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RENT: Factor payments to the owners of land for using the various resources of land in the production of goods and services. Rent is included in the National Income and Product Accounts maintained by the Bureau of Economic Analysis under the official title rental income of person. Rent is typically the smallest of the four factor payments, accounting for less than 5% of the income earned by the household sector.

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Lesson Contents
Unit 1: The Concept
  • A Definition
  • So What?
  • Unit 1 Summary
  • Unit 2: Resources
  • Factors
  • Working Together
  • Free or Scarce?
  • Comparisons
  • Unit 2 Summary
  • Unit 3: Opportunity Cost
  • The Concept
  • Economic Cost
  • Unit 3 Summary
  • Unit 4: College Cost
  • Out of Pocket
  • What Else?
  • Unit 4 Summary
  • Unit 5: THE Problem
  • No Free Lunch
  • Solutions?
  • Unit 5 Summary
  • Course Home
    Scarcity

    In this lesson you'll see why scarcity tends to make economists grumpy. You'll see that scarcity is a perpetual condition that exists because people have unlimited wants and needs, but limited resources. You'll also see how this scarcity problem underlies the common notion of cost, which is integral to the study of economics. The five units contained in this lesson provide a tour through the economic problem of scarcity.

    • The first unit, A Big Problem, examines the fundamental concept of scarcity -- the combination of limited resources and unlimited wants and needs -- that is virtually synonymous with the study of economics.
    • The second unit, Resources, discusses the four basic categories of limited resources -- labor, capital, land, and entrepreneurship -- which produce the goods that are used to satisfy unlimited wants and needs.
    • In the third unit, Opportunity Cost, we take a look at the notion of opportunity cost and see how it is related to the scarcity problem.
    • We then turn out attention in the fourth unit, College Cost, to a simple example of the explicit and implicit costs of attending college.
    • The fifth and final unit, THE Big Problem, in this lesson then ponders why scarcity is considered THE economic problem and provides a little insight into why economists are grumpy.

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    CLOSED ECONOMY

    An economy that does not engage in international trade or other forms of interaction with other countries. That is, a closed economy neither exports goods and services to, nor imports goods and services from, other economies that make up its foreign sector. It is "closed" to the flow of goods and services into or out of the country. The alternative to a closed economy is an open economy, one that does engage in international trade.

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    APLS

    BEIGE MUNDORTLE
    [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 flower arrangement with a lot of roses for your grandmother or a wall poster commemorating the first day of winter. Be on the lookout for neighborhood pets, especially belligerent parrots.
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    This isn't me! What am I?

    Francis Bacon (1561-1626), a champion of the scientific method, died when he caught a severe cold while attempting to preserve a chicken by filling it with snow.
    "Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don't wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it's at work or with your family. Every minuteshould be enjoyed and savored."

    -- Earl Nightingale

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