The Market System

Part of the Economics Today book series (ET)


‘There is no such thing as a free lunch’ is one of the first catch-phrase lessons the fresh economics student is taught. The moral behind the statement is that every form of activity has a cost in terms of resources expended and alternative activities foregone. Economics is about the costs and alternatives foregone, it is about how people and societies deal with scarcity. As one notable economist, the late Lionel Robbins, put it: ‘Economics is the science which studies human behaviour as a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses.’


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© Kent Matthews 1994

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