Introducing Supply and Demand
Impacts of Surpluses and Shortages on Market Equilibrium
Inversely, shortage is a term used to indicate that the supply produced is below that of the quantity being demanded by the consumers. This disparity implies that the current market equilibrium at a given price is unfit for the current supply and demand relationship, noting that the price is set too low. It could also indicate that the desired good has a low level of affordability by the general public, and can be a dangerous societal risk for necessary commodities. Indeed, Garrett Hardin emphasized that a shortage of supply could also be perceived as a 'longage' of demand, as the two are inversely related. From this vantage point shortages can be attributed to population growth as much as resource scarcity.
In a perfectly competitive market, a shortage in supply will ultimately result in a shift in the equilibrium point, transitioning towards a higher price point due to the limited supply availability. This will prioritize who receives the good or service based upon their willingness and ability to pay a premium for the specific item in demand, leveraging those along the demand curve who are at higher levels with higher ability and willingness to pay.