Portal:Business and economics

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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 νέμω [nemo], or "distribution, allocation", hence meaning "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 cover at least 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 studies inflation, price levels, rate of growth, national income, gross domestic product and changes in unemployment of a company, rather than the more specific details that microeconomics studies. [[1]]

There are also other sub-fields of economics.

In economics, economic systems study and analyze the organizing of production, distribution, consumption and investment. As well as, the study of optimal resource allocation and institutional design. Traditionally, the study of economic systems was based on a dichotomy , or set, 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.

Selected article

BAE Systems plc is a British multinational defence, security and aerospace company headquartered in London in the United Kingdom and with operations worldwide. It is among the world's largest defence contractors; it ranked as the second-largest based on applicable 2012 revenues. Its largest operations are in the United Kingdom and United States, where its BAE Systems Inc. subsidiary is one of the six largest suppliers to the US Department of Defense. Other major markets include Australia, India and Saudi Arabia. The company was formed on 30 November 1999 by the £7.7 billion merger of two British companies; Marconi Electronic Systems (MES) – the defense electronics and naval shipbuilding subsidiary of the General Electric Company plc (GEC) – and British Aerospace (BAe) – an aircraft, munitions and naval systems manufacturer.

Selected picture

A Moorish Bazaar
Photo credit: Genghiskhanviet

A bazaar is a market: a permanent enclosed merchandising area, marketplace, or street of shops where goods and services are exchanged or sold. The term originates from the Middle Persian word vāzār. Souq is another word used in the Middle East for an open-air marketplace or commercial quarter. The term bazaar is sometimes also used to refer to the "network of merchants, bankers, and craftsmen" who work in that area. Although the current meaning of the word is believed to have originated in native Zoroastrian Persia, its use has spread and now has been accepted into the vernacular in countries around the world. The rise of large bazaars and stock trading centers in the Muslim World allowed the creation of new capitals and eventually new empires. New and wealthy cities such as Isfahan, Golconda, Samarkand, Cairo, Baghdad, and Timbuktu were founded along trade routes and bazaars. Street markets and arcades are European and North American equivalents.

Selected economy

North Tehran Towers.jpg

The economy of Iran is a mixed and transition economy with a large public sector. Some 60% of the economy is centrally planned. It is dominated by oil and gas production, although over 40 industries are directly involved in the Tehran Stock Exchange, one of the best performing exchanges in the world over the past decade. With 10% of the world's proven oil reserves and 15% of its gas reserves, Iran is considered an "energy superpower".

It is the world's eighteenth largest by purchasing power parity (PPP) and thirty-second by nominal gross domestic product. The country is a member of Next Eleven because of its high development potential.

A unique feature of Iran's economy is the presence of large religious foundations called Bonyad, whose combined budgets represent more than 30% of central government spending.

Selected quote

"It is not labor, not capital, not land, that has created modern wealth or is creating it today. It is ideas that create wealth, and what is wanted is more ideas more uncovering of natural reservoirs, and less labor and capital and land per unit of production. Gold has very little intrinsic value, diamonds have none except to cut glass and stone. It is a thought, a sentiment, that gives value to gold and diamonds ; it was the invention of the incandescent lamp that doubled the value of platinum. Columbus with his idea of land to the west, Franklin, Washington, Jefferson, with their ideas of liberty, Jefferson with his idea of territorial expansion, Fulton with his idea of the steamboat, Stephenson with his creation of the locomotive and track; it was Howe, Morse, Edison, Westinghouse, Bell and Gray, Marconi; it was Lincoln, it was Rockefeller, Carnegie, J. J. Hill and Harriman with their ideas, it was Roosevelt with the Panama Canal, that have made the United States what it is. All these men used labor and capital to uncover and develop the hitherto unutilized resources of the universe.

The Dutch and the Huguenots settled in South Africa about the same time North America above the gulf was colonized. The United States grew on account of ideas; South Africa remained undeveloped because of paucity of ideas, paucity of energy. The blacks had to do the work. There was no use for steam engines.

Muscular effort can be stimulated by the lash intelligent supervision, intellectual production, never! One single idea may have greater value than all the labor of all the men, animals, and engines for a century. The age of muscular human effort and of the lash is passing away, and the old morality with it; the age of supervision, of co-operative stimulus, is in full advance; and with it comes a new morality, under which the Golden Rule can be extended from the relations between individuals to those between classes, nationalities, and races. The highest official cannot dictate to the youngest apprenticed worker. Both are creatures of the machine, but both in turn must serve it, for unless its every law and need is lived up to, it will refuse to work efficiently, often reuse to work at all. With these new duties and privileges of men toward each other old truths become fallacies and paradoxes become the basic truths of tomorrow.

To forward the new morality, to extend the dominion of man over uncarnate energy and its use, to substitute highly paid thinkers and supervisors for devitalized toilers, to help each individual, each corporation, each government to meet its part of the obligation, above all to inspire those executives on whose skill all progress and all wise performance depends, is the justification of these essays."

Harrington Emerson, The twelve principles of efficiency, 1924

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On this day in Business history...

November 15:

Did you know...

  • ...that Valrhona, a company based in the small town of Tain l'Hermitage in the Rhône Valley in France, is one of the world's leading manufacturers of high-quality chocolate?
  • ... that the GDP deflator (implicit price deflator for GDP) is a price index measuring changes in prices of all new, domestically produced, final goods and services in an economy.
  • ... that Hollywood accounting is the practice of distributing the profit earned by a large project to corporate entities which, though distinct from the one responsible for the project itself, are typically owned by the same people, with the net result of reducing the project's profit by a substantial margin, sometimes even eliminating it altogether.


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