Scarcity and Efficiency

  • Mikuláš Luptáčik
Part of the Springer Optimization and Its Applications book series (SOIA, volume 36)


Scarcity is a fundamental problem faced by all economies. Not enough resources are available to produce all of the goods and services to satisfy human wants. According to a frequently cited definition of economics by Robbins [41, p. 16]: “Economics is the science which studies human behavior as a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses.” In the Concise Encyclopedia of Economics,1 this definition of economics is still used to define the subject today. Although this definition is simplified and “it cannot be understood as a complete list of topics belonging to economics, the scarcity principle certainly plays some role in all economic studies” [40, p. 13; translated by the author]. Scarce commodities are those which are both desired and not freely available. The scarcity of resources cannot be eliminated; rather, choices must be made about how resources will be used.


Data Envelopment Analysis Capital Stock Portfolio Selection Fractional Programming Mathematical Programming Problem 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsVienna University of Economics and Business AdministrationViennaAustria

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