Portal:Business and Economics
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The Business and Economics Portal

The time required to start a business is the number of calendar days needed to complete the procedures to legally operate a business. This chart is from 2017 statistics.
Fish for sale in Dhaka, Bangladesh, with a price tag of 395 Bangladeshi taka per kilogram.

Business is the activity of making one's living or making money by producing or buying and selling products (such as goods and services). It is also "any activity or enterprise entered into for profit."

Having a business name does not separate the business entity from the owner, which means that the owner of the business is responsible and liable for debts incurred by the business. If the business acquires debts, the creditors can go after the owner's personal possessions. A business structure does not allow for corporate tax rates. The proprietor is personally taxed on all income from the business.

The term is also often used colloquially (but not by lawyers or by public officials) to refer to a company, such as a corporation or cooperative. (Full article...)

Economics is the social science that studies the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.

Economics focuses on the behaviour and interactions of economic agents and how economies work. Microeconomics analyzes what's viewed as basic elements in the economy, including individual agents and markets, their interactions, and the outcomes of interactions. Individual agents may include, for example, households, firms, buyers, and sellers. Macroeconomics analyzes the economy as a system where production, consumption, saving, and investment interact, and factors affecting it: employment of the resources of labour, capital, and land, currency inflation, economic growth, and public policies that have impact on these elements. (Full article...)

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Joseph Stiglitz

Joseph Eugene Stiglitz (; born February 9, 1943) is an American New Keynesian economist, a public policy analyst, and a full professor at Columbia University. He is a recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (2001) and the John Bates Clark Medal (1979). He is a former senior vice president and chief economist of the World Bank and is a former member and chairman of the (US president's) Council of Economic Advisers. He is known for his support of Georgist public finance theory and for his critical view of the management of globalization, of laissez-faire economists (whom he calls "free-market fundamentalists"), and of international institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

In 2000, Stiglitz founded the Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD), a think tank on international development based at Columbia University. He has been a member of the Columbia faculty since 2001, and received that university's highest academic rank (university professor) in 2003. He was the founding chair of the university's Committee on Global Thought. He also chairs the University of Manchester's Brooks World Poverty Institute. He is a member of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences. In 2009, the President of the United Nations General Assembly Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann, appointed Stiglitz as the chairman of the U.N. Commission on Reforms of the International Monetary and Financial System, where he oversaw suggested proposals and commissioned a report on reforming the international monetary and financial system. He served as chair of the international Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress, appointed by President Sarkozy of France, which issued its report in 2010, Mismeasuring our Lives: Why GDP doesn't add up, and currently serves as co-chair of its successor, the High Level Expert Group on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress. From 2011 to 2014, Stiglitz was president of the International Economic Association (IEA). He presided over the organization of the IEA triennial world congress held near the Dead Sea in Jordan in June 2014.

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Village fair by Flemish artist Gillis Mostaert,1590

A fair (archaic: faire or fayre) is a gathering of people to display or trade produce or other goods, to parade or display animals and often to enjoy associated traveling carnival or travelling funfair entertainment. It is normally of the essence of a fair that it is temporary; some last only an afternoon while others may last as long as ten weeks. Activities at fairs vary widely. Some trade fairs are important regular business events either where products are traded between businesspeople, as at the Frankfurt Book Fair, where publishers sell book rights in other markets to other publishers, or where products are showcased to consumers, as for example in agricultural districts where they present opportunities to display and demonstrate the latest machinery on the market to farmers.

Selected economy

Shanghai, the financial center of China

The People's Republic of China has a high income developing market-oriented economy that incorporates economic planning through industrial policies and strategic five-year plans. The economy consists of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and mixed-ownership enterprises, as well as a large domestic private sector and openness to foreign businesses in a system officially described as a socialist market economy. China has the world's second largest economy when measured by nominal GDP, totaling around US$17.7 trillion (114.4 trillion yuan) in 2021, and the world's largest economy since 2016 when measured by Purchasing Power Parity (PPP). It has been the second largest by nominal GDP since 2010, with data relying on fluctuating market exchange rates. It recently overtook the economy of the European Union in 2021. A forecast states that China will become the world's largest economy in nominal GDP by 2028. (Full article...)

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"Corporate managers have directed a great deal of attention to defining their businesses as a crucial step in strategy formulation. Theodore Levitt, in his classic 1960 article in HBR, argued strongly for avoiding the myopia of narrow, product-oriented industry definition. Numerous other authorities have also stressed the need to look beyond product to function in defining a business, beyond national boundaries to potential international competition, and beyond the ranks of one's competitors today to those that may become competitors tomorrow. As a result of these urgings, the proper definition of a company's industry or industries has become an endlessly debated subject.

One motive behind this debate is the desire to exploit new markets. Another, perhaps more important motive is the fear of overlooking latent sources of competition that someday may threaten the industry. Many managers concentrate so singlemindedly on their direct antagonists in the fight for market share that they fail to realize that they are also competing with their customers and their suppliers for bargaining power. Meanwhile, they also neglect to keep a wary eye out for new entrants to the contest or fail to recognize the subtle threat of substitute products."

Michael Porter, How Competitive Forces Shape Strategy, 1979

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On this day in business history

September 25:

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More did you know

  • ...that Valrhona, a company based in the small town of Tain l'Hermitage in the Rhône Valley in France, is one of the world's leading manufacturers of high-quality chocolate?
  • ... that Hollywood accounting is the practice of distributing the profit earned by a large project to corporate entities which, though distinct from the one responsible for the project itself, are typically owned by the same people, with the net result of reducing the project's profit by a substantial margin, sometimes even eliminating it altogether.

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