniques of production.
• (a) Labour Intensive Technique: – It is the technique of production when labour is used more than capital.
• (b) Capital Intensive Technique: – In this technique capital is used more than Labour.
• For whom to produce: – It is the problem related to distribution of produced goods among the different group of the society.
It has two aspects:-
- Personal distribution
- Functional distribution
Personal distribution: – When the National Income is distributed according to the ownership of the factors of production.
Functional distribution: – When the national Income/Production is distributed among different factors of production like Land, Labour, capital and Entrepreneurship for providing their service in term of rent, wages, interest and profit respectively
• Problem related to the efficient use and fuller utilization of resources:-
Efficiency of production means the maximum possible amounts of goods and services are being produced with available resources. The resources are already scare in relation to the need for them and therefore an economy has to ensure that its resources do not remain underutilized their
under employment is nothing but wastage of resources.
• Problem related to Growth of Resources:-
It is related to increase in the production capacity of the economy so that the quantity of production will rise.
Production possibility frontier or production possibility curve
This shows all possible combinations of two set of goods that an economy can produce with available resources and given technology, assuming that all resources are fully and efficiently utilized.
Production Possibility Frontier or Curve Features (a) Slopes downward from left to right because if production of one commodity is to be increased then production of other commodity has to be sacrificed as there is scarcity of resources.(b) Concave to the origin because of increasing marginal opportunity cost or (MRT)
The Production possibility curve will shift under following two conditions:
(a) Change in resources,
(b) Change in technology of production for both the goods.
Rightward shift of PPF shows increase in resources or improvement in technology. ExLabour becoming more skilled, improvement in technology, increase in productivity of land.
Leftward shift of PPF shows the decrease in resources or degradation of technology in the economy.
The Production possibility curve will rotate outward under following two condition:
(a)Improvement in technology in favour of one commodity
(b) Growth of resources for the production of one commodity
Marginal Rate of Transformation (MRT) – It is the amount of one commodity that is to be sacrificed to increase the production of other commodity by one unit. It can also called Marginal Opportunity Cost. It is defined as the additional cost in terms of number of units of a good sacrificed to produce an additional unit of the other good.
MARGINAL RATE OF TRANSFORMATION: MRT is the ratio of units of one good sacrificed to produce one more unit of other good.
(Marginal= at the border or adjacent/next to/adjoining)(Transformation= a change in form, shape appearance or size)
Production Possibility Curve and Opportunity Cost:-
- It is a useful device to graphically explain the central problems of an economy. It indicates the various combinations of goods and services which can be produced by full and efficient utilisation of all resources of an economy.
- It is downward sloping concave to the origin curve.
- Slope of PPC is called MRT or Marginal Opportunity Cost. Slope of PPC is increasing showing that if a country wants to produce more of good X it has to give up increasing number of units of good Y it is called law of increasing marginal opportunity cost.
- Any point inside the curve shows inefficient utilisation of resources and any point
outside the curve is unattainable because of scarcity of resources.
- Opportunity cost is the cost of alternative opportunity gives up.
- Production possibility curve is called opportunity cost curve at every point measures opportunity cost of good X in terms of good Y given up.
Production Possibility Curve and Central Problems:-
The production possibility curve solves five problems – what and how much to produce, how to produce, and full utilisation of resources, economic efficiency and economic growth. All points on the curve solves problems of what and how much to produce, how to produce, full
employment of resources and economic efficiency. Production possibility curve is unable to solve the economic problem ‘for whom to produce’.
Ways to solve fundamental problems in captalistic and planned economies:-
In a market oriented or capitalist economy, the fundamental problems are solved by the market mechanism. Price is influenced by the market forces of demand and supply. These forces help us to decide what, how and for whom to produce. In a planned economy, all the economic decisions regarding what, how and for whom to produce are solved by the state through planning. Economic planning replaces the price mechanism. The
market is regulated by the state. The prices of the various products are fixed by the state which are called administrated prices.