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ABSOLUTE ADVANTAGE: The general ability to produced more goods using fewer resources. This idea of absolute advantage is important for trading that occurs between both people and nations. A nation can get an absolute advantage from an advanced level of technology or higher quality resources. For a person, an absolute advantage can result from natural abilities or the acquisition of human capital (education, training, or experience).

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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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STABILIZATION POLICIES

Economic policies undertaken by governments to counteract business-cycle fluctuations and prevent high rates of unemployment and inflation. The two most common stabilization policies are fiscal and monetary. Stabilization policies are also termed countercyclical policies, meaning that they attempt to "counter" the natural ups and downs of business "cycles." Expansionary policies are appropriate to reduce unemployment during a contraction and contractionary policies are aimed at reducing inflation during an expansion.

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