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CAPITAL ACCOUNT: One of two parts of a nation's balance of payments. The capital is a record of all purchases of physical and financial assets between a nation and the rest of the world in a given period, usually one year. On one side of the balance of payments ledger account are all of the foreign assets purchase by our domestic economy. On the other side of the ledger are all of our domestic assets purchased by foreign countries. The capital account is said to have a surplus if a nation's investments abroad are greater than foreign investments at home. In other words, if the good old U. S. of A. is buying up more assets in Mexico, Brazil, and Hungry, than Japanese, Germany, and Canada investors are buying up of good old U. S. assets, then we have a surplus. A deficit is the reverse.

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CARDINAL UTILITY: A measure of utility, or satisfaction derived from the consumption of goods and services, that can be measured using an absolute scale. Cardinal utility exists if the utility derived from consumption is measurable in the same way that other physical characteristics--height and weight--are measured using a scale that is comparable between people. There is little or no evidence to suggest that such measurement is possible and is not even needed for modern consumer demand theory and indifference curve analysis. Cardinal utility, however, is often employed as a convenient teaching device for discussing such concepts as marginal utility and utility maximization.

     See also | utility | satisfaction | cardinal | second rule of subjectivity | indifference curve | consumer demand theory | ordinal | ordinal utility | quality of life | util | marginal utility | utility maximization |


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NET EXPORTS DETERMINANTS

Ceteris paribus factors, other than aggregate income or production, that are held constant when the net exports line is constructed and which cause the net exports line to shift when they change. Some of the more important net exports determinants are global economic conditions, exchange rates, and trade barriers.

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