May be taken independently of ECO 181. Scarcity of resources is everywhere. There is only so much time in a day, or only so much land, for example. Scarcity forces hard hoices upon each of us. Economics studies the consequences of scarcity and tries to understand how to extract as much value as possible from the available resources. The markets that surround us evolved because of scarcity, as has skill specialization. How has it happened? How should markets work to provide value from scarce resources? Do markets need to be regulated to improve their functioning? These are fundamental questions addressed in this course.