Economics is divided into two main branches based on scope. These are macroeconomics and microeconomics. For starters, macroeconomics deals with the economy as a whole, while microeconomics focuses on the behavior of and interactions among firms and individuals.
The Difference Between Macroeconomics and Microeconomics
Macroeconomics studies the economy as a whole, particularly its structure, performance, behavior, and decision-making. Thus, macroeconomists analyze the factors contributing to the wealth accumulation of a nation or issues affecting employment and unemployment, inflation, and other macroeconomic indicators.
Studies in different macroeconomic areas center on developing models and concepts concerning national economic policies and political economy, international trade, savings and investment trends, international finance, energy utilization, and international relations, among others.
On the other hand, microeconomics focuses on studying how firms and individuals allocate scarce resources, as well as the interactions between these individual economic actors. Hence, it involves analyzing how a business operates, how these firms determine their prices, or how families and households spend their income.
Specific microeconomic areas include supply and demand, measurement of elasticity, consumer demand theory, theory and factors of production, the theory of competition, labor economics, and different subsets of applied microeconomics.
Further Comparison Between These Two Main Branches of Economics
Between macroeconomics and microeconomics, the former has been regarded as a more complete, advanced, and settled science than macroeconomics. It uses mathematics to formulate theories, and observational studies to test these theories against real market performances.
Macroeconomics is essentially limited because macroeconomic theories often create a void and lack specific details that represent real-world conditions. It cannot take into account the complication of the real world, including the diversity in individual behavior and preferences.
It is still important to remember that macroeconomic indicators such as gross domestic product, inflation, and unemployment influence the performance of companies and the socioeconomic status of individuals.
In summary, microeconomics studies individual decision-making concerning the allocation of scarce resources for production and consumption. On the contrary, macroeconomics deals with the economy as a whole, including national, regional, and global economies.