Managerial economics as defined by Edwin Mansfield is “concerned with application of economic concepts and economic analysis to the problems of formulating rational managerial decision.” It is sometimes referred to as business economics and is a branch of economics that applies microeconomic analysis to decision methods of businesses or other management units. As such, it bridges economic theory and economics in practice. It draws heavily from quantitative techniques such as regression analysis and correlation, calculus. If there is a unifying theme that runs through most of managerial economics, it is the attempt to optimize business decisions given the firm’s objectives and given constraints imposed by scarcity, for example through the use of operations research, mathematical programming, game theory for strategic decisions, and other computational methods.
Managerial decision areas include:
* assessment of investible funds
* selecting business area
* choice of product
* determining optimum output
* determining price of product
* determining input-combination and technology
* sales promotion.
Almost any business decision can be analyzed with managerial economics techniques, but it is most commonly applied to:
* Risk analysis – various models are used to quantify risk and asymmetric information and to employ them in decision rules to manage risk.
* Production analysis – microeconomic techniques are used to analyze production efficiency, optimum factor allocation, costs, economies of scale and to estimate the firm’s cost function.
* Pricing analysis – microeconomic techniques are used to analyze various pricing decisions including transfer pricing, joint product pricing, price discrimination, price elasticity estimations, and choosing the optimum pricing method.
* Capital budgeting – Investment theory is used to examine a firm’s capital purchasing decisions.
At universities, the subject is taught primarily to advanced undergraduates and graduate business schools. It is approached as an integration subject. That is, it integrates many concepts from a wide variety of prerequisite courses. In many countries it is possible to read for a degree in Business Economics which often covers managerial economics, financial economics, game theory, business forecasting and industrial economics.