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IMPERFECT COMPETITION: Any markets or industries that do not match the criteria for perfect competition. The key characteristics of perfect competition are: (1) a large number of small firms, (2) identical products sold by all firms, (3) freedom of entry into and exit out of the industry, and (4) perfect knowledge of prices and technology. These four characteristics are essentially impossible to match in the real world.

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M: The standard abbreviation for imports produced by the domestic economy and purchased by the foreign sector, especially when used in the study of macroeconomics. This abbreviation is most often seen in the aggregate expenditure equation, AE = C + I + G + (X - M), where C, I, G, and (X - M) represent expenditures by the four macroeconomic sectors, household, business, government, and foreign. The United States, for example, buys a lot of the stuff produced within the boundaries of other countries, including bananas, coffee, cars, chocolate, computers, and, well, a lot of other products. Imports, together with exports, are the essence of foreign trade--goods and services that are traded among the citizens of different nations. Imports and exports are frequently combined into a single term, net exports (exports minus imports).

     See also | imports | exports | net exports | foreign sector | aggregate expenditures | consumption expenditures | investment expenditures | government purchases | domestic | foreign trade | balance of trade | free trade | trade barriers | quota | comparative advantage | C | I | G | M |


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GOVERNMENT FUNCTIONS

Resource allocation activities that are more efficiently performed using the coercive government powers of taxation, spending, and regulatory authority than by private sector market exchanges. The most noted activities are (1) common defense; (2) education; (3) transportation; (4) public health and safety; (5) legal and judicial system; and (6) money.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time at the confiscated property police auction seeking to buy either a flower arrangement for that special day for your mother or a New York Yankees baseball cap. Be on the lookout for slow moving vehicles with darkened windows.
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In 1914, Ford paid workers who were age 22 or older $5 per day -- double the average wage offered by other car factories.
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