Glossary Terms:

Economic Spotter: Resources During World War II

Glossary terms from:


One of many choices or courses of action that might be taken in a given situation.


To receive and use something belonging to somebody else, with the intention of returning or repaying it--often with interest in the case of borrowed money.


Resources and goods made and used to produce other goods and services. Examples include buildings, machinery, tools and equipment. In the context of credit transactions, capital is one of the Three Cs of Credit. It is an indicator of how creditworthy a prospective borrower is likely to be as determined by the borrower's current financial assets and net worth.

Capital Resources

Resources made and used to produce and distribute goods and services; examples include tools, machinery and buildings.


A written order to a financial institution directing the financial institution to pay a stated amount of money, as instructed, from the customer's account.


Decision made or course of action taken when faced with a set of alternatives.


A conclusion reached after considering alternatives and their results.

Decision Making

Reaching a conclusion after considering alternatives and their results.


A severe, prolonged economic contraction.


Tangible objects that satisfy economic wants.

Human Resources

The health, education, experience, training, skills and values of people. Also known as human capital.


A piece of work usually done on order at an agreed-upon rate. Also a paid position of regular employment.


The quantity and quality of human effort available to produce goods and services.


Anything that is generally accepted as final payment for goods and services; serves as a medium of exchange, a store of value and a standard of value. Characteristics of money are portability, stability in value, uniformity, durability and acceptance.

Natural Resources

"Gifts of nature" that can be used to produce goods and services; for example, oceans, air, mineral deposits, virgin forests and actual fields of land. When investments are made to improve fields of land or other natural resources, those resources become, in part, capital resources. Also known as land.


A process of manufacturing, growing, designing, or otherwise using productive resources to create goods or services used to to satisfy a want.


The basic kinds of resources used to produce goods and services: land or natural resources, human resources (including labor and entrepreneurship), and capital.


The condition that exists because human wants exceed the capacity of available resources to satisfy those wants; also a situation in which a resource has more than one valuable use. The problem of scarcity faces all individuals and organizations, including firms and government agencies.


Activities performed by people, firms or government agencies to satisfy economic wants.

Standard of Living

The level of subsistence of a nation, social class or individual with reference to the adequacy of necessities and comforts of daily life.


A good or service that may be used in place of another good or service; examples include tap water for bottled water (or vice versa) and movies for concerts (or vice versa).


Desires that can be satisfied by consuming or using a good or service. Economists do not differentiate between wants and needs.


Effort applied to achieve a purpose or result, often for pay; skills and knowledge put to use to get something done; employment at a job or in a position; occupation, profession, business, trade, craft, etc.


People employed to do work, producing goods and services.