Economics is a social science concerned with how society allocates its limited resources. Economists normally take a utilitarian view of the world, being more concerned with the most efficient systems than with social equity, or societal values.
It is generally accepted that the formal study of economics began with the Scotsman Adam Smith, in his book An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. The origins of the field however, lie in the banking industry, which has developed over thousands of years.[Citation Needed]
Economics generally divides into two broad areas of study Macroeconomics, which is concerned with the study of a given economy as a whole, and Microeconomics, which is concerned with a particular market, or firm within that economy.