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What Are the Various Subfields of Economics?

What Are the Various Subfields of Economics?

At the most basic level, the field of economics is divided into microeconomics, or the study of individual markets, and macroeconomics, or the study of the economy as a whole. At a more granular level, however, economics has many subfields, depending on how finely you wish to divide the science. A useful classification system is provided by The Journal of Economic Literature.

Subsets of Economics

Here are some of the subfields that the JEL identifies:

  • Mathematical and Quantitative Methods
  • Econometrics
  • Game Theory and Bargaining Theory
  • Experimental Economics
  • Microeconomics
  • Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics
  • The Business Cycle
  • Money and Interest Rates
  • International Economics and International Trade
  • Finance and Financial Economics
  • Public Economics, Taxation, and Government Spending
  • Health, Education, and Welfare
  • Labor and Demographic Economics
  • Law and Economics
  • Industrial Organization
  • Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting
  • Economic History
  • Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth
  • Economic Systems
  • Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics
  • Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics

In addition, there are a number of fields within economics that didn't significantly exist when the JEL classification was developed, such as behavioral economics, organizational economics, market design, social choice theory, and a number of others.