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LERNER INDEX: The difference between price (p) and marginal cost (mc) as a fraction of price, that is [p-mc]/p. The Lerner index is usually taken as an indicator of market power because the larger the index, the larger the difference between price and marginal cost, that is, the larger the distance between the price and the competitive price. The Lerner index depends on the elasticity of demand. The Lerner index is also called the price-cost margin.

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Lesson Contents
Unit 1: Money Basics
  • What It Is
  • THE Medium
  • Unit 1 Summary
  • Unit 2: More About Money
  • Functions
  • Medium of Exchange
  • Measure of Value
  • Store of Value
  • Standard of Deferred Payment
  • Characteristics
  • Unit 2 Summary
  • Unit 3: Monetary Aggregates
  • M1
  • M2
  • Near Monies
  • M3
  • L
  • Unit 3 Summary
  • Unit 4: Money's History
  • Barter
  • Commodity Money
  • Metal Commodity Money
  • Fiat Money
  • Money
  • Unit 4 Summary
  • Unit 5: Scarcity
  • Efficiency
  • Monetary Policy
  • Unit 5 Summary
  • Course Home
    Money

    In this lesson, we examine my favorite economic topic -- money. In addition to being the root of all evil, money is a critical component of the macroeconomy. The basic rule is that too much money causes inflation and too little money causes unemployment. To lay the foundation for further study of money and the macroeconomy, this lesson presents the money basics, including what money is, what money does, how money is measured, and how money evolved to it's current format.

    • The first unit begins this lesson with a look at what money is (hint: anything that people use for exchanges), and money's role as a medium of exchange.
    • The main topics of the second unit are the four functions of money and the four characteristics of money.
    • The third unit then examines and compares the monetary aggregates, the official measures of money tracked by the U.S. government.
    • The history of money is the prime topic of the fourth unit, with a look at how modern fiat money evolved from self sufficiency, barter, and commodity money.
    • The fifth unit then ponders the connection between money, efficiency, and the scarcity problem, with an eye toward the use of monetary policies.

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    SAY'S LAW

    A principle of classical economics developed the French economist Jean-Baptiste Say that is commonly summarized as "supply creates its own demand." This law, also referred to as Say's "theory of markets" or "law of markets," indicates that the act of producing aggregate output generates a sufficient amount of aggregate income to purchase all of the output produced. This principle indicated that excess production or insufficient demand for production was unlikely to occur, at least for any extended period. When combined with flexible prices and saving-investment equality, Say's law further implied that an economy would achieve and maintain full employment of resources. This law was singled out by John Maynard Keynes in his critique of classical economics, but remains relevant in current macroeconomic analysis, reflected in the circular flow model.

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    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 storage boxes for your summer clothes or 500 feet of coaxial cable. Be on the lookout for florescent light bulbs that hum folk songs from the sixties.
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    Cyrus McCormick not only invented the reaper for harvesting grain, he also invented the installment payment for selling his reaper.
    "Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip."

    -- Will Rogers

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