Economics - Alfred Marshall - Preliminary Survey
Principles of Economics - Alfred Marshall
Book I Preliminary Survey
Political economy or economics is a study of mankind in the ordinary business of life.
It is on the one side a study of wealth; and on the other, and important side, a part of the study of man.
It is essential to note that the economist does not claim to measure any affection of the mind itself, or directly; but only indirectly through its effect. The economist studies mental states rather through their manifestations than in themselves.
Economists study the actions of individuals, but study them in relation to social rather than individual life. They ascertain with the aid of statistics how much money on the average the members of a particular group are willing to pay as the price of a certain thing which they desire, or how much must be offered to them to induce them to undergo a certain effort or abstinence that they dislike.