Artificial scarcity

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Artificial scarcity[1] describes the scarcity of items even though the technology and production capacity exists to create an abundance. The term is applied to non-rival resources, i.e. those that do not diminish due to one person's use, although there are other resources which could be categorized as artificially scarce. The inefficiency associated with artificial scarcity is formally known as a deadweight loss.


The “Disney Vault” is a concept where popular Disney properties are only sold over short time spans, and then locked away for numerous years, in order to give customers added incentive to buy for fear of missing out.

On the audio commentary for season 14 episode Treehouse of Horror XIII, showrunner Al Jean said that The Simpsons destroy many of their animation cels in order to make the remaining ones more valuable.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Tech Dirt describes "artificial scarcity" in an article published on 23 February 2012, retrieved 30 August 2013:
  2. ^ Jean, Al. (2002). Commentary for "Treehouse of Horror XIII", in The Simpsons: The Complete Fourteenth Season [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.