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A POSTERIORI: A conclusion reached through logical reasoning based on facts and observations about the real world. This notion is closely related to the scientific verification of hypotheses and the identification of principles. A similar sounding, but opposite term is a prior, which is a unverified presumption made before an analysis is undertaken. For example, in the study of economics of crime you might assume, a priori, that people are basically "good", and conclude, a posteriori, that people are more likely to commit crimes when the threat of capture and conviction is lower.

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Lesson 1: Economic Basics | Unit 3: The Economy Page: 7 of 18

Topic: An Economy <=PAGE BACK | PAGE NEXT=>

Because of the scarcity problem, we need a way to divide up what we have. This is accomplished by an economy.

An economy is a system of production, distribution, and consumption of resources, goods, and services that addresses the basic economic problem of scarcity and answers the three questions of allocation: What? How? For Whom?

Economies rely on markets and government to perform the allocation task.

The allocation processes involves the institutions of:

  • Markets allocate resources through voluntary choices made by people--buyers and sellers.
  • Government allocates resources through involuntary taxes, laws, restrictions, and regulations imposed on these people.
Both are important methods of allocation.

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SERVICES, CONSUMPTION

Personal consumption expenditures on activities that provide direct satisfaction of wants and needs without the production of tangible goods. Common examples are information, entertainment, and education. This is one of three categories of personal consumption expenditures in the National Income and Product Accounts maintained by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The other two are durable goods and nondurable goods. Services are about 60 percent of personal consumption expenditures and 40 percent of gross domestic product.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time browsing through a long list of dot com websites trying to buy either a key chain with a built-in flashlight and panic button or a green and yellow striped sweater vest. Be on the lookout for deranged pelicans.
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Much of the $15 million used by the United States to finance the Louisiana Purchase from France was borrowed from European banks.
"Good humor is a tonic for mind and body. It is the best antidote for anxiety and depression. It is a business asset. It attracts and keeps friends. It lightens human burdens. It is the direct route to serenity and contentment."

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