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Social Sci LibreTexts

2: Confronting Scarcity: Choices in Production

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    • 2.1: Factors of Production
      Choices concerning what goods and services to produce are choices about an economy’s use of its factors of production, the resources available to it for the production of goods and services. The value, or satisfaction, that people derive from the goods and services they consume and the activities they pursue is called utility. Ultimately, then, an economy’s factors of production create utility; they serve the interests of people.
    • 2.2: The Production Possibilities Curve
      An economy’s factors of production are scarce; they cannot produce an unlimited quantity of goods and services. A production possibilities curve is a graphical representation of the alternative combinations of goods and services an economy can produce. It illustrates the production possibilities model. In drawing the production possibilities curve, we shall assume that the economy can produce only two goods and that the quantities of factors of production and the technology available to the econ
    • 2.3: Applications of the Production Possibilities Model
      The production possibilities curve gives us a model of an economy. The model provides powerful insights about the real world, insights that help us to answer some important questions: How does trade between two countries affect the quantities of goods available to people? In this section we explore applications of the model to questions of international trade, economic growth, and the choice of an economic system.
    • 2.4: Review and Practice