What Are the Objectives of Macroeconomics?

Daniel Liden

Macroeconomics is a field of study devoted to understanding the behavior of economies on a large scale and using that understanding to inform economic policies. The objectives of macroeconomics are manifold, but they usually involve determining how best to encourage economic growth while preventing economic decline. Some individuals who study macroeconomics work to develop ways to get out of recessions or depressions while others focus on maintaining nonstop growth while preventing dramatic crises. The practical objectives of macroeconomics involve making decisions and enacting policies that have positive effects on an economy, which can be difficult given the often-unpredictable responses of economies to change. Still others study macroeconomics with the objective of predicting the behavior of economies in order to make good business or finance decisions.

Some individuals who study macroeconomics work to develop ways to get out of recessions or depressions.
Some individuals who study macroeconomics work to develop ways to get out of recessions or depressions.

The primary objectives of macroeconomics, practical or theoretical, usually involve elucidating the various factors that contribute to economic change. The behavior of an economy is governed by a complex web of factors. Changing one can potentially alter the effects of any of the other factors and have a significant effect on an economy. Building a satisfactory model of this complex web in order to determine how factors affect each other and the particular economy as a whole is one of the most important and valuable foci of macroeconomics. Most macroeconomic models allow theorists to examine only a few factors at a time.

Promoting economic growth based on macroeconomic theory is another of the major objectives of macroeconomics. Theorists who work primarily in academia do important work creating macroeconomic models and analyzing the results of historical economic policies. Policy makers must apply this information to the development of practical economic policies. Unfortunately, even the best educated economists cannot account for all possible factors, so economic policies and decisions often have unintended side-effects, for better or for worse. Another focus of macroeconomics is ensuring that domestic economic policies and decisions do not have deleterious effects on foreign economic systems unless doing so is, for some reason, politically favorable.

Regardless of the end goal, manipulation of the economy is the most important and practically useful of the various objectives of macroeconomics. Developing the theory necessary to predictably manipulate the economy can lead to considerable economic health and strength, and can even be a powerful weapon. For example, macroeconomic policy can be used to severely inhibit a target nation's ability to procure certain resources and to remain in an economically healthy state.

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