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December 11, 2018 

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A PRIORI: A presumption made before an analysis is undertaken, often based on experiences, beliefs, or deductions from seemingly self-evident propositions about how the world works. This is a Latin for assumption or axiom. A similar sounding, but opposite term is a posteriori, which is derived from observation or facts. For example, in the study of economics of crime you might assume, a priori, that people are basically "good", because that just seems to be part of human nature, and conclude, a posteriori, that people are more likely to commit crimes when the threat of capture and conviction is lower.

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CHANGE IN BUSINESS INVENTORIES: The increase or decrease in the stocks of final goods, intermediate goods, raw materials, and other inputs that businesses keep on hand to use in production. This is one of two main categories of gross private domestic investment included in the National Income and Product Accounts maintained by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The other category is fixed investment. Change in business inventories is NOT what most people think of when the topic of business investment arises. Inventory changes are considered investment because firms need inventories to smooth the flow of production and sales just like they need factories and equipment to produce goods. In fact, inventories are frequently termed "working capital."

     See also | final good | intermediate good | raw materials | input | business | gross private domestic investment | National Income and Product Accounts | Bureau of Economic Analysis | fixed investment | production | business cycle | economic indicators |


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FIAT MONEY

A medium of exchange (money) with value in exchange, but little or no value in use. Modern paper currency, coins, and checkable deposits are fiat money. The value of fiat money comes from the public's general willingness to accept it in exchange for other goods. This willingness comes from the fact that EVERYONE is willing to accept fiat money in exchange, which largely depends on the public's confidence in the authority (usually government) issuing the fiat money. Fiat money is NOT valuable unto itself, but it is valuable for what it can buy. In the march toward economic complexity, fiat money emerged from commodity money, money with both value in exchange and value in use.

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