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Some Important Definitions


Economics, initially, stood for political economy. Adam Smith (the father of economics) wrote a famous book titled Wealth of Nations in 1776, in which he defined the subject as a branch of the science of a statesman or legislator, with the twofold objective of providing plentiful revenue or subsistence for the people. J.B. Say (1803) defines economics as the science of production, distribution, and consumption of wealthAlfred Marshall, in his textbook Principles of Economics (1890), defines economics as a study of man in the ordinary business of life. It enquires how he gets his income and how he uses it. Thus, it is the study of wealth, on one hand, and more importantly, a part of the study of man, on the other. Lionel Robbins (1932) termed the most commonly accepted current definition of the subject: Economics is a science which studies human behaviouras a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses. Some economists who are noted for their contribution are Samuelson and Keynes.

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