Q:

Why is economics considered a science?

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Quick Answer

The field of economics uses scientific methodology to unveil truths about its nature. Economists often perform experiments and use scientific tools for crafting analyses. However, much of the attention paid to economics focuses on its non-scientific aspects.

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Full Answer

At its core, the field of economics tries to uncover basic universal facts. Like many sciences, economics has a strong foundation in mathematics, and it is developed by testing hypotheses. In many ways, economics can be viewed as a field of applied psychology. Understanding how humans behave in certain situations and respond to changes is essential for the field's development.

Unlike the so-called "hard sciences," however, many economic hypotheses are difficult to test. Economic systems are run by governments, and it is immoral to cause economic harm to individuals and populations. With its strong mathematical foundation and its reliance on human behavior, economics straddles the gap between more basic types of science and so-called "soft sciences" such as anthropology and sociology.

In the media and in politics, however, the scientific aspects of the field are often ignored. Politicians might discuss the morality of different economic policies, and they might make promises based on faulty economic premises. Because economic policies have such a dramatic effect on the lives of voters, politicians spend a considerable amount of time developing a message that influences voters.

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