The Difference Between Wants vs. Needs in Economics


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What is the economic term used to describe a good or service that can easily serve the same purpose as another good or service?

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1. Which one of the following would most economists NOT describe as a need?

2. Which famous economist called the market forces that determined prices the 'invisible hand?'

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About This Quiz & Worksheet

Plan to answer questions on this quiz/worksheet that are in regard to subjects like exchangeable goods/services, needs, famous economists, and qualities of wants/needs.

Quiz & Worksheet Goals

These practices will particularly target:

  • An economic term used for goods/services with the same purposes of other goods/services
  • What economists would consider needs
  • The economist who coined the term 'invisible hand'
  • Characteristics of wants, needs, and substitutes

Skills Practiced

  • Knowledge application - use your knowledge to answer questions about traits of wants and needs
  • Information recall - access the knowledge you've gained regarding economic terms
  • Critical thinking - apply relevant concepts to examine information about the term 'invisible hand' in a different way

Additional Learning

If you'd like to enhance your understanding of needs and wants, you should read our corresponding lesson. This lesson, The Difference Between Wants vs. Needs in Economics, is going to go over:

  • What wants and needs are in an economic context
  • The way substitutes work
  • Accuracy of the terms wants and needs
  • Examples of wants and needs