scarcity


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Scarcity

In classical economics, the fact that resources are limited while desires are unlimited. The existence of scarcity requires the efficient allocation of resources and drives innovation to work around limitations. That is, scarcity often refers to trading one good or service for another, but it may cause an economic actor to invent something that will satisfy as many desires as possible. See also: Land, labor, and capital.

scarcity

the limited availability of economic resources (FACTORS OF PRODUCTION) relative to society's unlimited demand for GOODS and SERVICES. See ECONOMICS.
References in classic literature ?
Elizabeth Bennet had been obliged, by the scarcity of gentlemen, to sit down for two dances; and during part of that time, Mr.
Keeping up along the course of this river for several days, they were obliged, from the scarcity of game, to put themselves upon short allowance, and, occasionally, to kill a steer.
At first there was a scarcity in the right kind of material necessary to form the frames; but this objection was instantly silenced by Richard running his pencil through two feet of their length at one stroke.
Accordingly we offered our services to one and were accepted; our Company was indeed rather small, as it consisted only of the Manager his wife and ourselves, but there were fewer to pay and the only inconvenience attending it was the Scarcity of Plays which for want of People to fill the Characters, we could perform.
His probation was generally passed at the interior trading posts; removed for years from civilized society, leading a life almost as wild and precarious as the savages around him; exposed to the severities of a northern winter, often suffering from a scarcity of food, and sometimes destitute for a long time of both bread and salt.
The same is also observed in many others with respect to natural children; but it is through want of citizens regularly born that they admit such: for these laws are always made in consequence of a scarcity of inhabitants; so, as their numbers increase, they first deprive the children of a male or female slave of this privilege, next the child of a free-woman, and last of all they will admit none but those whose fathers and mothers were both free.
If I could get the custody of them for a while, I fear me the market price of silver bishops would advance shortly, on account of their exceeding scarcity in the Cathedral of Milan.
The chateau of Vaux-le-Vicomte, situated about a league from Melun, had been built by Fouquet in 1655, at a time when there was a scarcity of money in France; Mazarin had taken all that there was, and Fouquet expended the remainder.
They displayed inconvenient curiosity; they declared a great scarcity of deaf dogs.
Ajor told me that the Galus country was still higher and considerably colder, which accounted for the scarcity of reptiles.
I should have said that Caleb lived here, and his poor Blind Daughter somewhere else--in an enchanted home of Caleb's furnishing, where scarcity and shabbiness were not, and trouble never entered.
At that moment the master himself entered, and having had to complain that his oxen had not been properly fed, he went up to their racks and cried out: "Why is there such a scarcity of fodder?