Graphing Exercise: Present Choices and Future Possibilities

The amount of resources available to an economy at some future point depends upon the choices it makes today. As one simple example, if a country experiences a loss of population—whether by emigration, the devastation of war, or a reduction in the number of births, fewer (human) resources will be available in the future to produce goods and services. This exercise will investigate the extent to which an economy’s current production choices affect its future production capabilities.

Exploration: How do present choices affect future possibilities?


To use the graph, use the mouse to drag the scroll bar button to the left or right, observing the impact that different current production choices have on the future position of the production possibilities curve.

  1. How must society choose to produce today if it wishes its economy to grow faster?
    See answer here
  2. What is the opportunity cost of faster economic growth?
    See answer here