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Practical Econ, U1, Packet 1 Scarcity
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Practical Econ, U1, Packet 1 Scarcity



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  • Scarcity sheet -part A – complete!
  • Ask students to define “Scarcity” – use with “Scarcity” sheet part B, then complete the rest of this section. The following day, or at the end of class, start the station activity.


  • 1. What do these items have in common?
  • 2. Scarcity
    • Today, we’ll be analyzing scarcity and examine how it can be used to analyze human behavior.
  • 3. Scarcity
    • 2 definitions
      • A situation in which human wants are greater than the available resources to provide for those wants.
      • A situation in which a resource has more than one valuable use.
      • Are these the same as yours?
  • 4. Scarce?
    • Old econ books collected in a bookcase near the teacher’s desk with a sign that says “Free books, take as many as you want.” The books have been there for three years.
    • Old econ textbooks collected in a bookcase with a sign that says “Free books, take as many as you want.” Another sign posted in the hallway says $10 paid for any recycled textbook. Bring books to Principal’s office.”
    • One econ book, five students who wish to do well in their econ course, and an important test the next day.
    • One econ book, five students who are not taking economics, and an important test the next day.
    • Petroleum in Japan, a country without its own oil fields and without oil reserves.
    • Petroleum in Saudi Arabia, a country with many oil fields and oil reserves.
  • 5. Scarcity and Abundance
    • Resources can be both scarce and abundant at the same time.
    • Scarcity/Abundance depends upon many things:
      • Situation
      • Perspective
      • Location
      • Amount of resources available to “spend”
  • 6. Why is there a lot of food wasted in the cafeteria?
    • Using what you’ve learned today about scarcity, supply a thorough, reasoned answer to this question. (Think about things like – do students pay for the food with their own money? Can they store it? Resell it? What are the valuable uses of the food in the cafeteria?)