What Are the Various Subfields of Economics?

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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.

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Moffatt, Mike. "What Are the Various Subfields of Economics?" ThoughtCo, Aug. 28, 2020, thoughtco.com/subfields-of-economics-1146356. Moffatt, Mike. (2020, August 28). 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 January 28, 2023).