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ENTRY BARRIER: An institutional, government, technological, or economic restriction on the entry of firms into a market or industry. The four primary barriers to entry are: resource ownership, patents and copyrights, government restrictions, and start-up costs. Barriers to entry are a key reason for market control and the inefficiency that this generates. In particular, monopoly, oligopoly, monopsony, and oligopsony often owe their market control to assorted barriers to entry. By way of contrast, perfect competition, monopolistic competition, and monopsonistic competition have few if any barriers to entry and thus little or no market control.

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CARDINAL: A measurement based on a scale or quantitative numbers, such as 1, 5, or 357.2, that enables a comparison in magnitude. Comparability means, for example, that the difference between 5 and 2 is the same as the difference between 12 and 9. Measures such as height and weight use cardinal numbers. Most economic measures are based on cardinal numbers, including gross domestic product, unemployment rate, the price of chocolate, and the quantity of wheat produced. The benefit of cardinal measurement is the ability to directly compare one measure with another. If, for example, the price of chocolate is $1 a pound and the price of wheat is $4 a pound, then wheat is four times more expensive than chocolate. Ordinal measures, which involve relative ranking, is an alternative type of measure.

     See also | cardinal utility | ordinal | ordinal utility | utility | satisfaction | indifference curve | quality of life |


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MARGINAL PROPENSITY TO CONSUME

The proportion of each additional dollar of household income that is used for consumption expenditures. The marginal propensity to consume (abbreviated MPC) is another term for the slope of the consumption line and is calculated as the change in consumption divided by the change in income. The MPC plays a central role in Keynesian economics. It quantifies the consumption-income relation and the fundamental psychological law. It is also a foundation for the slope of the aggregate expenditures line and is critical to the multiplier process. A related consumption measure is the average propensity to consume.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time driving to a factory outlet hoping to buy either a genuine down-filled comforter or a 200-foot blue garden hose. Be on the lookout for spoiled cheese hiding under your bed hatching conspiracies against humanity.
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Okun's Law posits that the unemployment rate increases by 1% for every 2% gap between real GDP and full-employment real GDP.
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