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MARGINAL UTILITY AND DEMAND: An explanation of the law of demand and the negatively-sloped demand curve can be found in the analysis of marginal utility and especially the law of diminishing marginal utility. This explanation rests on two propositions. One, the law of diminishing marginal utility means that the marginal utility obtained from consuming a good declines as the quantity consumed increases. Two, the marginal utility of a good underlies the demand price that buyers are willing and able to pay for a good. When combined, these two propositions indicate that the demand price buyers are willing and able to pay for a good declines as the quantity demanded (and consumed) increases. And this is the law of demand.

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SPECIAL DRAWING RIGHTS: A system of accounts nations have with International Monetary Fund that are used to settle any balance of payments deficits. In essence, SDRs are simply an international currency that makes it easier to conduct all sorts of international transactions. In decades past, when gold was used as the primary international currency, any balance of payments deficits was paid with gold. However, in 1967 this system of SDRs was established in lieu of sending gold all over the globe.

     See also | International Monetary Fund | balance of payments | money | currency | foreign trade | gold standard |


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BALANCE OF PAYMENTS

A comprehensive set of accounts that tracks the flow of currency and other monetary assets coming in to and going out of a nation. These payments are used for international trade, foreign investments, and other financial activities. The balance of payments is divided into two accounts -- current account (which includes payments for imports, exports, services, and transfers) and capital account (which includes payments for physical and financial assets). A deficit in one account is matched by a surplus in the other account. The balance of trade is only one part of the overall balance of payments set of accounts.

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