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October 19, 2021 

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AGGREGATE: A common modifier for an assortment of economic terms used in the study of macroeconomics that signifies a comprehensive, often national, total value. This modifier most often surfaces in the study of the AS-AD, or "aggregate market", model of the economy with such terms as aggregate demand and aggregate supply. For example, aggregate demand indicates the total demand for production in the macroeconomy and aggregate supply indicates the total amount of that output produced. Two other noted "aggregate" terms are aggregate expenditures and aggregate production function.

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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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    MARGINAL PROPENSITY TO SAVE

    The proportion of each additional dollar of household income that is used for saving. The marginal propensity to save (abbreviated MPS) is another term for the slope of the saving line and is calculated as the change in saving divided by the change in income. The MPS plays a central role in Keynesian economics. It quantifies the saving-income relation, which is the flip side of the consumption-income relation, and thus it reflects the fundamental psychological law. It is also a critical to the multiplier process. A related saving measure is the average propensity to save.

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    APLS

    BROWN PRAGMATOX
    [What's This?]

    Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time strolling through a department store hoping to buy either a coffee cup commemorating last Friday (you know why) or a wall poster commemorating the first day of spring. Be on the lookout for mail order catalogs with hidden messages.
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    This isn't me! What am I?

    The portion of aggregate output U.S. citizens pay in taxes (30%) is less than the other six leading industrialized nations -- Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, or Japan.
    "Think not of yourself as the architect of your career but as the sculptor. Expect to have to do a lot of hard hammering and chiseling and scraping and polishing. "

    -- B. C. Forbes, founder, Forbes magazine

    AS-AD
    Aggregate Supply-Aggregate Demand Model
    A PEDestrian's Guide
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