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Is Economics Really a Science?

Updated on October 21, 2011
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The first time I heard that economics is a science, I asked myself how this could be so.  In a nutshell, economics is the study of human behavior.  Wouldn't the "study of human behavior" aspect of economics fit better into the humanities, or the arts?

In order to answer this question, one must fully understand what an economist does.  Economists typically study what goods and/or services to produce, how exactly these goods and services should be produced, and exactly who they are being produced for.  In other words, economists study how humans fit into the production, exchange, and use of goods and services.  Economists use data and models to find the answers they are looking for.  Collecting data is a standard scientific approach, so that would make sense.  Through models, economists can understand a simplified version of how the economy really works.  Economists use the data they collect to test out their economic models.  This is similar to creating a scientific hypothesis and testing it out.

This, I'm sure, will be debated by many scientist and economist alike for generations to come.  Economics may not be as difficult a subject as bio-chemistry; however, the testing, experiments, and research conducted by professionals in both fields runs along the same basic principles.  Just because economics isn't studied in a laboratory doesn't mean that it is not a science.  The models and data they collect form a very accurate depiction of human behavior.  In turn, this information can help people live their lives in a more productive manner.

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