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Economic Definition of scarcity rent. Defined.

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Term scarcity rent Definition: The marginal opportunity cost imposed on future generations by extracting one more unit of a resource today. Scarcity rent is one of two costs the extraction of a finite resource imposes on society. The other is marginal extraction cost--the opportunity cost of resources employed in the extraction activity. Scarcity rent is the cost of "using up" a finite resource because benefits of the extracted resource are unavailable to future generations. Efficiency is achieved when the resource price--the benefit society is willing to pay for the resource today--is equal to the sum of marginal extraction cost and scarcity rent.

 

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