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March 26, 2015 

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SCARCE RESOURCE: A resource with an available quantity less than its desired use. Scarce resources are also called factors of production. Scarce goods are also termed economic goods. Scarce resources are used to produce scarce goods. Like the more general society-wide condition of scarcity, a given resource is scarce because it has a limited availability in combination with a greater (potentially unlimited) productive use. It's both of these that make it scarce. In other words, even though an item is quite limited it will not be a scarce resource if it has few if any uses (think pocket lint and free good).

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SPECIALIZATION: The condition in which resources are primarily devoted to specific tasks. This is one of THE most important and most fundamental notions in the study of economics. Civilized human beings have long recognized that limited resources can be more effectively used in the production the goods and services that satisfy unlimited wants and needs if those resources specialize. For example, three ice cream parlor workers, can be, in total, more productive if one runs the cash register, another scoops the ice cream, and a third adds the hot fudge topping. By devoting their energies to learning how to do their respective tasks really, really well, these three workers can produce more hot fudge sundaes than if each performed all required tasks.

     See also | resources | economics | limited resources | production | goods | services | unlimited wants and needs | comparative advantage | division of labor |


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SPECIALIZATION, AmosWEB GLOSS*arama, http://www.AmosWEB.com, AmosWEB LLC, 2000-2015. [Accessed: March 26, 2015].


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SCIENTIFIC METHOD

A structured way of investigating and explaining the operation of the world by testing and verifying hypothesized relations. The scientific method is a process of discovery, a method of explaining the way the world operates. Positive economics is the application of the scientific method to economic analysis.

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