Microeconomics

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What is 'Microeconomics'

Microeconomics is the branch of economics that analyzes the market behavior of individual consumers and firms in an attempt to understand the decision-making process of firms and households. It is concerned with the interaction between individual buyers and sellers and the factors that influence the choices made by buyers and sellers. In particular, microeconomics focuses on patterns of supply and demand and the determination of price and output in individual markets (e.g. coffee industry).

BREAKING DOWN 'Microeconomics'

The field of economics is broken down into two distinct areas of study: microeconomics and macroeconomics. Microeconomics looks at the smaller picture and focuses more on basic theories of supply and demand and how individual businesses decide how much of something to produce and how much to charge for it. People who have any desire to start their own business or who want to learn the rationale behind the pricing of particular products and services would be more interested in this area.

Macroeconomics, on the other hand, looks at the big picture (hence "macro"). It focuses on the national economy as a whole and provides a basic knowledge of how things work in the business world. For example, people who study this branch of economics would be able to interpret the latest Gross Domestic Product figures or explain why a 6% rate of unemployment is not necessarily a bad thing. Thus, for an overall perspective of how the entire economy works, you need to have an understanding of economics at both the micro and macro levels.

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RELATED FAQS
  1. What's the difference between microeconomics and macroeconomics?

    Microeconomics is generally the study of individuals and business decisions, macroeconomics looks at higher up country and ... Read Answer >>
  2. What kinds of topics does microeconomics cover?

    Read about the purpose, derivations and uses of microeconomics, and see how the interaction of scarcity and choice drives ... Read Answer >>
  3. How do I differentiate between micro and macro economics?

    Differentiating between microeconomics and macroeconomics is primarily concerned with the difference of the scales of the ... Read Answer >>
  4. Should investors care more about microeconomics or macroeconomics?

    Learn why investors such as Warren Buffett focus on microeconomics, not macroeconomics, when evaluating individual investment ... Read Answer >>
  5. How does government policy impact microeconomics?

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  6. What math skills do I need to study microeconomics?

    Find out how and why mathematics are used in microeconomics, what its limitations are and the kinds of math skills that economics ... Read Answer >>
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