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Comparison between Alfred marshall and robin's definition of economics?


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Answered 2011-12-26 13:05:26

The comparism between the definition of Economics given by Alfred Marshall & Robbins is that it both studies human behaviors.

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Alfred Marshall defines economics as, "The science which studies human behaviour as a relationship between ends and scarce means, which have an alternative use."



The best definition is that by Lionel Robins, "Economics is the social sciences which studies human behavior as a relationship between ends and scare means which has alternative uses"


Marshall and Robbins have defined Economics in different ways but there are some similarities and differences between there definition which are mention below Similarities 1 Study of human activities Both Marshall and Robbins have given the primary place to human beings,both have ignored important of wealth and stressed in the human activities. 2 Wealth and scarce means There is no fundamental difference between wealth and scarce means.Robbins used the words scarce means and Marshall used the word wealth which signify the same meaning because in economics wealth includes only those items that are limited all scarce to fulfill the unlimited desires. 3 Maximum welfare and Maximum Satisfaction Marshall's definition reverse to the utilization of wealth for the promotion of maximum welfare and Robbin's definition referred to the utilization of scarce means for the maximum satisfaction therefore both their definitions signify the same meaning. 4 Human Behaviors Marshall's definition has studies the human social behavior whereas Robbin's definition definition has studies all types of human behavior therefore both definitions has studied the human behavior.


economics is the study of human behaviors as a relation between ends and scarce resources that have alternative uses.


Economics is a social science which studies human behaviour as a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses.


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Dr. Marshall is the founder of neoclassical school of thought.Hisfollowers are Cnon,Pgo,Pretoand Clark. Marshall cleaned all the black spots from this subject. He wrote a book " Principles of Economics " in 1878 and defined economic in following words:" Economics is a study of man's action in the ordinary business of life it inquires how he gets his income and how he uses it. It examines that part of an individual and social actions which is mostly closely connected with the attainment and with the use of material requisites of well being. Thus economics is on one side a study of wealth and on the other and important side a part of the study of man ".MAIN POINTS OF THIS DEFINITION1.Economics is interested in human welfare an not in wealth.2.It is a social science. A person who is cut away from the society is not the subject of study of economics.3.Economics does not study of all the activities of man. It only study ordinary business of life.4.Economics is a concerned with the ways in which a man works on natural resources for the satisfaction of material wants.MERITS OF MARSHALL'S DEFINITION1. COMPREHENSIVE :-Prof Marshall's definition is more better and comprehensive as compared to the Adam Smith definition.2. STUDY OF HUMAN LIFE :-According to this definition of economics studies the human life. So there is a particular objective of this subject which is human life.3. IMPORTANCE OF SOCIETY :-According to this definition society has been given much importance and all those people who earn and consume wealth have been discussed.4. AN-ORDINARYMAN DISCUSSED :-Economics is a social science which studies man's social life. Those people who do not perform social activities like saints and mad will not be studied in economics.5. IMPORTANCE OF WELFARE :-Marshall stresses on individual and collective welfare. This definition clusters round the welfare.6. UNEQUAL DISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH PROBLEM :-Prof. Marshall has also discussed to solve the problem of unequal distribution of wealth.7. IMPORTANCE TO MAN :-In this definition man has given primary importance and wealth has been given secondary importance which is used for the prosperity of man.8. WELFARE THE AIM :-According to this definition the aim and objective of this subject is the welfare of human being.Marshall says that economics explains those principles which enable a person to meet his desires by using the wealth. It is very useful for the prosperity of human being.CRITICISM :-For a long time this definition was accepted but in 1930 Robbins criticized this definition on the following grounds.DEMERITS OF MARSHALL'S DEFINITION1. NARROW SCOPE :-According to this definition economics is concerned only with those activities which promote only material welfare and it has unnecessarily narrowed the scope of economics.2. NON MATERIAL SERVICES IGNORED :-It ignores the non material services like the services of teacher which has an important contribution of economic welfare.3. NOT CLEAR :-The distinction made in this definition between ordinary business of life is not clear.4. SOCIETY IS DISCUSSED ONLY :-According to this definition economics deal with persons living only in society. It ignores others who may also have an economic problem.5. CONCEPT OF WELFARE DIFFERS :-There is no unanimity about the concept of welfare. Ideas about welfare very from time to time place to place and person to person.6. UN MEASURABLE CONCEPT :-The measurement of welfare is not possible. One person can not explain that how much quantity of welfare he has received after spending 5$ on cinema ticket.7. WEALTH CONCEPT IS NOT CLEAR :-Prof. Marshall has not explained the meaning of wealth clearly.8. LIMITED CONCEPT OF WEALTH CONSUMPTION :-Man spends his income on two kinds of necessities. Some are materialistic while the other are non materialistic. But according to this definition non materialistic necessities are out of subject.9. QUESTION OF LIKES AND DISLIKES :-Prof. Robbins says that this definition creates the question of likes and dislikes and we are bound to do only those actions which are helpful in the material welfare.10. INVOLVES VALUE JUDGEMENT :-In this definition the word "Welfare" involves value judgement but according to Robbins economists are forbidden to pass any verdict


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Q. What do you know about development of theory of economic ? Ans. it will not be over state that economics is an unfinished science . with the passage of time there have been significant developments in economic theory and new subjects have been included in it. and this development includes three heads ; (i) wealth definitions (ii) welfare definitions, (iii) Scarcity definitions . I) wealth definitions : Adam smith who is known as father of economics named his famous book on economics as " an enquiry into the nature and causes of the wealth of nations" thus according to Adam smith, economics enquiry into the factors that determine wealth of the country and its growth. he analysis the wealth and riches of nation. Ricardo shifted the emphasis from the production of wealth to the distribution of wealth . II) Welfare Economics : Marshall has given emphasis on human welfare. Marshall state " Political economy & economics is the study of mankind in the ordinary business of life" it examines that part of individual and social action which is most closely connected with the attainment and with the use of materials requests of well being" three things are worth nothing in the above definition provided by Marshall. First it is a study of man as rich and not of wealth , secondly Marshall's definition implies that economics is concerned with a particular aspect of man's life, thirdly, it is a part of human life. III) Science of scarcity : Robbins has given definition about economics in his famous book " an Essay on the nature & significance of economics service" He state " economics is the science which studied human behavior as a relationship between wants and scarce means which have alternative uses." This definitions is based up on the following three facts :- (i) Unlimited wants, (ii) Scarce wealth and (iii) Alternative uses of means.



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