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AGGREGATE EXPENDITURE DETERMINANT: A ceteris paribus factor that affects aggregate expenditures, but which is assumed constant when the aggregate expenditure line is constructed. Changes in any of the aggregate expenditures determinants cause the aggregate expenditure line to shift. While a wide variety of specific ceteris paribus factors can cause the aggregate expenditure line to shift, it's usually most convenient to group them into the four, broad expenditure categories -- consumption, investment, government purchases, and net exports. The reason is that changes in these expenditures are the direct cause of shifts in the aggregate expenditure line. If any determinant affects aggregate expenditures it MUST affect one of these four expenditures.

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Lesson Contents
Unit 1: The Concept
  • A Definition
  • So What?
  • Unit 1 Summary
  • Unit 2: Resources
  • Factors
  • Working Together
  • Free or Scarce?
  • Comparisons
  • Unit 2 Summary
  • Unit 3: Opportunity Cost
  • The Concept
  • Economic Cost
  • Unit 3 Summary
  • Unit 4: College Cost
  • Out of Pocket
  • What Else?
  • Unit 4 Summary
  • Unit 5: THE Problem
  • No Free Lunch
  • Solutions?
  • Unit 5 Summary
  • Course Home
    Scarcity

    In this lesson you'll see why scarcity tends to make economists grumpy. You'll see that scarcity is a perpetual condition that exists because people have unlimited wants and needs, but limited resources used to satisfy these wants and needs. You'll also see how this scarcity problem underlies the common notion of cost, which is integral to the study of economics. The five units contained in this lesson provide a tour through the economic problem of scarcity.

    • The first unit examines the fundamental concept of scarcity -- the combination of limited resources and unlimited wants and needs -- that is virtually synonymous with the study of economics.
    • The second unit discusses the four basic categories of limited resources --labor, capital, land, and entrepreneurship -- that produce the goods that are used to satisfy unlimited wants and needs.
    • In the third unit, we take a look at the notion of opportunity cost and see how it is related to the scarcity problem.
    • We then turn out attention in the fourth unit to a simple example of the explicit and implicit costs of attending college.
    • The fifth and final unit in this lesson then ponders why scarcity is considered THE economic problem and providing a little insight into why economists are grump.

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    SCIENCE

    A discipline, or topic of study, that uses the scientific method to investigate and explain the operation of the world by testing and verifying hypothesized relations. Science is commonly divided into physical sciences (including chemistry, physics, and biology) and social sciences (including economics, sociology, and political science). Science is not just a subject, but a method of investigation using the scientific method.

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    APLS

    RED AGGRESSERINE
    [What's This?]

    Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time looking for the new strip mall out on the highway trying to buy either a pair of red and purple designer socks or a T-shirt commemorating Thor Heyerdahl's Pacific crossing aboard the Kon-Tiki. Be on the lookout for small children selling products door-to-door.
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    Two and a half gallons of oil are needed to produce one automobile tire.
    "Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip."

    -- Will Rogers

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