Portal:Business and economics

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The Business and Economics Portal

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The New York Stock Exchange floor

In the social sciences, economics is the study of human choice behavior and the methodology used to make associated investment and production decisions; in particular, though not limited to, how those choices and decisions determine the allocation of scarce resources and their effect on production, distribution, and consumption. The word "economics" is from the Greek words οἶκος [oikos], meaning "family, household, estate", and νόμος [nomos], or "custom, law", and hence literally means "household management" or "management of the state". An economist is a person using economic concepts and data in the course of employment, or someone who has earned a university degree in the subject. Economics undergraduate courses always cover at least the two main branches:

  • Microeconomics studies the behavior of individual households and firms in making decisions on the allocation of limited resources. Microeconomics applies to markets where goods or services are bought and sold. It examines how decisions and behaviors affect the supply and demand for goods and services, which determines prices, and how prices, in turn, determine the quantity supplied and quantity demanded of goods and services.
  • Macroeconomics deals with the performance, structure, behavior, and decision-making of an economy as a whole, rather than individual markets. This includes national, regional, and global economies.

However, there are also other sub-fields of economics.

In economics, economic systems is the study and analysis of organizing production, distribution, consumption and investment and the study of optimal resource allocation and institutional design. Traditionally the study of economic systems was based on a dichotomy between market economies and planned economies, but contemporary studies compare and contrast a number of different variables, such as ownership structure (Public, Private or Collective), economic coordination (planning, markets or mixed), management structure (Hierarchy versus adhocracy), the incentive system, and the level of centralization in decision-making. An economy can be analyzed in terms of its economic sectors, the classic breakdown being into primary, secondary and tertiary. A business, also known as an enterprise or a firm, is an organization involved in the trade of goods, services, or both to consumers. Businesses are prevalent in capitalist economies, where most of them are privately owned and provide goods and services to customers in exchange of other goods, services, or money. Businesses may also be not-for-profit or state-owned. Management in business and organizations is the function that coordinates the efforts of people to accomplish goals and objectives using available resources efficiently and effectively. Management comprises planning, organizing, staffing, leading or directing, and controlling an organization or initiative to accomplish a goal. Management is also an academic discipline, and is traditionally taught at business schools. Economic policy refers to the actions that governments take in the economic field. It covers the systems for setting interest rates and government budget as well as the labor market regulations, national ownership, trade policy, monetary policy, fiscal policy, regulatory policy, anti-trust policy and industrial policy. In economics, sustainable development refers to development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

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Thatgamecompany, stylized as thatgamecompany, is an American independent video game development studio co-founded by University of Southern California students Kellee Santiago and Jenova Chen in 2006. The studio was formerly a developer for Sony Computer Entertainment, contracted to create three downloadable games for the PlayStation 3's PlayStation Network service, and has since secured independent funding. The first of their games is a remake of Chen's award-winning Flash title Flow, with enhanced visuals and sound, added multiplayer modes and compatibility with the PlayStation 3's motion sensitive controller. The title was released on the PlayStation Store in 2007. The company's second PlayStation 3 game, Flower, was released on the PlayStation Store in 2009, and their third game, Journey, was released in March 2012 on the PlayStation Store.

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Village fair by Flemish artist Gillis Mostaert,1590

A fair (archaic: faire or fayre) is a gathering of people to display or trade produce or other goods, to parade or display animals and often to enjoy associated traveling carnival or travelling funfair entertainment. It is normally of the essence of a fair that it is temporary; some last only an afternoon while others may last as long as ten weeks. Activities at fairs vary widely. Some trade fairs are important regular business events either where products are traded between businesspeople, as at the Frankfurt Book Fair, where publishers sell book rights in other markets to other publishers, or where products are showcased to consumers, as for example in agricultural districts where they present opportunities to display and demonstrate the latest machinery on the market to farmers.

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Ohio quarter, reverse side, 2002.jpg

The economy of Ohio nominally would be the 25th largest global economy behind Sweden and ahead of Nigeria according to the 2013 World Bank projections, and the 24th largest global economy behind Sweden and ahead of Norway according to the 2013 International Monetary Fund projections. The state had a projected GDP of $526.1 billion in 2013, up from 517.1 in 2012, and up from 501.3 in 2011, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In 2013, Ohio was ranked in the top ten states for best business climate by Site Selection magazine, based on a business-activity database. The state was edged out only by Texas and Nebraska for the 2013 Governor's Cup award from the magazine, based on business growth and economic development. A new report by the Quantitative Economics and Statistics Practices (QUEST) of Ernst & Young in conjunction with the Council On State Taxation (COST), ranks Ohio as third in the nation for friendliest tax environment.

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Again, if expenses are too great, and it seems impossible to meet competition, there is seldom any serious effort made to find out why expenses are too high, but it is assumed that the way out of the difficulty is to reduce wages. It never appears to occur to a manager that perhaps the cause of the excessive expense may not lie with the workman, but with the management. Managers rarely seem to suspect that, if the workmen were more intelligently directed, the output per man might be largely increased without a corresponding increase in expense.

Those who have given even superficial study to the subject are beginning to realize the enormous gain that can be made in the efficiency of workmen, if they are properly directed and provided with proper appliances. Few, however, have realized another fact of equal importance, namely, that to maintain permanently this increase of efficiency, the workman must be allowed a portion of the benefit derived from it.

To obtain this high degree of efficiency successfully, however, the same careful scientific analysis and investigation must be applied to every labor detail as the chemist or biologist applies to his work. Wherever this has been done, it has been found possible to reduce expenses, and, at the same time, to increase wages, producing a condition satisfactory to both employer and employee.

The great difficulty in instituting this method of dealing with labor questions is that usually neither employer nor employee has sufficient knowledge of the scientific method to realize either the amount of detail work necessary, or the extent of the benefits to bo derived from it. In general, their inclination is to adhere to the methods with which they are familiar, and to distrust all others, even though their methods have failed to bring them appreciably nearer the solution of their problems, and the newer methods have produced results far more satisfactory than they even hoped for. A scientific investigation into the details of a condition that has grown up unassisted by science has never yet failed to show that economies and improvements are feasible that benefit both parties to an extent unsuspected by either.

Henry Gantt, Work, wages, and profits, 1913
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On this day in Business history...

February 25:

  • 1946 - Jean Todt, a French motor sport executive, was born on this day.

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