Alessandro Roncaglia

Different Notions of Scarcity

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: J.E.L.: A10, B00, B51, E00

A marginalist notion of scarcity is opposed to a Classical-Keynesian-Sraffian notion. The two notions are analyzed; the limits of the first notion are discussed. The second notion points to the limits to what the economy can attain at a given moment in time; within this framework, scarcity depends not only on technology but also on the possibility of (persistent) underutilization of resources. Thus, while within the marginalist framework scarcity is an original datum for analysis, within the Classical-Keynesian-Sraffian framework it is an endogenous variable, jointly determined by a partly endogenous technology (via dynamic increasing returns to scale) and by the social, political and economic factors which determine the degree of utilization of available resources.

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