Colonial Voices: Economic Concepts

Choice
Decision made or course of action taken when faced with a set of alternatives.
Decision Making
Reaching a conclusion after considering alternatives and their results.
Goods
Tangible objects that satisfy economic wants.
Incentive
Any reward or benefit, such as money, advantage or good feeling, that motivates people to do something.
Opportunity Cost
The second-best alternative (or the value of that alternative) that must be given up when scarce resources are used for one purpose instead of another.
Producers
People and firms that use resources to make goods and services.
Scarcity
The condition that exists because human wants exceed the capacity of available resources to satisfy those wants; also a situation in which a resource has more than one valuable use. The problem of scarcity faces all individuals and organizations, including firms and government agencies.
Services
Activities performed by people, firms or government agencies to satisfy economic wants.
Specialization
A situation in which people produce a narrower range of goods and services than they consume. Specialization increases productivity; it also requires trade and increases interdependence.
Wants
Desires that can be satisfied by consuming or using a good or service. Economists do not differentiate between wants and needs.

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