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AGGREGATE OUTPUT: The macroeconomy's total production of final goods and services. You might recognized it by it's official term gross domestic product. Another related term is aggregate supply. This is the total production in the economy that is purchased by the four basic economic sectors -- household, business, government, and foreign. See also aggregate market, aggregate demand, aggregate expenditures.

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Lesson 4: Production Possibilities | Unit 1: Getting Started Page: 2 of 24

Topic: Assumptions <=PAGE BACK | PAGE NEXT=>

Every economic analysis builds on certain preconditions or assumptions. Assumptions, whether reasonable or seemingly unrealistic, let us:
  1. Establish abstract benchmarks for comparison or
  2. Break an analysis into simpler, more easily manageable parts.

Four key assumptions:

  • Two Goods: Resources are used to produce one or both of only two goods. This is a simplifying assumption that lets us display graphs on the screen.
  • Fixed Resources: The quantities of the labor, capital, land, and entrepreneurship resources do not change. This is a reasonable assumption that we can change to analysis resource changes.
  • Fixed Technology: The information and knowledge that society has about the production of goods and services is fixed. This is another reasonable assumption that we can change to analysis technology changes.
  • Technical Efficiency: Resources are used in a technically efficient way. We get the maximum possible production out of the resource inputs.

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ABSOLUTE ADVANTAGE

The general ability to produce more goods or services using fewer resources. A person or country has an absolute advantage in production largely due to superior technology or greater technical efficiency. A related, but contrasting concept is comparative advantage. Both terms are perhaps most important to the study of international trade, but also provide insight into other exchanges.

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