Scarcity is the fundamental economic problem of having seemingly unlimited human wants and needs in a world of limited resources. It states that society has insufficient productive resources to fulfill all human wants and needs. Additionally, scarcity implies that not all of society's goals can be pursued at the same time; trade-offs are made of one good against others. In an influential 1932 essay, Lionel Robbinsdefined economics as "the science which studies human behavior as a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses."
In biology, scarcity can refer to the uncommonness or rarity of certain species. Such species are often protected by local, national or international law in order to prevent extinction.
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