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Economics and the Economy: Home

What is Economics? A Basic Definition

Economics is the "study of how human beings allocate scarce resources to produce various commodities and how those commodities are distributed for consumption among the people in society (see distribution). The essence of economics lies in the fact that resources are scarce, or at least limited, and that not all human needs and desires can be met. How to distribute these resources in the most efficient and equitable way is a principal concern of economists."

"economics." The Columbia Encyclopedia. New York: Columbia University Press, 2008. Credo Reference. Web. 02 February 2012.

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Learn about Economics and the Economy

Black and White photograph of a crowded trading floor in the New York Stock Exchange in 1939

This guide focuses on information resources best suited for meeting the research needs of Oakton Community College students and faculty. 

Need additional research assistance? Contact an Oakton reference librarian!

Check this guide's Books tab for a selection of titles that address Oakton's First-Year Experience theme ‘Poverty and Privilege.’ .


CREDITGottscho-Schleisner, Inc., Photographer. New York Stock Exchange. View III. Digital image. American Memory. Library of Congress. Web. <>.

What is Economics? (Duke Economics)

Length: 3:35

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Rebecca Sedam