Business economics is that part of economic theory which focuses on business enterprises and inquires into the factors contributing to the diversity of organizational structures and to the relationships of firms with labour, capital and product markets.[1]

Subject matter

Business Economics is concerned with economic issue and problems related to business organization, management and strategy. Issues and problems such as the following:an explanation of why firms emerge and exist; why they expand: horizontally, vertically and spacially; the role of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship; the significance of organizational structure; the relationship of firms with employees, the employees, the providers of capital, the customers, the government; the interactions between firms and the business environment.[1]

Ambiguity in the use of term

The term Business Economics is used in a variety of ways. Sometimes it used as synonymously with - Industrial Economics - Industrial Organisation - Managerial Economics - Economics for Business. Industrial Economics is the mostly closely over-lapping of these terms whilst there may be more substantial differences with Economics for Business and Managerial Economics. One view of the distinctions between these would be that Business Economics is wider in its scope than Industrial Economics in that it would be concerned not only with "Industry" but also businesses in the service sector and that it also takes seriously the insights of the "business strategy" literature. Economics for business looks at the major principles of economics but focuses on applying these economic principles to the real world of business.[2] Managerial economics is the application of economic methods in the managerial decision-making process.[3]

Interpretations of business economics from various universities

Many universities offer courses in Business Economics and offer a range of interpretations as to the meaning of Business Economics. The University of East London defines the subject matter of its degree as looking at the application of economic theory to business activities and organizations arguing that "In general terms, Business Economics deals with issues such as: the ways markets work; what firms do, what their motives are, how they perform; and the role of government in regulating business activity". [4] The program at Harvard University uses economic methods to analyze practical aspects of business, including business administration, management, and related fields of economics.[5] The University of Miami defines Business Economics as involving the study of how we use our resources for the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. This requires business economists to analyze social institutions, banks, the stock market, the government and they look at problems connected with labor negotiations, taxes, international trade, and urban and environmental issues.[6] Courses at the University of Manchester interpret Business Economics to be concerned with the economic analysis of how businesses contribute to welfare of society rather than on the welfare of an individual or a business. This is done via an examination of the relationship between ownership, control and firm objectives; theories of the growth of the firm; the behavioural theory of the firm; theories of entrepreneurship; the factors that influence the structure, conduct and performance of business at the industry level.[7]


  1. ^ a b Moschandreas, M (2000) Business Economics, Business Press Thompson Learning, 2nd Edition
  2. ^ Sloman, J and Sutcliffe (2004) Economics for Business, Financial Times/ Prentice Hall; 3 edition
  3. ^ Wilkinson, Nick (2005) Managerial Economics: A Problem-Solving Approach, Cambridge University Press
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See also