How does one think like an economist? I always see in my economics books and it says thinking like an economist. But who said all economists think like that just because they are economists?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

One of the critical components of seeing a life as an economist is the ability to see non- economic events into an economic context.  I think that this might be arising from a social economist point of view, as one who views contingency as reflective of economic theory. Karl Marx...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

One of the critical components of seeing a life as an economist is the ability to see non- economic events into an economic context.  I think that this might be arising from a social economist point of view, as one who views contingency as reflective of economic theory. Karl Marx and other economic thinkers in this vein did this in quite a persuasive and strong manner. The ability to connect economic ideas to social elements such as arrangement of power structures or prevailing attitudes might bring one closer to thinking like an economist.  It seems to me that the ability to apply economic ideas to social domains help to underscore the importance that economic theory plays a vital role in how we perceive the world and our place within it.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

All economists have to think the same way to some extent.  This doesn't mean that they have to come to the same conclusions but rather that they have to go about things more or less the same way.

Essentially, the idea is that economics is supposed to be a science and so "the economic way of thinking" is supposed to be a systematic approach to questions.  It's supposed to be one where you form hypotheses and create models to try to explain reality.  Like one textbook I've taught from says "Economists use the same scientific method used by other disciplines such as biology, chemistry and physics."

So it's not that economists have to agree but that they're supposed to think scientifically.

 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team