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October 16, 2018 

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A PRIORI: A presumption made before an analysis is undertaken, often based on experiences, beliefs, or deductions from seemingly self-evident propositions about how the world works. This is a Latin for assumption or axiom. A similar sounding, but opposite term is a posteriori, which is derived from observation or facts. For example, in the study of economics of crime you might assume, a priori, that people are basically "good", because that just seems to be part of human nature, and conclude, a posteriori, that people are more likely to commit crimes when the threat of capture and conviction is lower.

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BANK: A financial organization that accepts deposits, makes loans, and directly controls a significant portion of the nation's money supply. In the olden days of the economy (before 1980), a bank was easy to identify because it had the word "bank" in it's name -- such as "First National Bank", "Second National Bank", etc. However, after several laws were passed in the early 1980s to reform and deregulate the banking industry, the term bank has come to functionally include other financial institutions that previously went by the titles of "Savings and Loan," "Credit Union," and "Mutual Savings Banks." These institutions are operationally considered banks because they all perform "banking" functions -- especially accepting checking account deposits and making loans.

     See also | deposits | loans | money supply | Federal Reserve System | financial intermediary | saving | business sector | investment | fractional-reserve banking | bank panic | Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation | savings and loan association | credit union | mutual savings bank |


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FIXED INPUT

An input whose quantity cannot be changed in the time period under consideration. The relevant time period is usually termed the short run. The most common example of a fixed input is capital. The alternative to fixed input is variable input. A fixed input, such as capital, provides the "capacity" constraint for the short-run production of a firm. A variable input, such as labor, provides the means of changing short-run production. As larger quantities of a variable input are added to a fixed input, the variable input becomes less productive, which is the law of diminishing marginal returns.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time wandering around the downtown area trying to buy either a pair of blue silicon oven mitts or a coffee cup commemorating the 2000 Olympics. Be on the lookout for mail order catalogs with hidden messages.
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The first paper currency used in North America was pasteboard playing cards "temporarily" authorized as money by the colonial governor of French Canada, awaiting "real money" from France.
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