scarcity

Scarcity, the Basic Economic Problem

What would you do if you showed up to class and there weren’t nearly enough chairs to go around? Well, you’re facing and economic problem that requires an economic system to solve! This lesson introduces the basic economic problem of scarcity and defines “Economics” and “Economic systems”, both key concepts for a student starting out …

Increasing Opportunity Cost

The Law of Increasing Opportunity Cost and the PPC Model

In a previous lesson we introduced the basic economic concepts of scarcity, opportunity cost, and the production possibilities curve (PPC). In that lesson, we examined the tradeoffs an individual faces in the use of her time between “work” and “play”. We showed that the opportunity cost of one hour of work is always the one hour …

Circular Flow

The Circular Flow Model of a Market Economy

By this point in your course you may have learned the definition of a market: A place where buyers and sellers meet to engage in mutually beneficial exchanges. But what is a market economy? Two basic types of markets exist in any market economy: resource markets and product markets. The exchanges that take place in these markets benefit …

central_themes

Introduction to the Central Themes of Economics

In our final lesson of the introductory unit in the Economics course we’ll explore some of the central themes that will guide our inquiry of the subject going forward. From the tradeoff between equity and efficiency to the distinction between growth and development to the role of government in the economy, several themes will form …