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Scarcity

The supply of a desired good, service or factor of production has a limited supply. This scarcity is what creates prices. Prices are a form of rationing that relies on voluntary exchange as opposed to the use of force.

Anthony Carilli - The Economic Way of Thinking

 

Paul Cwik - Problems and Prices

Related Publications

ARCHIVE

The Magical Delusion

JULY 19, 2011 by NICHOLAS SNOW

ARCHIVE

The Market Doesn't Ration Health Care

AUGUST 07, 2009 by SHELDON RICHMAN

Economics 101 tells us that to accomplish the administration's stated health care goals directly--more coverage at lower cost--the government would have to take a third step: rationing.

ARCHIVE

The Freeman: Economists and Scarcity

AUGUST 06, 2008

In a world where concerns about the environment and resources dominate political discussion and, for people like Al Gore, are a "generational mission [that gives] moral purpose" to our lives, thinking clearly about these issues is crucial. Economics can contribute to this discussion by providing its perspective on words such as "scarcity" and "resources," which are often contested or misunderstood.But how economists use those words is vulnerable to misunderstanding.  More . . .

 —A NEW article by Steven Horwitz

Related Freeman Articles

ARTICLE

See? Repealing the Law of Scarcity Is Easy!

The ways of Washington.

MARCH 24, 2010 by WILLIAM L. ANDERSON

To the surprise of no one who understands Congress, ObamaCare passed, and the Usual Suspects are celebrating this leap into the abyss.

ARTICLE

Opportunities and Costs

Because of Scarcity, Everything We Do Involves Sacrifice

MARCH 01, 1999 by DWIGHT R. LEE

BOOK REVIEW

Scarcity or Abundance? A Debate on the Environment

Human Ingenuity Is the Greatest Source of Hope for the Future

APRIL 01, 1995 by JONATHAN H. ADLER

ARTICLE

Scarcity

JANUARY 01, 1980 by RUSSELL SHANNON

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Scarcity, Parking, and the Price System

JUNE 01, 1959 by WILLIAM R. ALLEN, NORMAN V. BRECKNER

A parking problem analyzed in terms applicable to all the economics affairs of mankind.

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CURRENT ISSUE

April 2014

Around the world, people are struggling to throw off authoritarianism, with deeply mixed results. From Egypt to Venezuela, determined people build networks to overthrow their regimes, but as yet we have not learned to live without Leviathan. In this issue, Michael Malice and Gary Dudney discuss their glimpses inside totalitarian regimes, while Sarah Skwire and Michael Nolan look at how totalitarian regimes grind down the individual--and how individuals fight back. Plus, Jeffrey Tucker identifies a strain in libertarianism that, left unchecked, could reduce even our vibrant movement to something that is analogous to the grim aesthetic of architectural brutalism. The struggle for our lives and freedom is a struggle for beauty; it begins inside each of us.
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