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GROSS PRIVATE DOMESTIC INVESTMENT: Expenditures on capital goods to be used for productive activities in the domestic economy that are undertaken by the business sector during a given time period. This is the official item in the National Income and Product Accounts maintained by the Bureau of Economic Analysis measuring capital investment expenditures. Gross private domestic investment tends to be the least stable of the four expenditures, averaging between 12-18% of gross domestic product.

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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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    PRODUCER SURPLUS

    The revenue that producers obtain from a good over and above the price paid. This is the difference between the minimum supply price that sellers are willing to accept and the price that they actually receive. A related notion from the demand side of the market is consumer surplus.

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    APLS

    BROWN PRAGMATOX
    [What's This?]

    Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time searching for rummage sales trying to buy either a pair of blue silicon oven mitts or a coffee cup commemorating the 2000 Olympics. Be on the lookout for high interest rates.
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    This isn't me! What am I?

    In 1914, Ford paid workers who were age 22 or older $5 per day -- double the average wage offered by other car factories.
    "When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, I used everything you gave me."

    -- Erma Bombeck, writer

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