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ABSOLUTE POVERTY LEVEL: The amount of income a person or family needs to purchase an absolute amount of the basic necessities of life. These basic necessities are identified in terms of calories of food, BTUs of energy, square feet of living space, etc. The problem with the absolute poverty level is that there really are no absolutes when in comes to consuming goods. You can consume a given poverty level of calories eating relatively expensive steak, relatively inexpensive pasta, or garbage from a restaurant dumpster. The income needed to acquire each of these calorie "minimums" vary greatly. That's why some prefer a relative poverty level.

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Lesson Contents
Unit 1: Basic Flow
  • Overview
  • Four Sectors
  • Three Markets
  • The Physical Flow
  • The Payment Flow
  • Unit 1 Summary
  • Unit 2: Financial Markets
  • The Paper Economy
  • Saving
  • Investment
  • Unit 2 Summary
  • Unit 3: Government
  • What It Does
  • Taxes
  • Government Purchases
  • Government Borrowing
  • Unit 3 Summary
  • Unit 4: Foreign
  • Foreign Trade
  • Exports and Imports
  • Unit 4 Summary
  • Unit 5: Real World
  • Expenditures
  • Production And Income
  • Investment
  • Government Spending
  • Saving
  • Unit 5 Summary
  • Course Home
    Circular Flow

    This lesson introduces the circular flow model of the macroeconomy. The circular flow is a simple model based on the buying and selling relation between the household and business sectors which occurs through the product and factor markets. As a bonus, we complicate the simply circular flow model, by including the government and foreign sectors, and the financial markets. This lesson introduces several important macroeconomic concept, but more importantly, provides a useful model for interpreting macroeconomic activity.

    • In the first unit, we get an introduction to the simplest circular flow model that includes the household and business sectors and the product and factor markets.
    • The second unit builds on the simple model by introducing the financial markets, which highlights the importance of household saving and business investment.
    • The circular flow is expanding further in the third unit, with the introduction of the government sector, which highlights how taxes are diverted away from the household sector.
    • The fourth unit adds one more sector to the circular flow model, the foreign sector, which illustrates the roles played exports and imports.
    • The fifth unit wraps up this lesson by showing how several key measures of production and income revealed in the analysis of gross domestic production related to the circular flow.

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    AGGREGATE EXPENDITURES EQUATION

    An equation that summarizes the four aggregate expenditures on gross domestic product by the four macroeconomic sectors. In the study of Keynesian economics, this equation is commonly used to summarize the demand side of the macroeconomy. The aggregate expenditures equation actually comes in three different versions depending on how many of the four sectors and their expenditures are included.

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