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April 23, 2018 

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TAX INCIDENCE: The ultimate payment of a tax. Many taxes are initially paid by one person, but passed along through production and consumption activities until it finally reaches someone else. An obvious example is the sales tax. While officially paid by the retail store (they write the check to the government), it's tacked on to the prices paid by consumers. Consumers, thus, bear the lion's share of most sales taxes. The incidence of other taxes is not quite so obvious. Some taxes are paid by producers early in production such as severance taxes on oil extraction without the knowledge of consumers, who end up paying through higher prices. As a general rule taxes are passed through the system until they reach someone (usually consumers) who can pass it no further.

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BANKING: The industry consisting of financial intermediaries that maintain deposits (that is, the industry of banks). Banking is one of several financial industries, with insurance and stock trading two other notable examples. Firms that comprise the banking industry are traditional banks, savings and loan associations, credit unions, and mutual savings banks. Banking in modern economies is generally fractional-reserve banking, with banks acting as financial intermediaries and safekeepers of deposits.

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


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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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