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AGGREGATE EXPENDITURES LINE: A line representing the relation between aggregate expenditures and gross domestic product used in the Keynesian cross. The aggregate expenditure line is obtained by adding investment expenditures, government purchases, and net exports to the consumption line. As such, the slope of the aggregate expenditure line is largely based on the slope of the consumption line (which is the marginal propensity to consume), with adjustments coming from the marginal propensity to invest, the marginal propensity for government purchases, and the marginal propensity to import. The intersection of the aggregate expenditures line and the 45-degree line identifies the equilibrium level of output in the Keynesian cross.

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Lesson Contents
Unit 1: Instability
  • Overview
  • Business Cycles
  • Expansionary Good Times
  • Contractionary Bad Times
  • Unit 1 Summary
  • Unit 2: A Simple Cycle
  • Long-Run Trend
  • Contraction
  • Trough
  • Expansion
  • Peak
  • Unit 2 Summary
  • Unit 3: Measurement
  • Indicators
  • Leading
  • Coincident
  • Lagging
  • Unit 3 Summary
  • Unit 4: Causes
  • Complexity
  • Investment
  • The Process
  • Politics
  • The Process
  • Unit 4 Summary
  • Unit 5: Policies
  • Options
  • Expansionary
  • Contractionary
  • Unit 5 Summary
  • Course Home
    Business Cycles

    To purpose of this lesson is to examine the nature and causes of macroeconomic instability, which goes by the handy title business cycles. Business cycles are the recurring expansions and contractions of economic activity that generate the problems of unemployment and inflation. This lesson explores how business cycles can be stabilized with the goal of lessening unemployment and inflation.

    • The notion of business cycles is introduced in the first unit of this lesson, with an eye on what they are and why they are important to study.
    • The four components of a standard, simple business cycle -- expansion, peak, contraction, and trough -- are then presented and discussed in the second unit.
    • The third unit is devoted to several key measures of business cycle activity, especially leading, lagging, and coincident indicators.
    • A couple of the most often discussed causes of business-cycle instability -- investment and politics -- are discussed in the fourth unit.
    • The fifth unit closes out this lesson with an introduction to the expansionary and contractionary economic policies used to stabilize business cycles.

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    INFORMATION SEARCH

    The decision to seek out or produce information based on a comparison of the cost of acquiring the information and the benefit obtained from the information. Efficient information search is achieved with a equality between the marginal cost of search and the marginal benefit of search. Because the marginal cost of search is invariably greater than zero, search effort stops short of acquiring complete information.

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    APLS

    BLUE PLACIDOLA
    [What's This?]

    Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time at a dollar discount store seeking to buy either a travel case for you toothbrush or a looseleaf notebook binder. Be on the lookout for slow moving vehicles with darkened windows.
    Your Complete Scope

    This isn't me! What am I?

    A lump of pure gold the size of a matchbox can be flattened into a sheet the size of a tennis court!
    "Always remember that striving and struggle precede success, even in the dictionary. "

    -- Sarah Ban Breathnach, writer

    MCP
    Marginal Cost Pricing
    A PEDestrian's Guide
    Xtra Credit
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