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Economics explained


Basic economic ideas

The basic economic problem

The basic economic problem

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Positive statement

A positive statement is a statement of fact.

It may be right or wrong, but its accuracy can be tested by appealing to the facts.


‘Unemployment is rising’,

‘Inflation will be over 6 per cent by next year’,

‘If the government cuts taxes, imports will rise’

No value judgments are involved.

Normative statement

A normative statement is a statement of value.

It is a statement about what ought or ought not to be, about whether something is good or bad, desirable or undesirable.

Here an opinion or value judgment is being made.

They cannot be proved or disproved by a simple appeal to the fact


‘It is right to tax the rich more than the poor’,

‘The government ought to reduce inflation’,

‘Old-age pensions ought to be increased’

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