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Scarcity: meaning, types, and importance

[ecis2016.org] Scarcity refers to the limited availability of a commodity when the demand for it exceeds the supply. Here’s all you need to know about scarcity.

We exist in a society where people’s desires are limitless. They desire everything they can and cannot attain. However, when we examine this want from an economic standpoint, we can conclude that possessing infinite wants has never been a possibility.

The market for goods and services is based on supply and demand. Occasionally our requirements are so great that we are unable to meet them. It may appear simple or unimportant, but scarcity is a big economic concern. All developing countries must deal with it.

What is Scarcity?

Scarcity occurs when the demand for a certain commodity exceeds the supply. It may have ramifications such as reducing people’s purchasing options. Gold, diamonds, and precious metals are in short supply in the economy. Because they are in short supply, their prices are always escalating. 

Concept of Scarcity

The basic role of demand and supply determines market pricing and equilibrium. As a result, if something is scarce, its price will increase. Sellers understand what customers desire. They exploit this information to increase the pricing of rare items because consumers will buy them regardless of their price. 

Scarcity is an important aspect of the economics of a country. Some classes can afford to buy scarce items, whereas others can. The entire economy depends on what businesses generate while keeping consumers in mind. Whether they enhance the production of scarce products in order to achieve equilibrium and sustain stability? Or should they continue to do the same thing?

We require resources to make products, and each country has various resources. Workers, raw materials, government, and even investment can be examples. If a country’s resources are few in one area, it can utilise resources from other areas to compensate, and vice versa. The basic purpose is to keep a balance between customer demand and supply.

Types of Scarcity

Scarcity is classified into three types:

  • Demand-induced scarcity: This happens when the want for a certain commodity or resource vastly outstrips the economy’s ability to supply it.
  • Supply-induced scarcity: This happens when environmental damage or other unanticipated reasons cause a resource’s availability to fall dramatically despite normal demand.
  • Structural scarcity: This arises when individuals of the population have unequal access to specific resources.

How does scarcity play a role in business?

Scarcity enables people to make more informed decisions about allocating available resources. Scarcity operates in commerce in the following manner:

The study of scarcity is crucial to economics

The imbalance between supply and demand is a basic feature of scarcity. The scarcity of products necessitates economists to study optimal resource allocation, as well as assess potential cost and risk mitigation.

Scarcity allows organisations to assure long-term profitability

When a type of product or resource becomes scarce, businesses must make adjustments to maintain sustained profitability. They may, for example, use different packaging materials or substitute particular contents in their products.

Scarcity aids in meeting the needs of consumers

High demand for specific things frequently leads to scarcity over time. Businesses that want to continue supplying these products to their clients may elect to launch a limited run or boost manufacturing to satisfy demand.

Scarcity assists you in navigating the job market

Employment possibilities and labour are also scarce resources. Work openings or skilled employees may be limited based on the conditions of a certain job market. Job applicants could choose to pursue positions where qualified candidates are in short supply. If job chances in their desired career are sparse, they may move to another city or nation.

What effect does scarcity have on decision-making?

People are frequently forced to select between numerous alternatives because scarcity entails dealing with fewer resources to meet unlimited wants. In most circumstances, they must sacrifice the estimated value of one option in favour of the expected value of another best option.

People must look for new resources or develop substitutes for existing ones. Exploring and implementing alternative energy generation technologies for clean energy and reduced air pollution is one example. Another example is water recycling, which allows for more economical use of water resources.

Source: https://ecis2016.org/.
Copyright belongs to: ecis2016.org

Debora Berti

Università degli Studi di Firenze, IT

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