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February 23, 2020 

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ASSUMPTIONS, PRODUCTION POSSIBILITIES: Production possibilities analysis is based on four key assumptions: (1) resources are used to produce one or both of only two goods, (2) the quantities of the resources do not change, (3) technology and production techniques do not change, and (4) resources are used in a technically efficient way.

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LAFFER CURVE: The graphical inverted-U relation between tax rates and total tax collections by government. Developed by economist Arthur Laffer, the Laffer curve formed a key theoretical foundation for supply-side economics of President Reagan during the 1980s. It is based on the notion that government collects zero revenue if the tax rate is 0% and if the tax rate is 100%. At a 100% tax rate no one has the incentive to work, produce, and earn income, so there is no income to tax. As such, the optimum tax rate, in which government revenue is maximized, lies somewhere between 0% and 100%. This generates a curve shaped like and inverted U, rising from zero to a peak, then falling back to zero. If the economy is operating to the right of the peak, then government revenue can be increased by decreasing the tax rate. This was used to justify supply-side economic policies during the Reagan Administration, especially the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981 (Kemp-Roth Act).

     See also | taxes | supply-side economics | Kemp-Roth Act | income tax | conservative |


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BALANCE ON SERVICES

A subset of the balance of payments current account that records the difference between the payments received for exports of services to other nations and the payments made for the imports of services from other nations. The flow of payments is for intangible services, not for physical or tangible goods. The balance on services is thus appropriately divided into services exported and services imported. Two other subsets of the current account include the balance on merchandise trade and unilateral transfers. The commonly termed balance of trade is the sum of the balance on merchandise trade and the balance on services.

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