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.


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Moffatt, Mike. "What Are the Various Subfields of Economics?" ThoughtCo, Jul. 1, 2016, thoughtco.com/subfields-of-economics-1146356. Moffatt, Mike. (2016, July 1). What Are the Various Subfields of Economics? Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/subfields-of-economics-1146356 Moffatt, Mike. "What Are the Various Subfields of Economics?" ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/subfields-of-economics-1146356 (accessed March 18, 2018).