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HYPOTHESIS: A reasonable proposition about the workings of the world that's inspired or implied by a theory and which may or may not be true. An hypothesis is essentially a prediction made by a theory that can be compared with observations in the real world. Hypotheses usually take the form: "If A, the also B." The essence of the scientific method is to test, or verify, hypotheses against real world data. If supported by data over and over again, hypotheses become principles.

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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. 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, A Big Problem, 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, Resources, discusses the four basic categories of limited resources -- labor, capital, land, and entrepreneurship -- which produce the goods that are used to satisfy unlimited wants and needs.
    • In the third unit, Opportunity Cost, 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, College Cost, to a simple example of the explicit and implicit costs of attending college.
    • The fifth and final unit, THE Big Problem, in this lesson then ponders why scarcity is considered THE economic problem and provides a little insight into why economists are grumpy.

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    CAPITAL

    The manufactured, artificial, or synthetic goods used in the production of other goods, making capital the "produced" factor of production. This is one of four basic categories of resources, or factors of production. The other three are labor, land, and entrepreneurship. Capital makes labor more productive.

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    APLS

    WHITE GULLIBON
    [What's This?]

    Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time at a flea market trying to buy either several magazines on computer software or a T-shirt commemorating the second moon landing. Be on the lookout for celebrities who speak directly to you through your television.
    Your Complete Scope

    This isn't me! What am I?

    A U.S. dime has 118 groves around its edge, one fewer than a U.S. quarter.
    "Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value. "

    -- Albert Einstein

    JRE
    Journal of Regulatory Economics
    A PEDestrian's Guide
    Xtra Credit
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