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ACCOUNTING COST: The actual outlays or expenses incurred in production that shows up a firm's accounting statements or records. Accounting costs, while very important to accountants, company CEOs, shareholders, and the Internal Revenue Service, is only minimally important to economists. The reason is that economists are primarily interested in economic cost (also called opportunity cost). That fact is that accounting costs and economic costs aren't always the same. An opportunity or economic cost is the value of foregone production. Some economic costs, actually a lot of economic opportunity costs, never show up as accounting costs. Moreover, some accounting costs, while legal, bonified payments by a firm, are not associated with any sort of opportunity cost.

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Lesson 1: Economic Basics | Unit 2: Doing Economics Page: 5 of 18

Topic: The Fields <=PAGE BACK | PAGE NEXT=>

The two biggest, broadest fields in economics are:
  • Macroeconomics is the study of the aggregate economy, the entire pie, the whole forest. Macroeconomics is interested in things like gross production, unemployment, inflation, and recession.
  • Microeconomics is the study of parts of the economy, the slices of the pie, the trees of the forest. Microeconomics is interested in topics like market prices, consumer behavior, production costs, and competition.

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INFLATION RATE

The percentage change in the price level from one period to the next. The inflation rate is most commonly presented as an annual average, the percentage change in the average price level from one year to the next. The two most common price indexes used to measure the price level and the inflation rate are the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the GDP price deflator. The inflation rate is one of several key indicators of business-cycle instability and the overall health of the macroeconomy, with primary focus on tracking the goal of price stability.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time at the confiscated property police auction seeking to buy either clothing for your pet iguana or a set of hubcaps. Be on the lookout for telephone calls from long-lost relatives.
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The average length of a "business lunch" is about 36 minutes.
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