Socio-economics is the study of the relationship between economic activity and social life. In many cases, however, socio-economists focus on the social impact of some sort of economic change. Such changes might include displacement due to development work, a closing factory, village to city migration, market manipulation and even the signing of trade treaties etc.
The field is often considered multidisciplinary, using theories and methods from sociology, gender, economics, history and environment. Sometimes, changes in less-tangible factors are also considered, such as personal dignity, freedom of association, personal safety and freedom from fear of physical harm, and the extent of participation in civil society.
Examples of causes of socioeconomic impacts include new technologies such as cars or mobile phones, changes in laws, changes in the physical environment (such as increasing crowding within cities), and ecological changes (such as prolonged drought or declining fish stocks). These may affect patterns of consumption, the forced distribution of incomes and wealth, the way in which people behave and the overall quality of life. These can further have indirect effects on social attitudes and norms.
The goal of socioeconomic study is generally to undertake an impact assessment and bring about socioeconomic development, usually in terms of improvements in metrics such as GDP, life expectancy, literacy, levels of employment, etc.