March 23, 2018 

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HOARDING: The act of accumulating assets, especially goods or money, over and above that needed for immediate use based on the fear or expectation of future shortages and higher prices. For example, concerns about a worldwide shortage of sugar and chocolate might prompt a consumer to purchase several hundred boxes of candy, which are stored in a wine cellar. Alternatively, someone fearing a global collapse of the financial system might be inclined to pack pillow cases with bundles of cash or stockpile gold bullion in the closet. Such hoarding, if widely practiced, can actually contribute to the anticipated shortage and higher prices.

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Lesson 3: Scarcity | Unit 2: Resources Page: 4 of 17

Topic: Factors <=PAGE BACK | PAGE NEXT=>

Factors of production, productive factors, or resources are the 'stuff' used to create wants-and-needs-satisfying goods.

Economists have four official groups, or categories, for our resources, for our factors of production:

  • Labor: human effort, both physical and mental.
  • Capital: machines, equipment, tools, and buildings.
  • Land: raw materials or natural resources.
  • Entrepreneurship: risk-taking organizers of production.

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A perfectly competitive firm is presumed to produce the quantity of output that minimizes economic losses, if price is greater than average variable cost but less than average total cost. This is one of three short-run production alternatives facing a firm. The other two are profit maximization (if price exceeds average total cost) and shutdown (if price is less than average variable cost).

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[What's This?]

Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time browsing through a long list of dot com websites trying to buy either a T-shirt commemorating the 2000 Olympics or a genuine fake plastic Tiffany lamp. Be on the lookout for cardboard boxes.
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Lewis Carroll, the author of Alice in Wonderland, was the pseudonym of Charles Dodgson, an accomplished mathematician and economist.
"It is not the straining for great things that is most effective; it is the doing of the little things, the common duties, a little better and better."

-- Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, Writer

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