Supplementary resources by topic. Producers is one of 51 key economics concepts identified by the Council for Economic Education (CEE) for high school classes.


On this page:

Definitions and Basics
In the News and Examples
A Little History: Primary Sources and References
Advanced Resources
Related Topics

Definitions and Basics


A producer is someone who creates and supplies goods or services. Producers combine labor and capital—called factor inputs—to create—that is, to output—something else. Business firms are the main examples of producers and are usually what economists have in mind when talking about producers. However, governments are producers of some kinds of services—such as police services, defense, public schools, and mail delivery—and sometimes goods, such as when a government owns the oil fields and oil production (for example, OPEC). Households and individuals are producers of non-market goods and services such as cleaning, child-rearing, cooked food, etc.

Producer, From the American Heritage Dictionary

One that produces, especially a person or organization that produces goods or services for sale.

In the News and Examples

Advertising, from the Concise Encyclopedia of Economics

Economic analysis of advertising dates to the thirties and forties, when critics attacked it as a monopolistic and wasteful practice. Defenders soon emerged who argued that advertising promotes competition and lowers the cost of providing information to consumers and distributing goods. Today, most economists side with the defenders most of the time….

Wages and Working Conditions, from the Concise Encyclopedia of Economics

CEOs of multinational corporations, exotic dancers, and children with lemonade stands have at least one thing in common. They all expect a return for their effort. Most workers get that return in a subtle and ever-changing combination of money wages and working conditions. This article describes how they changed for the typical U.S. worker during the twentieth century….

Labor Unions, from the Concise Encyclopedia of Economics

For more than a century now, labor unions have been celebrated in folk songs and popular myth as fearless champions of the downtrodden working man, while “the bosses” are depicted as coldhearted exploiters of employees. But from the standpoint of economists—including many who are avowedly pro-union—unions are simply cartels that raise wages above competitive levels by capturing monopolies over who companies can hire and what they must pay….

Interest, from the Concise Encyclopedia of Economics

Interest is the price people pay to have resources now rather than later. Resources, of course, can be anything from college tuition to a big-screen TV. Interest is conventionally expressed as a percentage rate for a period of one year. If borrowers (those who want resources now) can obtain the resources from lenders (those who are willing to surrender current control) on the condition that they return 103 percent of the resources one year later, then the interest rate is 3 percent….

A Little History: Primary Sources and References

Advanced Resources

The Distribution of Wealth, by John Bates Clark

[This is the original book that worked out the economics of wages and returns to capital (economic rents) as presented in classrooms today—the marginal products of labor and capital. Difficulty level: very advanced.]

Related Topics




Productive Resources


Roles of Government