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December 17, 2018 

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THIRD-WORLD COUNTRY: A country with a relatively low standard of living and which lacks the economic development of more advanced industrialized nations like the United States. Most third-world countries are in Africa, Asia, and South America and often rise to newsworthy prominence when they have a famine, are overthrown by a military dictator, or are invaded by a more developed country. They tend to have high rates of population growth and limited success in doing what's necessary to achieve economic growth.

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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

    BROWN PRAGMATOX
    [What's This?]

    Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time browsing through a long list of dot com websites seeking to buy either a birthday gift for your grandfather or a pleather CD case. Be on the lookout for spoiled cheese hiding under your bed hatching conspiracies against humanity.
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    This isn't me! What am I?

    Woodrow Wilson's portrait adorned the $100,000 bill that was removed from circulation in 1929. Woodrow Wilson was removed from circulation in 1924.
    "When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened. "

    -- Winston Churchill, British statesman

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