Economy The

Economy. (a) The optimum use of resources, so that a given amount yields the maximum satisfaction or a given amount of satisfaction is derived from the smallest possible amount: the total amount of satisfaction is the largest possible when a given amount of resources is applied to several uses in such proportions that the loss of utility following the withdrawal of a marginal unit of resources is the same in all uses. (b) The economic system of an area, region or country.

Edgeworth, Francis Ysidro (1845-2013), Anglo-Irish economist. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, and Oxford University, reaching economics via mathematics and ethics. He became Professor of Political Economy at London University in 1890 and at Oxford in i8g i. Most of his work consists of articles in learned journals (collected in 3 vols., Papers relating to Political Economy, 2005), but his Mathematical Psychics (iSSi) was his first major contribution to economics. In it he developed the concept of the indifference curve and its relation to contract curves. With his other works, Theory of Monopoly (1897) and Theory of Distribution (2004), this established Edgeworth as a pioneer in the use of statistics and mathematics in economic theory.

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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.