CRITICISMS OF LIONEL ROBBIN’S DEFINATION:
1. It lacks human touch as it does not consider human welfare as an end in itself. It is a purely theoretical definition.
2. It has reduced economics to a theory of value & assigns it the role of allocation of resources & price determination. The other aspects of economics i.e. how national income is generated, its determinants, employment eco growth, and business cycles etc which are important today are ignored.
3. It takes into consideration the theory of equilibrium price determination without taking into consideration the welfare-state (as far as price is at equilibrium i.e. demand = supply whether high or low price does not matter).
4. It covers the micro-economic analysis & not the macro-economic analysis, i.e. of individuals & not of the society as a whole eg. income, investment, savings, eco growth & development, unemployment, surplus labour, business cycles etc not considered.
5. It ignores the practical use of economics & treats economics as a science not an art or as a pure science not an applied science i.e. only concerned with formulations of generalisations & laws.
6.It makes economics independent of ethical or normative considerations i.e a positive science, neutral between ends & a morally colourless science though it deals with human actions.
7. It treats economics as a science of scarcity leading to the economic problem when in reality abundance can also create an economics problems eg. dumping of cows in U.S.A. in 1985-86.[in 1930s scarcity created a problem, over production ie abundance may also creates a problem especially in capitalist countries].
8. It has made economics an abstract & complex science which is difficult for the common man to understand.
9. It ignores many other economic aspects like factors determining national income, employment, business cycles, economic growth and development etc which are important today.
10. It is at the same time a too narrow & too wide defination of economics.
Too narrow because it excludes the study of organisational & managerial defects leading to under-employment of resources (not because of scarcity of resources.)
On the other hand it is a too wide definition because the problem of allocation of resources which may arise in any field (not always included under the scope of economics) are included. eg. a cricket captain arranging his field; an army commander etc may suffer from scarcity of resources.
11. It does not provide the developing countries with any solution to their problems eg. surplus labour, unutilised or underutilisation of capacity, slow growth & development etc.
12. This definition takes a static view of a dynamic problem. Robbins has visualized the economic problem the wrong way round. Actually economics studies human behavior with development, expansion changes and growth in means in relation to ends so it a dynamic study.
Inspite of these defects however, Robbins definition is a widely accepted one.