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INDIRECT: The mathematical notion that two variables change in the opposite directions, that is, an increase in X goes with a decrease in Y, or a decrease in X goes with an increase in Y. The alternative to an indirect relation is a direct relation, in which an increase in one variable goes with an increase in the other. Indirect relations are graphically illustrated by negatively-sloped curves, a common example being the demand curve.

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CENTRAL PLANNING: A system of extensive central government control of an economy, including organizing production and making allocation decisions. This was the popular method of allocating resources and answering the three basic questions of allocation under the communism/socialism economic systems of the Soviet Union, China, and others during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. Applying the communist/socialist philosophy that private property and market allocation were "bad," central planning relied on extremely detailed plans made by government. These plans would set specific production quotas for individual products, parts, components, and inputs fabricated by all of the factories and farms across the economy. This was a daunting, complex task that required detailed production information for hundreds of thousands of different commodities.

     See also | government | government sector | economy | production | allocation | resources | three questions of allocation | communism | socialism | private property | market | information | capitalism | free enterprise |


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FOREIGN SECTOR

The aggregate macroeconomic sector that contains everyone and everything beyond the political boundaries of the domestic economy--including households, businesses, and governments in other countries. The primary function of the foreign sector is to undertake external activity that is outside the control of the domestic economy. This is one of the four macroeconomic sectors. The other three are household sector, business sector, and government sector.

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