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LAFFER CURVE: The graphical inverted-U relation between tax rates and total tax collections by government. Developed by economist Arthur Laffer, the Laffer curve formed a key theoretical foundation for supply-side economics of President Reagan during the 1980s. It is based on the notion that government collects zero revenue if the tax rate is 0% and if the tax rate is 100%. At a 100% tax rate no one has the incentive to work, produce, and earn income, so there is no income to tax. As such, the optimum tax rate, in which government revenue is maximized, lies somewhere between 0% and 100%. This generates a curve shaped like and inverted U, rising from zero to a peak, then falling back to zero. If the economy is operating to the right of the peak, then government revenue can be increased by decreasing the tax rate. This was used to justify supply-side economic policies during the Reagan Administration, especially the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981 (Kemp-Roth Act).

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Lesson 2: Economic Science | Unit 2: Theory Page: 7 of 20

Topic: Economic Theories <=PAGE BACK | PAGE NEXT=>

Three common economic theories:
  • Markets theory: It helps us understand how and why prices change, shortages and surpluses occur, and markets are monopolized.
  • Aggregate Markets theory: It uses principles and concepts developed in the theory of markets, but adapts them to the study macroeconomic things like inflation, unemployment, national production, and business cycles.
  • Keynesian theory: Named after it's creator John Maynard Keynes, it was developed to explain high rates of unemployment and other economic conditions that existed during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

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PERSONAL CONSUMPTION EXPENDITURES

The official item in the National Income and Product Accounts maintained by the Bureau of Economics Analysis that measures household consumption expenditures on gross domestic product. Personal consumption expenditures are far and away the largest and most stable of the four expenditures, averaging about 65 to 70 percent of gross domestic product. The other official expenditures included in the National Income and Product Accounts are gross private domestic investment, government consumption expenditures and gross investment, and net exports of goods and services.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time visiting every yard sale in a 30-mile radius looking to buy either a coffee cup commemorating the first day of spring or a printer that works with your stockpile of ink cartridges. Be on the lookout for fairy dust that tastes like salt.
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The Dow Jones family of stock market price indexes began with a simple average of 11 stock prices in 1884.
"Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires...courage."

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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