Introduction and Purpose
People’s wants often exceed the limited resources available to them, and as a result, they have invented a variety of ways to answer four fundamental questions: What is to be produced? How is production to be organized? How are goods and services to be distributed? How shall factors of production (land, labor, capital, and management) be allocated? Learners need to understand these universal questions and how they are being addressed by various groups. They also need to understand that unequal distribution of resources necessitates systems of exchange, including trade, to improve the well-being of individual groups, and the economy; that the role of government in economic policy-making varies over time and from place to place; that increasingly economic decisions are global in scope and require systematic study of an interdependent world economy; and that technology plays a significant role in economic decision-making.