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January 21, 2018 

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A: The common notation for the "intercept" term of an equation specified as Y = a + bX. Mathematically, the a-intercept term indicates the value of the Y variable when the value of the X variable is equal to zero. Theoretically, the a-intercept is frequently used to indicate exogenous or independent influences on the Y variable, that is, influences that are independent of the X variable. For example, if Y represents consumption and X represents national income, a measures autonomous consumption expenditures.

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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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ALLOCATION EFFECT

A change in the allocation of resources caused by placing taxes on economic activity. By creating disincentives to produce, consume, or exchange, taxes generally alter resource allocations. The allocation effect is typically used when governments seek to discourage the production, consumption, or exchange of particular goods or activities that are deemed undesirable (such as tobacco use or pollution). This is one of two effects of taxation. The other (primary) is the revenue effect, which is the generation of revenue used to finance government operations.

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The portion of aggregate output U.S. citizens pay in taxes (30%) is less than the other six leading industrialized nations -- Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, or Japan.
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