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Economics Basics: Definitions, Factors of Production, Scarcity, and Opportunity Cost Economics – the study of how people make choices to satisfy their.

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Presentation on theme: "Economics Basics: Definitions, Factors of Production, Scarcity, and Opportunity Cost Economics – the study of how people make choices to satisfy their."— Presentation transcript:

1 Economics Basics: Definitions, Factors of Production, Scarcity, and Opportunity Cost Economics – the study of how people make choices to satisfy their needs and wants…

2 Things Economists Do… Description Analysis Explanation Predictions Change the world …Get movies made about them

3 Economics Basics The location of the economy we discuss matters! – Personal – Local – Regional – National – International Microeconomics – individuals making decisions… (self, family, business) Macroeconomics – Countries or institutions making decisions (POTUS, Congress, “The Fed”, the UN)

4 Scarcity refers to the limited nature of society’s resources. Economics is the study of how society manages its scarce resources, including – how people decide how much to work, save, and spend, and what to buy – how firms decide how much to produce, how many workers to hire – how society decides how to divide its resources between national defense, consumer goods, protecting the environment, and other needs Scarcity

5 People have limited resources & unlimited wants Shortages occur when there isn’t enough of a good to go around – either because firms will not or cannot produce enough at the current price The Scarcity Principle – “No Free Lunch” – Although we have boundless needs and wants, the resources available to us are limited. So, having more of one thing means having less of another.

6 Scarcity occurs when there are limited quantities of resources to meet unlimited needs or desires Shortages occur when producers will not or cannot offer goods or services at current prices Scarcity and Shortages

7 Factors of Production Land – natural resources that are not created by humans – Deserts, fields, livestock, sunshine, climate, dirt Capital – human-made resource used in producing other goods and services – Physical capital = Tools, equipment, machinery, “financial capital” – Human capital = job skills, acquired knowledge Labor – People with their efforts, abilities, and skills Entrepreneurs – Risk-taker in search of profit who does something new with existing resources Are there 3 or 4?

8 Factors of Production Check Candles Cooks Food Signs Salt & pepper Electricity Gas Owner Furniture Hostess Delivery vans Waiters Carpet Ovens Cashier Dishes Driver Utensils ½ acre of land Water Cash register Manager Rent Tables LANDLABOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP CAPITAL

9 The Factors of Popcorn Production Land Popping Corn Vegetable Oil Labor The human effort needed to pop the corn Capital Corn-Popping Device

10 Want to connect to the PHSchool.com link for this section? Click Here!Click Here! Section 1 Assessment 1. What is the difference between a shortage and scarcity? (a) A shortage can be temporary or long-term, but scarcity always exists. (b) A shortage results from rising prices; a scarcity results from falling prices. (c) A shortage is a lack of all goods and services; a scarcity concerns a single item. (d) There is no real difference between a shortage and a scarcity. 2. Which of the following is an example of using physical capital to save time and money? (a) hiring more workers to do a job (b) building extra space in a factory to simplify production (c) switching from oil to coal to make production cheaper (d) lowering workers’ wages to increase profits

11 Want to connect to the PHSchool.com link for this section? Click Here!Click Here! Section 1 Assessment 1. What is the difference between a shortage and scarcity? (a) A shortage can be temporary or long-term, but scarcity always exists. (b) A shortage results from rising prices; a scarcity results from falling prices. (c) A shortage is a lack of all goods and services; a scarcity concerns a single item. (d) There is no real difference between a shortage and a scarcity. 2. Which of the following is an example of using physical capital to save time and money? (a) hiring more workers to do a job (b) building extra space in a factory to simplify production (c) switching from oil to coal to make production cheaper (d) lowering workers’ wages to increase profits

12 Decision Making in Economics: Trade-offs & Opportunity Costs The Cost-Benefit Principle: An individual (or firm or society) should take an action if, and only if, the extra benefits from taking the action are at least as great as the extra costs

13 Trade-Offs All the alternative choices you COULD make as part of a decision… Cost-Benefit Analysis Grandma sent $100 for your birthday, how will you spend it? It’s WEB, how will you use your time?

14 Opportunity Cost If we make a choice (“choose A”), because things are scarce, you affect other things (“give up B, C, D, etc.”) – Remember the big thing here is a cost/benefit analysis Your opportunity cost in a situation is the value of the most desirable alternative you gave up when you made your decision

15 The Decision-Making Grid Economists encourage us to consider the benefits and costs of our decisions. BenefitsEnjoy more sleep Have more energy during the day Better grade on test Teacher and parental approval Personal satisfaction DecisionSleep lateWake up early to study for test Opportunity costExtra study timeExtra sleep time Benefits forgoneBetter grade on test Teacher and parental approval Personal satisfaction Enjoy more sleep Have more energy during the day Sleep lateWake up early to study Alternatives Karen’s Decision-making Grid

16 HOW PEOPLE MAKE DECISIONS Decision making is at the heart of economics. The first four principles deal with how people make decisions.

17 HOW PEOPLE MAKE DECISIONS All decisions involve tradeoffs. Examples: Going to a party the night before your midterm leaves less time for studying. Having more money to buy stuff requires working longer hours, which leaves less time for leisure. Protecting the environment requires resources that might otherwise be used to produce consumer goods. Principle #1: People Face Tradeoffs

18 HOW PEOPLE MAKE DECISIONS Society faces an important tradeoff: efficiency vs. equity efficiency: getting the most out of scarce resources equity: distributing prosperity fairly among society’s members Tradeoff: To increase equity, can redistribute income from the well-off to the poor. But this reduces the incentive to work and produce, and shrinks the size of the economic “pie.” Principle #1: People Face Tradeoffs

19 HOW PEOPLE MAKE DECISIONS Making decisions requires comparing the costs and benefits of alternative choices. The opportunity cost of any item is whatever must be given up to obtain it. It is the relevant cost for decision making. Principle #2: The Cost of Something Is What You Give Up to Get It

20 HOW PEOPLE MAKE DECISIONS Examples: The opportunity cost of… …going to college for a year is not just the tuition, books, and fees, but also the foregone wages. …seeing a movie is not just the price of the ticket, but the value of the time you spend in the theater. Principle #2: The Cost of Something Is What You Give Up to Get It

21 Thinking at the Margin When you decide how much more or less to do, you are thinking at the margin. “marginal benefit” and “marginal cost” – we’ll do more of this later…. Options 1st hour of extra study time 2nd hour of extra study time 3rd hour of extra study time Benefit Grade of C on test Grade of B on test Grade of B+ on test Opportunity Cost 1 hour of sleep 2 hours of sleep 3 hours of sleep

22 HOW PEOPLE MAKE DECISIONS A person is rational if she systematically and purposefully does the best she can to achieve her objectives. Many decisions are not “all or nothing,” but involve marginal changes – incremental adjustments to an existing plan. Evaluating the costs and benefits of marginal changes is an important part of decision making. Principle #3: Rational People Think at the Margin

23 HOW PEOPLE MAKE DECISIONS Examples: A student considers whether to go to college for an additional year, comparing the fees & foregone wages to the extra income he could earn with an extra year of education. A firm considers whether to increase output, comparing the cost of the needed labor and materials to the extra revenue. Principle #3: Rational People Think at the Margin

24 HOW PEOPLE MAKE DECISIONS incentive: something that induces a person to act, i.e. the prospect of a reward or punishment. Rational people respond to incentives because they make decisions by comparing costs and benefits. Examples: – In response to higher gas prices, sales of “hybrid” cars (e.g., Toyota Prius) rise. – In response to higher cigarette taxes, teen smoking falls. Principle #4: People Respond to Incentives

25 Want to connect to the PHSchool.com link for this section? Click Here!Click Here! Section 2 Assessment 1. Opportunity cost is (a) any alternative we sacrifice when we make a decision. (b) all of the alternatives we sacrifice when we make a decision. (c) the most desirable alternative given up as a result of a decision. (d) the least desirable alternative given up as a result of a decision. 2. Economists use the phrase “guns or butter” to describe the fact that (a) a person can spend extra money either on sports equipment or food. (b) a person must decide whether to manufacture guns or butter. (c) a nation must decide whether to produce more or less military or consumer goods. (d) a government can buy unlimited military and civilian goods if it is rich enough.

26 Want to connect to the PHSchool.com link for this section? Click Here!Click Here! Section 2 Assessment 1. Opportunity cost is (a) any alternative we sacrifice when we make a decision. (b) all of the alternatives we sacrifice when we make a decision. (c) the most desirable alternative given up as a result of a decision. (d) the least desirable alternative given up as a result of a decision. 2. Economists use the phrase “guns or butter” to describe the fact that (a) a person can spend extra money either on sports equipment or food. (b) a person must decide whether to manufacture guns or butter. (c) a nation must decide whether to produce more or less military or consumer goods. (d) a government can buy unlimited military and civilian goods if it is rich enough.

27 Use what you know…. You are selling your 1996 Mustang. You have already spent $1000 on repairs. At the last minute, the transmission dies. You can pay $600 to have it repaired, or sell the car “as is.” In each of the following scenarios, should you have the transmission repaired? A. Blue book value is $6500 if transmission works, $5700 if it doesn’t B. Blue book value is $6000 if transmission works, $5500 if it doesn’t

28 A C T I V E L E A R N I N G 1 : Answers Cost of fixing transmission = $600 A.Blue book value is $6500 if transmission works, $5700 if it doesn’t Benefit of fixing the transmission = $800 ($6500 – 5700). It’s worthwhile to have the transmission fixed. B.Blue book value is $6000 if transmission works, $5500 if it doesn’t Benefit of fixing the transmission is only $500. Paying $600 to fix transmission is not worthwhile. 28

29 A C T I V E L E A R N I N G 1 : Answers Observations: The $1000 you previously spent on repairs is irrelevant. What matters is the cost and benefit of the marginal repair (the transmission). The change in incentives from scenario A to scenario B caused your decision to change. 29

30 “There’s no such thing as a free lunch” and “The Best things in life are free”

31 Mental Checks: Do you get it? Is it worth it for Bill Gates to stop and pick up a $100 bill he dropped while walking down the street? Why don’t auto manufacturers make cars without heaters in them any more? Why do drive-up ATMs have the keypads with Braille dots on them?

32 Sooooooo then… Why are all these Billionaires giving away their money?

33 Production Possibilities Graphs What is a production possibilities graph? How do production possibilities graphs show efficiency, growth, and cost? Why are production possibilities frontiers curved lines?

34 Watermelons (millions of tons) Shoes (millions of pairs) Production Possibilities Graph Watermelons (millions of tons) 0 a (0,15) b (8,14) A production possibilities frontier c (14,12) d (18,9) e (20,5) f (21,0) Production Possibilities A production possibilities graph shows alternative ways that an economy can use its resources. The production possibilities frontier is the line that shows the maximum possible output for that economy.

35 Shoes (millions of pairs) Watermelons (millions of tons) Production Possibilities Graph g (5,8) A point of underutilization c (14,12) d (18,9) e (20,5) f (21,0) a (0,15) b (8,14) S Efficiency Efficiency means using resources in such a way as to maximize the production of goods and services. An economy producing output levels on the production possibilities frontier is operating efficiently.

36 Shoes (millions of pairs) Watermelons (millions of tons) Production Possibilities Graph T Future production Possibilities frontier c (14,12) d (18,9) e (20,5) f (21,0) a (0,15) b (8,14) S Growth Growth If more resources become available, or if technology improves, an economy can increase its level of output and grow. When this happens, the entire production possibilities curve “shifts to the right.”

37 Watermelons (millions of tons) Shoes (millions of pairs) Production Possibilities Graph Watermelons (millions of tons) c (14,12) d (18,9) Cost Cost A production possibilities graph shows the cost of producing more of one item. To move from point c to point d on this graph has a cost of 3 million pairs of shoes.

38 1. A production possibilities frontier shows (a) farm goods and factory goods produced by an economy. (b) the maximum possible output of an economy. (c) the minimum possible output of an economy. (d) underutilization of resources. 2. An economy that is using its resources to produce the maximum number of goods and services is described as (a) efficient. (b) underutilized. (c) growing. (d) trading off. Want to connect to the PHSchool.com link for this section? Click Here!Click Here! Section 3 Assessment

39 1. A production possibilities frontier shows (a) farm goods and factory goods produced by an economy. (b) the maximum possible output of an economy. (c) the minimum possible output of an economy. (d) underutilization of resources. 2. An economy that is using its resources to produce the maximum number of goods and services is described as (a) efficient. (b) underutilized. (c) growing. (d) trading off. Want to connect to the PHSchool.com link for this section? Click Here!Click Here! Section 3 Assessment


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