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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.
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the limited availability of economic resources (FACTORS OF PRODUCTION) relative to society's unlimited demand for GOODS and SERVICES. See ECONOMICS.
Collins Dictionary of Economics, 4th ed. © C. Pass, B. Lowes, L. Davies 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
When economic scarcity was the norm in America, as it was until the post-World War II period, basic human needs--food, shelter, and clothes--trumped other desires.
Issues surrounding the concepts of economic scarcity and market function are addressed in the first chapters.
In its common acceptance, SD is defined as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs, and yet, as Beckerman points out in his introductory chapter, no generation has ever fulfilled all of its needs, and the mere 'slogans' pushed by various interest groups to promote their agendas irrespective of their costs will never remove the basic facts of economic scarcity and tradeoffs.

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