2Economics – the study of how individuals and societies make decisions about ways to use scarce resources to fulfill wants and needs.What does THAT mean?!!??!!WHAT IS ECONOMICS?
3The Study of Economics Microeconomics Macroeconomics How do individuals make economic decisions“Microeconomists are wrong about specific things…”MacroeconomicsThe big picture: growth, employment, etc.Choices made by large groups (like countries)“Macroeconomists are wrong about things in general”The Study of Economics
4However, there is a Fundamental Problem with economics: SCARCITY: unlimited wants and needs but limited resources
5What are resources?Definition: The things used to make other goods
64 Factors of Production LAND – Natural Resources Water, natural gas, oil, trees (all the stuff we find on, in, and under the land)LABOR – Physical and IntellectualLabor is manpowerCAPITAL - Tools, Machinery, FactoriesThe things we use to make thingsHuman capital is brainpower, ideas, innovationENTREPRENEURSHIP – Investment $$$Investing time, natural resources, labor and capital are all risks associated with production
7Choices, ChoicesBecause ALL resources, goods, and services are limited – WE MUST MAKE CHOICES!!!!
8Why Choices?We make choices about how we spend our money, time, and energy so we can fulfill our NEEDS and WANTS.What are NEEDS and WANTS?
9Wants and Needs, Needs and Wants NEEDS – “stuff” we must have to survive, generally: food, shelter, clothingWANTS – “stuff” we would really like to have (Fancy food, shelter, clothing, big screen TVs, jewelry, conveniences Also known as LUXURIES
11TRADE-OFFSYou can’t have it all (SCARCITY – remember?) so you have to choose how to spend your money, time, and energy. These decisions involve picking one thing over all the other possibilities – a TRADE-OFF!
12Trade-Offs, cont.What COULD you have done instead of come to school today?These are all Trade-Offs!
13The Value of the Next Best Choice A special kind of Trade-Off is anOPPORTUNITY COST =The Value of the Next Best Choice(Ex: Sleeping is the opportunity cost of studying for a test)
14Opportunity CostsThis is really IMPORTANT – when you choose to do ONE thing, its value (how much it is worth) is measured by the value of the NEXT BEST CHOICE.This can be in time, energy, or even MONEYThen I can’t afford the movies…If I buy a pizza…What is the opportunity cost of buying pizza?
15ProductionSo how do we get all this “stuff” that we have to decide about?Decisions, decisions …
16PRODUCTION, cont.Production is how much stuff an individual, business, country, even the WORLD makes.But what is “STUFF”?STUFF – Goods and Services.Goods – tangible (you can touch it) products we can buyServices – work that is performed for others
21THREE parts to the Production Process Factors of Production – what we need to make goods and servicesProducer – company that makes goods and/or delivers servicesConsumer – people who buy goods and services (formerly known as “stuff”)
22Production Possibilities Frontier A production possibilities curve can help examine the opportunity cost of production and consumption decisions.A PPC shows the different combinations of goods and services that can be produced with a given amount of resources.
23Production Possibility Frontiers CarsDYmAssume a country can produce two types of goods with its resources – Cars and BicylesIf it devotes all resources to cars it could produce a maximum of Ym.If it devotes all its resources to bicycles it could produce a maximum of XmIf the Nation is at point A on the PPC It can produce the combination of Y1 cars and X1 bicyclesIf it reallocates its resources (moving round the PPC from A to B) it can produce more bicycles but only at the expense of fewer cars. The opportunity cost of producing an extra X1 – X2 bicycles is Y1 – Y2 cars.AY1BY2CThese slides introduce the diagrams and then have animation to show how points on the PPF relate to different resource use and allocation. Moving from point A to point B involves sacrificing some capital goods to gain more consumer goods and thus demonstrates the opportunity cost involved. Students doing history can be reminded about the resource allocation decisions taken by Stalin during the 1930s and the subsequent decisions by successive Soviet premiers since the war about what resources are important for a nation like the USSR! (you might of course have to explain a little bit about what the USSR was!)BicyclesX1X2XmAny point outside the curve (D) – not attainable with the current level of resourcesAny point inside the curve (C) – resources are not being utilized efficiently