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September 19, 2018 

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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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ECONOMY:

The system of production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services that a society uses to address the problem of scarcity.
An economy can be simple, such as that illustrated by the hilarious antics of the hapless passengers and crew of the U.S.S. Minnow on the highly popular economic documentary, Gilligan's Island. Or it can be exceedingly complex, such as the modern U.S. economy with millions of workers, thousands of corporations, and trillions of dollars worth of capital that are used to produce trillions of dollars worth of goods and services for millions of people.

Production and Consumption

The essential task of an economy is to transform resources into useful goods and services (the act of production), then distribute or allocate these products to useful ends (the act of consumption). Production involves the transformation of labor, capital, land, and entrepreneurship into more valuable goods and services. Consumption is then the use of these goods and services to satisfy the wants and needs of people.

Markets and Government

Virtually all economies accomplish this production-consumption task through a combination of decisions made through voluntary market exchanges and involuntary government laws, rules, and regulations. Capitalism is the term used for those economies relying predominately on markets, while communism and socialism are the names for economies coming down more heavily on the side of government decision making.

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Recommended Citation:

ECONOMY, AmosWEB Encyclonomic WEB*pedia, http://www.AmosWEB.com, AmosWEB LLC, 2000-2018. [Accessed: September 19, 2018].


Check Out These Related Terms...

     | mixed economy | economic system | market-oriented economy | capitalism | communism | socialism |


Or For A Little Background...

     | macroeconomics | allocation | scarcity | economic goals | seventh rule of complexity | good | service | wants | needs | economic thinking |


And For Further Study...

     | economics | business cycles | gross domestic product | microeconomics | dismal science | seven economic rules | three questions of allocation | resources | satisfaction | division of labor | four estates | government functions | distribution standards | production possibilities | circular flow |


Related Websites (Will Open in New Window)...

     | Economic Report of the President |


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