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Buddha Man Essay

1261 words - 6 pages

Intro to Economic
Concepts

Definition of Scarcity
A situation in which
human wants are
greater than the
capacity of available
resources to provide
those wants.
3 Parts:
1. People want it
2. There is a limited
amount of it
3. It has more than one
productive use

Scarcity
Scarcity vs.
Abundance – people
see many signs of
abundance (e.g. cell
phones, iPods) and
also see resources
wasted daily (e.g.
water and food).
However, as long as
resources are limited
and people’s wants are
unlimited, scarcity (in
the economic sense)
will exist.

Scarcity
In economic reasoning, scarcity is a
relative concept, not an absolute one.
Scarcity does not mean “not ...view middle of the document...

Prices,
wages, profits and
interest rates are all
examples of incentives.

Incentives
Three types of incentives:
• Economic (money)
• Social (getting people to like me)
• Moral (doing the right thing)

Economics as Science
Like physical and life sciences,
economists rely on the scientific
method.

Well tested and widely accepted
theories become economic
principles (predictive statements
about economic behavior)
Important things about economic
principles:
1. Purposeful Simplifications
2. Generalizations
3. Other-Things-Equal Assumption

Back off
man…I’m
a
scientist.

Macroeconomics &
Microeconomics
Macroeconomics examines the

economy as a whole or its basic
large subdivisions or aggregates,
such as the government, household,
and business sectors.

Microeconomics is concerned with

individual units such as a person, a
household, a firm, or an industry.

Positive vs. Normative
Positive economics focuses on facts
and cause-and-effect relationships
(what is…)

Normative economics incorporates

value judgments about what the
economy should be like or what policy
actions should be recommended to
achieve a desired goal (what ought to
be…)

Three Economic
Questions:
1. What goods and services will
be produced?
2. How will they be produced?

3. Who will consume them?

The “invisible hand”
In his 1776 book,

The Wealth of
Nations, economist

Adam Smith first
noted that the
operation of a
market system
creates a curious
unity between
private interests
and social interests.

The “invisible hand”
Smith declared
that “selfinterest” (which is
easy to mistake
for greed),
awakened and
guided by a
market system,
almost magically
gives society
what it wants.

The “invisible hand”
Me and Adam
Smith hanging
out in
Edinburgh…

Types
of Economic Systems
Command Economy

(AKA Centrally
Planned Economy) –
all resources are
government-owned
and production is
coordinated by the
central plans of
government. Also
known as socialism
or communism.
Karl Marx

Types
of Economic Systems
Characteristics of Command
Economies:
• Public ownership
• Centralized Decision Making
• Economic Planning
• Allocation by command

Types
of Economic Systems
Market Economy –

private firms account
for all production;
government has no
involvement and
coordination of
economic activity is
based on prices
generated in free
competitive markets.
Also known as
capitalism.

Types of Economic
Systems
Mixed Economy – economies which mix

central planning with...

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