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INEFFICIENCY: When the economy is NOT obtaining the highest level of consumer satisfaction from the available resources. Inefficiency occurs if it is possible to reallocate resources in a way that would generate greater satisfaction.

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Lesson 3: Scarcity | Unit 1: The Concept Page: 1 of 17

Topic: A Definition <=PAGE BACK | PAGE NEXT=>

  • Scarcity is the pervasive condition that exists because society has unlimited wants and needs, but limited resources used for their satisfaction.
Meaning:
  • We can't have everything because resources are limited.
Unlimited wants and needs are half of the scarcity problem.
  • Unlimited wants and needs are what motivate us to take action, to produce goods, and to advance our well-being.
  • We are motivated to do things that satisfy these wants and needs. Satisfaction is achieved when wants and needs are fulfilled.
  • Scarcity results because wants and needs are unlimited. No one has ever been completely satisfied. We always want more.

Limited resources are the other half of our scarcity problem.

  • Resources are the stuff that we use to produce the goods that fulfill our wants and needs.
  • Resources are the things that make satisfaction possible.
  • Resources are limited. We have only so much 'stuff' than can be used to produce the goods that satisfy our wants and needs.

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INDUCED SAVING

Household saving that depends on income or production (especially disposable income, national income, or even gross domestic product). That is, changes in income induce changes in saving. Induced saving reflects the fundamental psychological law put forth by John Maynard Keynes. It is measured by the marginal propensity to save (MPS) and is reflected by the positive slope of saving line. The alternative to induced saving is autonomous saving, which does not depend on income.

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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 throw pillows for your bed or a package of blank rewritable CDs. Be on the lookout for slightly overweight pizza delivery guys.
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The average length of a "business lunch" is about 36 minutes.
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