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January 18, 2019 

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BALANCE OF PAYMENTS: The difference between the funds received by a country and those paid by a country for all international transactions. The international transactions include the exchange of merchandise (exports and imports), which is commonly summarized as the balance of trade, plus the exchange of services, summarized as the balance of services, as well as any gifts or transfer payments that do not involve the exchange of goods and services. The balance of payments, in effect, indicates the difference between currency coming into a country and that flowing out of the country. 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).

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THE ECONOMIC PROBLEM: Another term for scarcity, which is the pervasive condition of human existence that exists because society has unlimited wants and needs, but limited resources used for their satisfaction. In other words, while we all want a bunch of stuff, we can't have everything that we want (see free lunch). In slightly different words, this scarcity problem means: (1) that there's never enough resources to produce everything that everyone would like produced; (2) that some people will have to do without some of the stuff that they want or need; (3) that doing one thing, producing one good, performing one activity, forces society to give up something else; and (4) that the same resources can not be used to produce two different goods at the same time. We live in a big, bad world of scarcity. This big, bad world of scarcity is what the study of economics is all about. That's why we usually subtitle scarcity: THE ECONOMIC PROBLEM.

     See also | scarcity | first rule of scarcity | unlimited wants and needs | limited resources | satisfaction | resources | wants | needs | production | consumption | economics | opportunity cost | scarce resource |


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THE ECONOMIC PROBLEM, AmosWEB GLOSS*arama, http://www.AmosWEB.com, AmosWEB LLC, 2000-2019. [Accessed: January 18, 2019].


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COMPARATIVE ADVANTAGE

The ability to produce one good at a relatively lower opportunity cost than other goods, especially compared to production in another country. Every person or country has a comparative advantage in production of at least one good or service, even with relatively limited production technology. A related, but contrasting concept is absolute advantage. Both terms are perhaps most important to the study of international trade, but also provide insight into other exchanges.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time driving to a factory outlet looking to buy either a key chain with a built-in flashlight and panic button or a green and yellow striped sweater vest. Be on the lookout for the last item on a shelf.
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The earliest known use of paper currency was about 1270 in China during the rule of Kubla Khan.
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