Most Important Economic Concepts

The Club for Growth points out that three economists have picked out what they view as the most important economic concepts:

Greg Mankiw:

1. Comparative advantage and the gains from trade
2. Supply, demand, and the efficiency of market equilibrium
3. Market failure, such as externalities, and the role for government

Mark Steckbeck:

1. Comparative advantage
2. The role of incentives and opportunity costs
3. How markets spontaneously coordinate individual behavior and improve the human condition.

Craig Newmark:

1. People tend to respond to incentives.
2. Scarcity, and its important corollary, opportunity cost.
3. Markets tend to be low cost allocators of goods and services

My three, FWIW:

1. Goods are scarce, and the opportunity cost that goes along with using them
2. Freely agreed upon trades are, by definition, mutually beneficial
3. Incentives matter