Economics is the study of how societies use scarce resources to produce valuable commodities and distribute them among different people.


Economics studies how individuals, firms, governments, and other organisations within our society make choices and how these choices determine a  society’s use of its resources. 


The economy is economics in action. It is a still-frame picture of economic activities. A country, a company, and a family all have their economics. It is popularly used in the case of the countries-Indian economy, the US economy, the Japanese economy,  etc.

The 5 Sectors of the Economy


Primary Sector 

The economic activities which take place while exploiting the natural resources fall under it, such as mining, agricultural activities, oil exploration, etc. When the agriculture sector ( one of the sub-sectors of the primary sector) contributes a minimum of half of the national income and livelihood in a country it is called an agrarian economy.

Secondary Sector

It contains all of the economic activities under which the raw materials extracted out of the primary sector are processed. One of its sub sectors, manufacturing, has proved to be the largest employer across the western developed Economies. When the secondary sector brings in a minimum of half of the national income and employment in a century it is called an industrial economy.

Tertiary activities

Tertiary activities include both production and exchange. The production involves the ‘provision’ of services that are ‘consumed. Exchange involves trade, transport and communication facilities that are used to overcome distance.

Tertiary jobs = White-collar jobs.

Quaternary activities

Quaternary activities are specialised tertiary activities in the ‘Knowledge Sector’ which demands a separate classification. There has been a very high growth in demand for and consumption of information-based services from mutual fund managers to tax consultants, software developers and statisticians. Personnel working in office buildings, elementary schools and university classrooms, hospitals and doctors’ offices, theatres, accounting and brokerage firms all belong to this category of services. Like some of the tertiary functions, quaternary activities can also be outsourced. They are not tied to resources, affected by the environment, or necessarily localised by market.

Quinary activities

Quinary activities are services that focus on the creation, re-arrangement and interpretation of new and existing ideas; data interpretation and the use and evaluation of new technologies. Often referred to as ‘gold collar’ professions, they represent another subdivision of the tertiary sector representing special and highly paid skills of senior business executives, government officials, research scientists, financial and legal consultants, etc. Their importance in the structure of advanced economies far outweighs their numbers. The highest level of decision-makers or policymakers performs quinary activities.

Quinary = Gold collar professions.

share this article:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *