Economic Man Concerned

Economic Man Concerned

Economic Man, concerned with the immediate aim of obtaining the largest possible command over resources with the minimum of sacrifice. Economic man is a convenient abstraction, useful in discussing economic affairs, but not intended as a description of man in modem society. The study of economics does not require men to be supposed selfish, sell-centred or concerned only with money or material things.

It is seldom necessary in economic theory to regard individuals as identical, so that we can analyse the behaviour of a number of 'economic men' differing in tastes and abilities.

Men seek more purchasing power for numerous reasons: to benefit themselves, their families, friends, churches, schools, clubs, political parties, etc. But their purposes are not relevant. A philanthropist's behaviour in acquiring wealth illustrates the notion of economic man: only the immediate am (of maximizing wealth) is relevant to the economist, not the use made of it. Many other influences affect people even in their ordinary economic affairs and must be brought in when a theory is being elaborated and applied to reality; but it is often useful to leave these influences out in the early stages of the theory. This procedure is valid if, in the words of John Neville Keynes (the father of J. M. Keynes), 'in economic affairs the desire for wealth exerts a more uniform and an indefinitely stronger influence among men taken in the mass than any other immediate aim'.

Read on Economic Times - Economic Times Paper

Since then his writings have in turn been increasingly reinterpreted as a special case both by some followers and by some economists who had not wholly accepted his writings. The content of economics is in a state of change, and this site is therefore not a final statement of economic doctrine.

Economics is in the last resort a technique of thinking. The reader will therefore need to make an intellectual effort, more substantial for some web entries than for others, to get the most interest and value out of this website.