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ALLOCATION EFFECT: The goal of imposing taxes to change the allocation of resources, that is, to discourage the production, consumption, or exchange or one type of good usually in favor of another. This is one of two reasons that governments impose taxes. The other reason is the revenue effect. Because people would rather not pay taxes, taxes create disincentives to produce, consume, and exchange. If society deems that less of a particular good, such as alcohol, pollution, or cigarettes are "bad," then a tax can reduce its production and consumption, and thus change the allocation of resources.

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BALANCE OF PAYMENTS DEFICIT: An imbalance in a nation's balance of payments in which payments made by the country exceed payments received by the country. This is also termed an unfavorable balance of payments. It's considered unfavorable because more currency is flowing out of the country than is flowing in. Such an unequal flow of currency will reduce the supply of money in the nation and subsequently cause an increase in the exchange rate relative to the currencies of other nations. This then has implications for inflation, unemployment, production, and other facets of the domestic economy. A balance of trade deficit is often the source of a balance of payments deficit, but other payments can turn a balance of trade deficit into a balance of payments surplus.

     See also | balance of payments | money supply | currency | foreign exchange market | exchange rate | balance of payments surplus | balance of trade deficit | international finance |


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ECONOMICS

A social science that studies the allocation of limited resources used to produce the goods and services that satisfy unlimited consumer wants and needs. Economics is one of several social sciences (others are sociology, political science, and anthropology) which applies the scientific method to human behavior. The distinguishing feature of economics is a concern with the fundamental problem of scarcity--unlimited wants and needs and limited resources. Economics is commonly divided into two branches--macroeconomics and microeconomics.

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