This is in contrast to macroeconomics, which involves the "sum total of economic activity, dealing with the issues of growth, inflation, and unemployment." Microeconomics also deals with the effects of national economic policies (such as changing taxation levels) on the aforementioned aspects of the economy. Particularly in the wake of the Lucas critique, much of modern macroeconomic theory has been built upon 'microfoundations'—i.e. based upon basic assumptions about micro-level behavior.
One of the goals of microeconomics is to analyze market mechanisms that establish relative prices amongst goods and services and allocation of limited resources amongst many alternative uses. Microeconomics analyzes market failure, where markets fail to produce efficient results, and describes the theoretical conditions needed for perfect competition. Significant fields of study in microeconomics include general equilibrium, markets under asymmetric information, choice under uncertainty and economic applications of game theory. Also considered is the elasticity of products within the market system.
The fundamentals of Microeconomics lies in the analysis of the preference relations. Preference relations are defined simply to be a set of different choices that an actor can choose (a k-cell metric space) that actors can also compare between any two bundles of choices ( completeness of the relationship.) In order to