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September 18, 2018 

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OPPORTUNITY COST: The highest valued alternative foregone in the pursuit of an activity. This is a hallmark of anything dealing with economics--and life for that matter--because any action that you take prevents you from doing something else. The ultimate source of opportunity cost is the pervasive problem of scarcity (unlimited wants and needs, but limited resources). Whenever limited resources are used to satisfy one want or need, there are an unlimited number of other wants and needs that remain unsatisfied. Herein lies the essence of opportunity cost. Doing one thing prevents doing another.

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BUDGET LINE: The alternative combinations of two different goods that can be purchased with a given income and given prices of the two goods. This budget constraint, also termed budget constraint, plays a major role in the analysis of consumer demand using indifference curve analysis. Indifference curves represents the "willingness" aspect of consumer demand, the budget line captures the "ability". One key consumer demand topic is to analyze how consumer equilibrium is affected by changes in the price of one good. Then end result of this analysis is a demand curve. For more fascinating uses of the budget line and indifference curves, and consumer demand analysis, see income-consumption curve and price-consumption curve.

     See also | good | income | price | budget constraint | consumer demand theory | consumer equilibrium | demand curve |


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SOCIAL SCIENCE

The scientific study of society--of human behavior and of social interactions. Economics is one of several social sciences. Others are sociology, political science, and anthropology. Economics is considered a social science because it seeks to explain how society deals with the scarcity problem.

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The Dow Jones family of stock market price indexes began with a simple average of 11 stock prices in 1884.
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