One subject I took for my business degree is economics, and I can't even begin to describe how useful that class is. Seriously, if you've never taken economics courses, you should try them! But you don't have to take my word on it, I'll give you a quick introduction to using economic principles in fiction.
First, I want to explain what economics is. My professor explained it in two ways:
Economics is the study of scarcity.
This definition is important because we all have limited resources, and they're getting stretched thinner every day. We have limited time, focus, energy, money, and any of a number of other resources to put into our goals.
As such, we're need to make some hard decisions on how we spend our limited resources. That leads to our second definition:
Economics is the study of how people make choices.
We make choices so we can do things, buy things, make things, or achieve things. To do any of those, we need to use some of our limited resources.
So we can apply these principles of making decisions and considering scarcity to our characters, mere puppets that we attempt to give a fair resemblence of life.
So, follow along with me and we'll work through the base economic principles I was taught and apply them to fiction so that we can make our stories as believable as possible.
See the next post in this series here.