Economics of production, an effort to explain the principles by which a business firm decides how much of each commodity that it sells (its “outputs” or “products”) it will produce, and how much of each kind of labour, raw material, fixed capital good, etc., that it employs (its “inputs” or “factors of production”) it will use. The theory involves some of the most fundamental principles of economics. These include the relationship between the prices of commodities and the prices (or wages or rents) of the productive factors used to produce them and also the relationships between the prices of commodities and productive factors, on the one hand, and the quantities of these commodities and productive factors that are produced or used, on the other.
A production economist focuses on assessment, and will use an aggregate description of technology to answer such questions as: How does the firm compare to its competitors? Has the firm improved its production capabilities? A production engineer focuses on optimizing resources, and will use a detailed description of technology to answer a completely different set of questions: Which operations or plants should produce which products at what time? Should resource capacity be expanded and, if so, which resources should be acquired? Each group could benefit from the other group's perspective.