Scarcity and Choices
Because of scarcity, choices must be made by consumers, businesses and governments
For example, over six million people travel into London each day and they make decisions about when to travel, whether to use the bus, the tube, to walk or cycle or work from home. Millions of decisions are taken, many of them are habitual – but somehow on most days, people get to work on time and they get home too in safety if not in comfort!
We are always uncovering of new wants and needs which producers attempt to supply by using factors of production. For a perspective on the achievements of countries in meeting people’s basic needs, the Human Development Index produced by the United Nations is worth reading. The economist Amartya Sen (Winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize for Economics) has written extensively on this issue.
Trade-offs and Choices
Making a choice made normally involves a trade-off – this means that choosing more of one thing can only be achieved by giving up something else in exchange.
- Housing: Choices about whether to rent or buy a home – both decisions involve risk. People have to weigh up the costs and benefits of the decision.
- Working: Do you work full-time or part-time? Is it worth your while studying for a degree? How have these choices been affected by the introduction of university tuition fees?
- Transport and travel: The choice between using Euro-Tunnel, a low-cost ferry or an airline when travelling to Western Europe.
Our popular Economics Teacher National Conference takes place on Monday 22 June 2015 at the superb Wellcome Collection Auditorium on Euston Road in Central London. This is the leading enrichment CPD event for Economics teachers in the UK and always attracts a good number of teaching colleagues from further afield too!Confirmed speaker line-up:Duncan Weldon - BBC Newsnight Economics Correspondent (Economic Policy after the Election)Sir Paul Collier, Oxford University - Where next for Development Economics?Adrian Woolridge (The Economist) - The Great DisruptionDavid Smith (Economics Editor of the Sunday Times) Prospects for the UK EconomyOur delegate prices are:Single Delegate - £175 per personDepartment Deal - £125 per person (for two or more colleagues attending from the same school or college)PGCE / NQT - £75 per person