Economics: The Study of Choice

Read this chapter to learn about the economic way of thinking and the principles of scarcity and opportunity cost. Be sure to click through each of the sections. Note how individuals and businesses make everyday decisions at the margin. Learn about the differences between macroeconomics and microeconomics.

1.2 The Field of Economics


  • Economists focus on the opportunity costs of choices, they assume that individuals make choices in a way that maximizes the value of an objective defined in terms of their own self-interest, and they assume that individuals make those choices at the margin.
  • Economics is divided into two broad areas: microeconomics and macroeconomics.
  • A wide range of career opportunities is open to economics majors. Empirical evidence suggests that students who enter the job market with a major in economics tend to earn more than do students in many other majors. Further, economics majors do particularly well on the LSAT.