Economics is a science and as an art-Explain

Posted by Muhammad Jakirul Haque Talukder on Tuesday, May 27, 2014 | 0 comments

Under this, we generally discuss whether Economics is science or art or both and if it is a science whether it is a positive science or a normative science or both. Often a question arises - whether Economics is a science or an art or both.

(a) Economics is as science:
A subject is considered science if
  • It is a systematized body of knowledge which studies the relationship between cause and effect.
  • It is capable of measurement.
  • It has its own methodological apparatus.
  • It should have the ability to forecast.

If we analyse Economics, we find that it has all the features of science. Like science it studies cause and effect relationship between economic phenomena. To understand, let us take the law of demand. It explains the cause and effect relationship between price and demand for a commodity. It says, given other things constant, as price rises, the demand for a commodity falls and vice versa. Here the cause is price and the effect is fall in quantity demanded. Similarly like science it is capable of being measured, the measurement is in terms of money. It has its own methodology of study (induction and deduction) and it forecasts the future market condition with the help of various statistical and non-statistical tools.

But it is to be noted that Economics is not a perfect science. This is because Economists do not have uniform opinion about a particular event.

The subject matter of Economics is the economic behavior of man which is highly unpredictable. Money which is used to measure outcomes in Economics is itself a dependent variable. It is not possible to make correct predictions about the behavior of economic variables.

(b) Economics is as an art: Art is nothing but practice of knowledge. Whereas science teaches us to know art teaches us to do. Unlike science which is theoretical, art is practical. If we analyse Economics, we find that it has the features of an art also. Its various branches, consumption, production, public finance, etc. provide practical solutions to various economic problems. It helps in solving various economic problems which we face in our day-to-day life.

Thus, Economics is both a science and an art. It is science in its methodology and art in its application. Study of unemployment problem is science but framing suitable policies for reducing the extent of unemployment is an art.

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