How does economics differ from a natural science like chemistry and formal science like mathematics? How is it similar to other social sciences like anthropology and political science?
Natural science is a subject which deals with the natural environment of earth. Economics is a social science which details about the economy and its effect and impact on the society. The market place where trade and commerce takes place in the society is never a pre existing condition of nature. It is not cosmic or natural. This process is controlled by people and is chiefly manipulated to fulfill specific motives. Where there is money, there is economics. Thus, economics is related to society and its people. The subject is therefore often identified as a part of social science and not a branch of natural science, chemistry or mathematics.
Economics and its differences with natural science
A modern society cannot survive without economics intervention. Elements like banking, business of a firm, machine performance, production level, unemployment all falls under economics. On the contrary the term natural science refers to that discipline which is related to the study of nature and its relation to mankind or with each other. It is a vast area of research (Samuelson and Temin, 1976).
Market is often identified as an offshoot of nature which is controlled by various natural incidents. Any activity which is controlled by a monitory transaction is identified as an economic activity. Thus it can be said that the Economics is solely concerned with economic activities of the society.
Economics and Chemistry
Chemistry is a branch of physical science which is about studying the properties of atoms and how they are connected to other atoms. It deals with the physical nature. The chemical bonds and physical property of a matter is analyzed to understand its behavior. Chemistry is different from economics is various aspects. As already mentioned it is a study of characteristics of an atom, its physical movement and how it effects human. On the contrary Economics is only about man, society and money (Alt and Chrystal, 1983). When economics discussed about nature, as in the case of population growth or green revolution or poverty, it refers to nature to understand its relation with man and how it should be manipulated to earn revenue. Economics is all about the general growth and development of the society. It talks about developing techniques to yield better agriculture that is to help in overall growth of the nation (Banerjee, 1975).