Portrait of Armen A. Alchian

Armen Alchian and the Scarcity of Resources

Found in: Universal Economics

Professor Alchian, in this quote, makes implicit reference to Lionel Robbins’ canonical definition of economics as. “the science which studies human behaviour as a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses.


Since the discouraging fiasco in the Garden of Eden, all the world has been a place conspicuous in its scarcity of resources, contributing heavily to an abundance of various sorrows and sins. People have had to adjust and adapt to limitations of what is available to satisfy unlimited desires. Some individuals and societies have been much more successful than others in thus making do. (FROM: PART ONE: DEMAND, EXCHANGE, AND PROPERTY RIGHTS, CHAPTER 1: WELCOME TO ECONOMICS)