What Are the Various Subfields of Economics?

Question: What Are the Various Subfields of Economics?

Answer: 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 divided the science. A useful classification system is provided by The Journal of Economic Literature. 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.