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September 24, 2018 

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LOCAL OUTPUT: An output that has a relatively small geographic market area due to the high cost of transportation. The high transportation cost means it is easier (that is, less expensive) to locate consumers near the output rather than trying to bring the output to the consumers. Like many things, local outputs are a matter of degree. At the other end of the spectrum lies transferrable outputs. Services, such as legal advice, health care, and entertainment, that are consumed as they are produced, tend to have a great deal of local orientation.

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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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    SOCIAL SCIENCE

    The scientific study of society--of human behavior and of social interactions. Economics is one of several social sciences. Others are sociology, political science, and anthropology. Economics is considered a social science because it seeks to explain how society deals with the scarcity problem.

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    APLS

    GREEN LOGIGUIN
    [What's This?]

    Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time wandering around the shopping mall trying to buy either a birthday greeting card for your aunt or a wall poster commemorating the moon landing. Be on the lookout for strangers with large satchels of used undergarments.
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