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TACIT COLLUSION: Seemingly independent, but parallel actions among competing firms (mostly oligopolistic firms) in an industry that achieve higher prices and profits, much as if guided by an explicit collusion agreement. Also termed implicit collusion, the distinguishing feature of tacit collusion is the lack of any explicit agreement. They key is that each firm seems to be acting independently, perhaps each responding to the same market conditions, but the end result is the same as an explicit agreement. This should be contrasted with explicit or overt collusion that does involve a formal, explicit agreement.

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COASE THEOREM: A policy proposition, developed by Ronald Coase, that pollution and other externalities can be efficiently controlled through voluntary negotiations among the affected parties (polluters and those harmed by pollution). A key to the Coase theorem is that many pollution problems involve common-property goods that have no clear-cut ownership or property rights. With clear-cut property rights, "owners" would have the incentive to achieve an efficient level of pollution. This theorem states that it doesn't matter who receives the property rights, so long as someone does. Pollution can be reduced through voluntary negotiation by assigning private property rights to common-property resources. If common-property resources are privately owned, a market in property rights can be established. Owners then have the incentive to protect the quality of their resources.

     See also | pollution | externalities | common-property good | property rights | market | market failure | materials balance | recycling | regulation | Pigouvian tax | command and control | pollution rights market |


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DECISION LAG

The time lag that it takes government leaders and policy makers to determine the appropriate government action needed to address an economic problem. The decision lag arises because it takes time for policy makers to chose among the array of possible policy actions, each with assorted consequences that appeal differently to different political constituencies. This "inside lag" is one of four policy lags associated with monetary and fiscal policy. The other two "inside lags" are recognition lag and implementation lag, and one "outside lag" is implementation lag. All four policy lags can reduce the effectiveness of business-cycle stabilization policies and can even destabilize the economy.

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