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ABSOLUTE POVERTY: The amount of income a person or family needs to purchase an absolute amount of the basic necessities of life. These basic necessities are identified in terms of calories of food, BTUs of energy, square feet of living space, etc. The problem with the absolute poverty level is that there really are no absolutes when in comes to consuming goods. You can consume a given poverty level of calories eating relatively expensive steak, relatively inexpensive pasta, or garbage from a restaurant dumpster. The income needed to acquire each of these calorie "minimums" vary greatly. That's why some prefer relative poverty.

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J CURVE: An interesting relationship that exists between the exchange rate for a nation's currency and its balance of trade. In principle, the drop in a nation's exchange rate, or price of currency, makes the currency less expensive to "buy." With "cheaper" currency the price of domestic production is less and the price of foreign stuff is more, causing an increase in exports to other countries and drop in imports coming in from foreign producers. The economy thus moves in the direction away from a trade deficit and toward a trade surplus. However, the first few months after a drop in the exchange rate the balance of trade goes in the other direction, with any existing trade deficit increasing or any trade surplus shrinking. This occurs because the quantities imported and exported don't change in the short run, but the prices do. Because more is paid for the same amount of imported goods and receive less for the same amount of exports, total spending on imports increases, total revenue received from exports declines, and the movement is in the trade deficit direction. Once those quantities start adjusting in the long run, then we see a movement in the direction of a trade surplus.

     See also | foreign trade | foreign exchange | depreciation | exchange rate | currency | balance of trade | domestic | foreign | export | import | net exports | trade deficit | trade surplus | short run | long run |


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PERFECT COMPETITION, SHORT-RUN SUPPLY CURVE

A perfectly competitive firm's supply curve is that portion of its marginal cost curve that lies above the minimum of the average variable cost curve. A perfectly competitive firm maximizes profit by producing the quantity of output that equates price and marginal cost. As such, the firm moves along its positively-sloped marginal cost curve in response to changing prices.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time going from convenience store to convenience store seeking to buy either a printer that works with your stockpile of ink cartridges or income tax software. Be on the lookout for jovial bank tellers.
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Lewis Carroll, the author of Alice in Wonderland, was the pseudonym of Charles Dodgson, an accomplished mathematician and economist.
"I much prefer the sharpest criticism of a single intelligent man to the thoughtless approval of the masses."

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