沪江商务英语 2021-09-08 00:00
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If you want to study economics, these two concepts may be the very first things you need to understand.

Microeconomics and macroeconomics are two of the largest subdivisions of the study of economics wherein micro- refers to the observation of small economic units like the effects of government regulations on individual markets and consumer decision making and macro- refers to the "big picture" version of economics like how interest rates are determines and why some countries' economies grow faster than others'.

According to comedian P.J. O’Rourke, “microeconomics concerns things that e conomists are specifically wrong about, while macroeconomics concerns things e conomists are wrong about generally. Or to be more technical, microeconomics is about money you don’t have, and macroeconomics is about money the government is out of.”

Although this humorous observation pokes fun at e conomists, the description is accurate. However, a closer observation of both fields of economic discourse will provide a better understanding of the basics of economic theory and study.

Microeconomics: Individual Markets

Those who have studied Latin know that the prefix “micro-” means “small,” so it shouldn’t be surprising that microeconomics is the study of small economic units. The field of microeconomics is concerned with things like:
学过拉丁语的人都知道前缀“micro -”意味着“small(小)”,所以微观经济学是对小型经济单位的研究也就不足为奇了。微观经济学领域关注的事情包括:

consumer decision making and utility maximization

firm production and profit maximization

individual market equilibrium

effects of government regulation on individual markets

externalities and other market side effects

Put another way, microeconomics concerns itself with the behavior of individual markets, such as the markets for oranges, the market for cable television, or the market for skilled workers as opposed to the overall markets for produce, electronics, or the entire workforce. Microeconomics is essential for local governance, business and personal financing, specific stock investment research, and individual market predictions for venture capitalistic endeavors.

Macroeconomics: The Big Picture

Macroeconomics, on the other hand, can be thought of as the “big picture” version of economics. Rather than analyzing individual markets, macroeconomics focuses on aggregate production and consumption in an economy. Some topics that macroe conomists study include:

effects of general taxes such as income and sales taxes on output and prices

causes of economic upswings and downturns

effects of monetary and fiscal policy on economic health

effects of and process for determining interest rates

causes for some economies growing faster than other economies

To study economics at this level, researchers must be able to combine different goods and services produced in a way that reflects their relative contributions to aggregate output. This is generally done using the concept of the gross domestic product (GDP), and goods and services get weighted by their market prices.

The Relationship Between Microeconomics and Macroeconomics

There is an obvious relationship between microeconomics and macroeconomics in that aggregate production and consumption levels are the result of choices made by individual households and firms, and some macroeconomic models explicitly make this connection by incorporating what are known as "microfoundations."

Most of the economic topics covered on television and in newspapers are of the macroeconomic variety, but it’s important to remember that economics is about more than just trying to figure out when the economy is going to improve and what the Fed is doing with interest rates, it's also about observing local economies and specific markets for goods and services.

Although many e conomists specialize in one field or the other, no matter which study one pursues, the other will have to be utilized in order to understand the implications of certain trends and conditions on both the micro and macro economic levels.