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January 22, 2018 

AmosWEB means Economics with a Touch of Whimsy!

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WANTS AND NEEDS: These are the unfulfilled desires that motivate human behavior and that when satisfied improve human well-being. They include both physiological or biological requirements for maintaining life (needs) and the psychological desires which make life more enjoyable (wants). However, when push comes to shove, and the nitty gets down to the gritty, it matters very little to markets if people need goods or want goods, so long as they are motivated to buy the goods to satisfy wants and needs.

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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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    MARGINAL PRODUCTIVITY THEORY

    A theory used to analyze the profit-maximizing quantity of inputs (that is, the services of factor of productions) purchased by a firm in the production of output. Marginal-productivity theory indicates that the demand for a factor of production is based on the marginal product of the factor. In particular, a firm is generally willing to pay a higher price for an input that is more productive and contributes more to output. The demand for an input is thus best termed a derived demand.

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    APLS

    YELLOW CHIPPEROON
    [What's This?]

    Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time at a crowded estate auction wanting to buy either a flower arrangement with daisies and carnations for your uncle or a coffee cup commemorating next Thursday. Be on the lookout for high interest rates.
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    This isn't me! What am I?

    Natural gas has no odor. The smell is added artificially so that leaks can be detected.
    "Now is the only time there is. Make your now wow, your minutes miracles, and your days pay. Your life will have been magnificently lived and invested, and when you die you will have made a difference."

    -- Mark Victor Hansen

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