Individuals and Institutions in the Economy

  • Peter Eichhorn
  • Ian Towers
Part of the Springer Texts in Business and Economics book series (STBE)


The chapter develops a typology of economic agents to aid analysis. Various classifications are discussed, such as primary, secondary and tertiary sectors, public and private, and type of good . Four basic types of economic agent are identified: households, firms, associations and administrations. The point is made that there are sometimes grey areas so examples of economic entities are provided which exhibit characteristics of more than one type. There is a discussion of the features of each type, its sources of finance and revenue , tasks and goals, as well as legal aspects. Special attention is paid to households, associations and administrations as these are rarely covered in the literature on business administration despite the fact that the principles of economic efficiency and effectiveness are as relevant for them as for firms.

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Eichhorn
    • 1
  • Ian Towers
    • 2
  1. 1.OPINIO ForschungsinstitutMannheimGermany
  2. 2.SRH Hochschule BerlinBerlinGermany

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