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ZERO-BASE BUDGET: A method of budgeting expenditures in which each expenditure is justified on its overall merits rather than being based on the budget for the previous year. A zero-base budget is most often proposed (but seldom implemented) for governments. Governments generally establish budget expenditures based on expenditures for the previous year. If, for example, budget expenditures last year were $100 billion, the requested budget for this year might be set at $110 billion. The existing $100 billion is a "given" and only the extra $10 billion is justified. With a zero-base budget, the entire $110 billion is justified.

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Lesson 1: Economic Basics | Unit 5: Policies Page: 14 of 18

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Because markets are imperfect, government is prompted to intervene with economic policies.
  • Economic policies are government actions designed to affect economic activity and pursue one or more economic goals.
Policies can take the form of:
  • Laws passed by legislatures.
  • Administrative actions taken by elected executives.
  • Rules set forth by government agencies.
  • Decisions made through the courts.
The government has four types of policies.
  • Fiscal policy: Based on government's power to collect taxes from the public and spend those funds as it chooses. Used for income redistribution and macroeconomic performance.
  • Monetary policy: Based on government's centralized control of the money supply. Used for macroeconomic performance.
  • Regulatory policy: Based on government's ability to enact laws, rules and restrictions. Used for efficiency and equity
  • Judicial policy: Based on government's ability to enforce laws through the courts. Used for efficiency and equity

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LONG-RUN TREND

The pattern of potential real gross domestic product of an economy based on full employment of available resources. The long-run trend is commonly represented as a positively-sloped line in a diagram depicting business-cycle phases. This slope captures the economy's expansion in its production possibilities resulting from increases in the quantity and quality of resources.

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