Chapter 2 Economizing Scarce Resources
 

I. The factors of production 2 Videos
II. The Production Possibility Frontier (Curve) 1 Video
III. Opportunity Costs 2 Videos
IV. Law of Increasing Opportunity Costs 2 Videos
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Macro Test Review 1
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I. The factors of production (economic resources) and resulting income

Factor

Definition

Income

 

Land

Anything fixed (natural resources)

Rent

Labor

Physical and mental talents

Wages

Capital

Something physical to aid production (factories, computers, an educated  trained labor force

Interest

Enterprise

Initiative, risk taking, innovation

Profit

Video 4 minutes

Note: An entrepreneur risks their own resources to make a profit while an intrapreneur has 
the responsibilities of an entrepreneur but works for someone else and does not risk their 
own capital. In the 1990's, many corporate intrapreneur paid themselves extremely high 

salaries as if they were entrepreneurs Video 2 min.


 

II. The Production Possibility Frontier (Curve)

    A. Measures how many of two types of goods can be produced.

    B. Dynamic Model (time is not constant, inputs factors and technology are not fixed, 
         growth as indicated by arrows may occur
        1. As inputs increase, growth occurs and the curve shifts right.
        2. Point S represents slow growth due to high consumption.
        3. Point R represents rapid growth due to high capital investment.
        4. The economic and political system adopted and managed by a  society determines
            the location and change of these variables.
        5. Production Possibility Frontier Video

    C. Interactive Model

III. Opportunity Costs
     1. The cost of A measured in terms of what must be foregone of B.
     2. When considering doing A, we consider the highest valued
         alternative as limited resources means we can't afford both.
     3. For more information visit the Production Possibilities Curve  from Wikipedia.
     4. Politicians seldom talk of the opportunity cost of what they plan to do.
     5. Opportunity Cost Video 5 min
     6. Examples
         a. The opportunity cost of good grades is the value which could have been
             received by  spending time with family and friends.
         b. The opportunity costs of more capital goods is the value which could have been
             received  from having more consumer goods family and friends.
         c. Opportunity Cost of College  explores this example.
         d. A Lesson in Opportunity Cost
         e. The Guide to Country Profiles of the CIA World Factbook, 2007 Example
              1.
U.S. military spending was an about 4.06% of its 2005 GDP. 
              2. Here is a rank order of country percentages.    Rank Order
              3. What are the opportunity costs of high military spending?
             
4. CIA,  Latest "The World Factbook

 

 

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 IV. Law of Increasing Opportunity Costs
        1. Opportunity costs usually increase.
            a. To have one unit of A you must give up amount x of B.
                To have a second unit of Item A you must give up more 
                than amount X of B.
            c. Examples
               1) Training more people in math and science would increase
                   productivity for a while but eventually people would be 
                   trained to be engineers who would be  more productive 
                   as managers, teachers, or entertainers etc.
               2) The gain from replacing people with machines may be 
                   large in the beginning but eventually machines would 
                   be used to do what people can do more efficiently.
                   a. When opportunity costs are not increasing, the 
                       production possibility curve is a straight line. High tech
                       investment may even bend the curve the other way 
                       and have decreasing cost, but not forever.
                   b. Below is an example of the trade-off between investing 
                       people in high tech industries versus entertainment 
                       industries. Suppose you have 10 entertainers and no 
                       technicians.

                     Alternative Production Possibilities

                                                            Units of Production

                     
     High tech                    0    1     2      3     4
                           Entertainment          10    9     7      4     0
                           Cost of an additional unit of high tech production                   
                                                               1     2     3     4
                           measured in terms of entertainment given up

                      c. Adam Sandler, a great entertainer,  probably would not 
                          of been a great computer programmer, though his dad 
                          Stan was an electrical engineer so him might be the first 
                           to move.

     2. Quiz with answers and What are the opportunity costs of the Trans-Pacific Partnership?
     3. Readings and Videos
         a. Production Possibilities Curve Constant and Increasing Opportunity Cost 
         b. Amos WEB has more.
         c. Factors of Production
         d. Economics of the Trans-Pacific Partnership

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Eventually Increasing Opportunity Cost
 Can Be Painful. but Some Have an Excuse!

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