Business is a growing industry and a key contributor to economic growth. It generates employment, income and wealth for people and business institutions. A business environment involves a complex set of interacting factors that have an influence on its performance. Business studies is a discipline in applied mathematics that makes use of statistical data and economic theory to study the relationships among firms, workers, products and marketplaces. There are different topics that are covered under this discipline including business cycles, business economics, business timing and structure, demand, pricing, production, finance and marketing. The economic theories used by these courses help students to predict the behaviour of the firms and relate them with the external and internal factors that affect the performance of a business.
A number of advanced studies and advanced learning options are available in the field of applied economics. Some of the most important areas that are related with this subject include: macroeconomics, microeconomics, and statistics of business. There is also an application-oriented approach to economics that makes use of advanced mathematical tools. Some of the topics covered in these advanced studies are: supply chain management, microeconomics, information technology, economic growth, international trade and monetary policy.
A major portion of applied economics focuses on macroeconomic concepts such as inflation, interest rates, employment, inflation productivity and monetary policy. Applications that are directly related to business activities are also covered in the course. The breadth and depth of applied economics make it an important part of the education system today. Some of the topics covered in business economics include: corporate finance, decision making, pricing, environmental issues, government regulation, intellectual property, marketing and innovation, outsourcing and firm evaluation.
A major part of business economics curriculum is taught through teaching and research methods applied to different firms. Some of the topics taught include: human resource management, marketing, accounting, economics of financial markets, production and cost analysis, trading, distribution, financing, economics of international transactions, decision making, firm decision-making, decision solving, entrepreneurship, ownership, financial markets, banking and lending. Some of the programs offered by colleges and universities to focus more on teaching applied economics or managerial economics, while others provide a complete curriculum in business economics. Most of the programs offered focus on business models, managerial decision-making and economic development.
Applied business economics has some common ground with other curricular subjects such as accounting, business, economics and math. The two fields often draw on similar theories and methods. Courses taught in business economics include: decision making, time, cost, flexibility, organization and capital, market structure and economic theory.
There are a number of organizations and associations that conduct applied business studies. Among these include the American Enterprise Institute, Association for Business Economics, Center for Competitive Markets, International Business Watch, Institute of Economic Analysis, Pacific Legal Institute, and The Ohio State University. There are also professional associations such as the Association of Personal Financial Advisors (APFA), the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAFPFA), and the National Foundation for Securities Commissions (NFSC). They provide courses and resources for business economists and other interested professionals. These associations also publish a variety of business publications such as peer-reviewed Journal of Marketing.
There are a number of nonprofit organizations, as well, that conduct research and analysis of business practices. Examples include the National Bureau of Economic Research, the Federal Reserve Bank, and the Center for Education Statistics. Other nonprofit organizations include the Organization for Economic Co-corporation, the Institute of Museum Technology, and Institute of Public Administration. There are also governmental agencies, including the Federal Trade Commission, the Small Business Administration, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Many of these organizations conduct government-funded programs for disseminating information about business economics and other related topics. A few of these organizations provide scholarships to students interested in studying business economics.
The business economy is a complex system with influences from many aspects of the economy. Changes in the overall state of the economy affect the profitability of small businesses. As such, understanding how business cycles affect the economy is vital for small businesses owners, even if they do not directly affect the economy at large. The size of the economy and its health both depend on the health and profitability of small businesses. By investing in knowledge and promoting entrepreneurial ideals, small businesses can contribute to the strength or health of the nation’s economy.