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Scarcity - Definition & Advantages of Scarcity | What is Scarcity?

This article discusses the concept, types, significance, characteristics, and benefits of scarcity. 

Scarcity Explained

Scarcity refers to the limited availability of resources to meet infinite demands. It affects all aspects of life, including natural resources, time, money, and intangible aspects like knowledge and talent. 


  • Natural Scarcity: Caused by finite natural resources, like fossil fuels, minerals, and water.

  • Artificial Scarcity: Caused by factors such as government policies, market conditions, or deliberate actions to limit availability.


Scarcity influences supply and demand. It can lead to a higher price due to increased demand for scarce products. 


  • Universal: Affects all individuals, organizations, and societies.

  • Relative: Varies based on available resources, demands, and societal expectations.

  • Perpetual: Consistently present, though the specific resources in scarcity may change.

  • Opportunity Cost: The value of the next best alternative given up when making a choice.

Societal Impact

Scarcity leads to seeking new resources or creating substitutes, such as alternative energy sources or water recycling. 


  • Resource Allocation: Forces efficient prioritization and allocation of resources.

  • Innovation and Creativity: Encourages new solutions to overcome limitations.

  • Economic Efficiency: Promotes cost-effective production and consumption.

  • Value and Appreciation: Enhances the perceived worth of goods and services.