From a technical perspective, economics is the study of how various alternatives or choices are evaluated to best achieve a given objective. The domain of economics is the study of processes by which scarce resources are allocated to satisfy unlimited wants. Ideally, the resources are allocated to their highest valued uses. Supply, demand, preferences, costs, benefits, production relationships and exchange are tools that are used to describe and analyze the market processes by which individuals allocate scarce resources to satisfy as many wants as possible. This increasingly narrow focus is the domain of modern, “neoclassical,” microeconomic analysis. This approach is typical of most economists and is referred to as orthodox economics.
The five basic questions that are asked in the study of the allocation problem are: 1) What to produce? 2) How many to produce? 3) How to produce? 4) When to produce? 5) Who gets it? Provisioning should seek to understand the nature of wants or objectives. Provisioning is the process of framing the approaches to the allocation problem.