Vocabulary terms from chapter one of Economics for Everybody (3rd edition)


The study of how individuals and nations make choices about ways to use scarce resources to fulfill their needs and wants.


People who use goods or services for their personal benefit.


The part of economics that looks at the operation of a nation's economy as a whole.


The study of the economic behavior and decision making of small units, such as individuals, families, and businesses.


Items of value that can be seen and touched.


Products having nonphysical features, such as information, expertise, or an activity that can be purchased.


Those people involved in making goods or services for other people.


Limited quantities of resources to meet unlimited wants.

Economic resources

The natural, human, and capital resources that are used to produce goods and services; also called factors of production.

Natural resources

Things found in nature that people can use to meet their needs.

Capital resources

The tools, equipment, and buildings that are used to produce goods and services.


Process of starting, organizing, managing, and assuming the responsibility for a business.


An extended social group having a distinctive cultural and economic organization.


An alternative that we sacrifice when we make a decision.

Opportunity cost

What is given up when a choice is made.


Scientists who study how money, goods, and services are used.

Minimum wage

Lowest legal wage that can be paid to most workers.

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