What are the so-called economics, and who uses them?

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Economics is a social science that deals with the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. It is a complex subject that has been studied for centuries and is used by a wide range of professionals, from government policymakers to business owners. The study of economics is divided into two main branches: microeconomics and macroeconomics. Microeconomics deals with the behavior of individual consumers and firms, while macroeconomics looks at the behavior of the economy as a whole.

Branches of so-called economics

The term “so-called economics” refers to the use of economic principles in fields other than traditional economics. This includes behavioral economics, environmental economics, health economics, and many others.

Behavioral economics is a branch of economics that studies how psychological, social, and emotional factors influence economic decision-making. It seeks to explain why people sometimes make irrational decisions, and how these decisions affect the economy. Behavioral economics has been used to study a wide range of topics, from consumer behavior to financial markets.

Environmental economics is a branch of economics that studies how economic activity affects the environment, and how environmental policies can be designed to promote sustainable development. Environmental economics has been used to study issues such as pollution, climate change, and natural resource management.

Health economics is a branch of economics that studies how healthcare services are delivered and financed, and how healthcare policies can be designed to improve health outcomes while minimizing costs. Health economics has been used to study issues such as healthcare reform, health insurance, and public health.

Objectives of so-called economics

The objectives of so-called economics vary depending on the specific branch of economics being studied. However, some common objectives include:

  • Understanding how economic behavior affects individuals and society as a whole.
  • Developing models and theories that can be used to predict and analyze economic behavior.
  • Designing policies and interventions that can improve economic outcomes, such as increasing efficiency and productivity or reducing inequality.
  • Identifying opportunities for innovation and growth in different sectors of the economy.

Importance of so-called economics

The importance of so-called economics lies in its ability to provide insights into complex economic issues that traditional economic models may not be able to explain. By incorporating insights from psychology, sociology, and other disciplines, so-called economics can offer a more nuanced understanding of economic behavior.

For example, behavioral economics has been used to develop interventions that encourage people to save more for retirement, such as automatically enrolling them in retirement savings plans. Environmental economics has been used to develop policies that incentivize businesses to reduce their carbon footprint, such as carbon taxes or cap-and-trade systems. Health economics has been used to design healthcare policies that promote better health outcomes while minimizing costs, such as preventative care or disease management programs.

Examples of so-called economics in practice

One example of so-called economics in practice is the use of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in development economics. RCTs are a method of testing the effectiveness of different policies or interventions by randomly assigning participants to different groups and comparing the outcomes. This method has been used to evaluate the effectiveness of microfinance programs, education interventions, and healthcare programs in low-income countries.

Another example is the use of nudge theory in public policy. Nudge theory is a concept in behavioral economics that suggests that people can be influenced to make better decisions by making small changes to the environment in which they make decisions. This has been used to encourage people to make healthier food choices, for example by placing healthy foods at eye level in grocery stores.

So-called economics vs traditional economics

So-called economics differs from traditional economics in that it incorporates insights from other disciplines, such as psychology, sociology, and ecology. Traditional economics tends to focus more narrowly on the behavior of rational actors in market settings.

However, the distinction between so-called economics and traditional economics is not always clear-cut. Many traditional economists have incorporated insights from other disciplines into their work, and many so-called economists still rely on traditional economic models and theories.

Criticisms of so-called economics

One criticism of so-called economics is that it can be difficult to test its theories and models in a rigorous way. For example, it may be difficult to measure the impact of a nudge on a large population, or to determine whether a particular policy intervention is effective.

Another criticism is that so-called economics can sometimes rely too heavily on assumptions about human behavior that may not be accurate or universally applicable. For example, some behavioral economics theories may be based on studies of college students in Western countries, and may not apply to people from other cultures or socioeconomic backgrounds.

Future of so-called economics

The future of so-called economics is likely to involve continued integration with other disciplines, as well as greater use of data and technology. For example, machine learning algorithms could be used to analyze large datasets and identify patterns in economic behavior.

Another area of growth is likely to be the use of so-called economics in public policy. As policymakers seek to address complex social and economic issues, they may increasingly turn to insights from so-called economics to design effective interventions.

Resources for learning more about so-called economics

There are many resources available for those interested in learning more about so-called economics. Some good starting points include:

  • The journal Behavioral Economics, which publishes research on the intersection of economics and psychology.
  • The International Society for Environmental Economics, which promotes research and policy in the field of environmental economics.
  • The Journal of Health Economics, which publishes research on topics related to healthcare policy and economics.
  • The book “Nudge” by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein, which introduces the concept of nudge theory and its applications in public policy.


So-called economics is an important and growing field that seeks to incorporate insights from other disciplines into economic analysis. By doing so, it can offer a more nuanced understanding of economic behavior and inform policies and interventions that promote better economic outcomes. While there are some criticisms of so-called economics, its future looks bright as policymakers and researchers continue to seek new ways to address complex economic issues.

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