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All about Social Economics and How it Works

  • Hrithik Saini
  • Jan 22, 2022
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With so many interdisciplinary combinations accessible in every topic of study, we now have a plethora of opportunities to explore the greatest specialisations based on our diverse interests. 


The study of social economics is concerned with the investigation of the link between economics and social behaviour, bringing a unique combination of social science and economics. 


It investigates the elements that contribute to the restructuring of social systems, as well as the consequences for individuals and the economy. Scroll through this blog to learn about social economics, its impact and some useful examples.


(Learn more about the major branch of Economics - Macroeconomics)


What is Social Economics?


The study of the link or interaction between social behaviour and economics is known as social economics. It is a branch of economics that analyses how commercial factors influence social conduct and how social trends and patterns influence the economy. Social-economic theories are concerned with how the economy influences societal trends in terms of development or regression. 


Social economics considers the interdependence of economics and social behaviours; it investigates how social norms and beliefs influence consumer behaviour and, as a result, purchasing trends. Social-economic concepts are not to be confused with standard economic theories; the two are very different.


Key Points of Social Economics


  1. Social economics is a discipline of economics that studies the relationship between economics and social behaviour. It is also known as socioeconomics.


  1. These ideas investigate how society ethics, philosophies, and norms impact consumer economic patterns and buying habits.


  1. In a community, there are several socioeconomic classes, each with its own set of characteristics that are influenced by societal forces.


  1. Individuals in the upper socioeconomic class, for example, have more means and financial power to purchase expensive products and pursue greater goals than those in the low or extreme socioeconomic class.


(Related read - Unit Economics)


Process of Social Economics


Social economics, often known as socioeconomics, is the study of how economic variables impact certain sections of society, as well as how cultural norms and philosophies impact customer behaviour. As a result of many philosophies and ethics that affect human conduct in society, such ethics have an impact on the economy, either directly or indirectly. 


A human community is separated into socioeconomic groups, each of which exhibits distinct behaviours. Different socioeconomic classes' purchasing habits, as well as their product preferences, differ. Social economics theories investigate the link between commodities and the social behaviours that people show.


(Related read - Difference Between Positive & Normative Economics)



Class Structure and Social Economics

The image depicts the Social-Economic Models wich are mainly Public Good, Fairness, Openness and Civic Attitude/Citizenship

Social-Economic Models

Social economics mainly depends on sociological ideas to explain how individuals of various socioeconomic levels may prioritize differently while making financial decisions for themselves and their families. 


Socioeconomic classes are groupings of individuals who have a similar social position in society, which is significantly impacted by characteristics such as education, income, career, and family history - including the income and education level of relatives and neighbours.


Because members of minority communities and other marginalised people have traditionally faced barriers to learning and certain professional groups in contrast to their Caucasian counterparts, variables such as ethnicity and heritage play an important role in influencing socioeconomic classes as our society becomes more diverse and globalised.


Classification of Socioeconomic Status


A socioeconomic class is made up of people or families who have similar economic traits. Individuals or families can be classified as belonging to one of three socioeconomic classes: high socioeconomic class, middle socioeconomic class, or low socioeconomic class. 


In addition, three characteristics are used to determine which socioeconomic class an individual belongs to the degree of education, the kind of field of work, and the individual's income. In other circumstances, ethnic background and familial heritage are also considered factors.


What do you study in the context of social economics?


Obtaining a career in Social Economics will teach you about different themes that influence the economy and society, as well as their potential causes and repercussions, such as Labor and Employment, Social Security, Policy Fields, Gender and Diversity, Institutions and Policy Processes. 


The programmes in Social Economics will place a strong focus on theoretical principles while also doing empirical research on social, economic, and technological advancements. 


You will also learn how to evaluate socio-political measurements and actions using various theoretical notions. In addition, the courses teach students how to conduct research and analyse the conditions and requirements for social and sociopolitical actions. Now that we have studied social economics, let’s discuss the social-economist.


What is the Role of a Social Economist?


Following completion of a degree in Social Economics and certification as a social economist, your position and duties would include the following:


  • Perform economic research and disseminate findings in the form of technical reports or scholarly papers in journals.


  • Investigate descriptive and financial data in your area of expertise, such as banking, labour, or agribusiness.


  • Using quantitative models and statistical approaches, compile, analyse, and disseminate data in order to understand economic occurrences and forecast market trends.


  • Make recommendations, policies, or tactics to solve financial troubles or get a better understanding of markets.


  • Create economic norms and standards, and also points of view, to help predict trends and formulate economic policy.


  • Communicate the economic effects of initiatives to the community.


  • Enterprises, state and nongovernmental organisations, and other workers can benefit from economic relationship counselling and consulting.


  • Examine the socioeconomic implications of new government policies such as draft regulations, taxes, services, and restrictions.


  • Supervise research programmes and activities, as well as student research projects.


  • Forecast renewable resource availability, usage, and depletion, as well as exhaustible available resources, use, and depletion.


  • Assist in litigation by drafting expert testimony reports or testifying as an independent expert.


  • Testify at regulatory or legislative hearings on the expected consequences of changes in law or policy-making, and provide suggestions based on cost-benefit analyses.


(Recommended Read - Experimental Economics)



Example from the Real World


In fact, children and adults from low-income homes have less access to school, job advancement, and other economic possibilities than those from medium or upper-income families. Children from middle- and upper-income households, for example, receive greater advantages than children from low-income families. 


People from low-income households do not receive the same benefits as those from high-income families, according to research conducted by the Institute of Education Sciences under the auspices of the National Center for Education Statistics. 


While children from low-income households attend overcrowded schools with little or no facilities and get underfunded education, individuals from higher-income families have access to personal tutors, extra classes, home tutorials, and a variety of other services.


Examples of social economy organisations include - Construction and mortgage societies, financial institutions, charities and philanthropic organisations, neighbourhood organisations and community groups, union leaders, insurance mutuals.


Some more examples include sporting events associations, hospitals, identity groups, school organisations, religious groups, environmentalists, arts groups, clubs of various types, political organisations, producer cooperatives, trade and professional associations, and so on.


(Suggested Read - Economic Development)





The study of the link between economic and social conduct is known as the social economy. It investigates how social values, ethics, and other humanitarian ideas impact consumer behaviour. 


The social economy investigates economic activities in the community and disseminates the findings to the public; this encompasses the social business and volunteer sectors.


A social economy emerges as a result of the need for creative solutions to problems (social, economic, or environmental) and to meet demands that have been disregarded (or insufficiently met) by the commercial or governmental sectors. A social economy plays a unique role in fostering a healthy, sustainable, successful, and inclusive society by utilising solutions to achieve non-profit goals. 


Companies must be permitted to independently conduct their own CSR activities since studies have shown that this has a significantly greater impact than government-mandated CSR programmes.

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