Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(778 words)

1. Definition

While in the modern theory of political economy (Economy, political), shortage denotes a condition in the process of price formation, in traditional societies the volume of goods does not simply follow the logic of the market. Instead a shortage (or scarcity) can be described as a chronic condition that can be explained on the basis of the logic of the agrarian constitution, the low productivity of agriculture, and social ideas regarding the distribution of goods.

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Behringer, Wolfgang, “Shortage”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 29 November 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_022352>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20180208

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