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ALLOCATION EFFECT: The goal of imposing taxes to change the allocation of resources, that is, to discourage the production, consumption, or exchange or one type of good usually in favor of another. This is one of two reasons that governments impose taxes. The other reason is the revenue effect. Because people would rather not pay taxes, taxes create disincentives to produce, consume, and exchange. If society deems that less of a particular good, such as alcohol, pollution, or cigarettes are "bad," then a tax can reduce its production and consumption, and thus change the allocation of resources.

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FREE RESOURCE: A resource is free if it can produce all of the goods people want or need it to produce... and then some. Being free, however, doesn't mean a resource is not limited. Maybe it's free because people just can"t figure out what to do with it. Or if it is used for production, people don"t want all that's produced. For most of the time across most of this planet air is a free good. In other words, there is plenty of air to go around, plenty of air to satisfy all of the existing wants and needs. Does this mean that air is NOT valuable? Quite the contrary. Air is extremely valuable. It provides one of the most important inputs into human life. It's a free resource because there's enough to go around.

     See also | scarcity | opportunity cost | goods | services | wants | needs | satisfaction | scarce good | free good | scarce resource |


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RATIONAL BEHAVIOR

The notion that people make decisions based on the desire to obtain the greatest amount of satisfaction. Rational behavior essentially means that people prefer more to less. The presumption of rational behavior underlies most economic analysis, especially that applied to consumer demand theory.

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Potato chips were invented in 1853 by a irritated chef repeatedly seeking to appease the hard to please Cornelius Vanderbilt who demanded french fried potatoes that were thinner and crisper than normal.
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