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RATIONING: The distribution or allocation of a limited commodity, usually accomplished based on a standard or criterion. The two primary methods of rationing are markets and governments. Rationing is needed due to the scarcity problem. Because wants and needs are unlimited, but resources are limited, available commodities must be rationed out to competing uses.

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LAW OF DEMAND: The inverse relationship between demand price and the quantity demanded, ceteris paribus. This fundamental economic principle indicates that as the price of a commodity decreases, then the quantity of the commodity that buyers are able and willing to purchase in a given period of time, if other factors are held constant, increases. This law is incredibly important to the study of economics. If you compiled a top ten list of economically important laws, the law of demand would be right there at the top.

     See also | demand | demand price | quantity demanded | law | ceteris paribus | principle | scientific method | cause and effect | demand curve | slope | income effect | substitution effect | purchasing power | substitute | law of supply | market |


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MARGINAL PRODUCTIVITY THEORY

A theory used to analyze the profit-maximizing quantity of inputs (that is, the services of factor of productions) purchased by a firm in the production of output. Marginal-productivity theory indicates that the demand for a factor of production is based on the marginal product of the factor. In particular, a firm is generally willing to pay a higher price for an input that is more productive and contributes more to output. The demand for an input is thus best termed a derived demand.

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