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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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COMMAND ECONOMY: An economy in which the government uses its coercive powers (such as command and control) to answer the three questions of allocation. This is the real world version of the idealized theoretical pure command economy. While in this real world version some allocation decisions are undertaken by markets, the vast majority are made through central planning. The two most notable command economies of the 20th century were the communist/socialist economic systems of China and the Soviet Union.

     See also | government | command and control | three questions of allocation | pure command economy | central planning | mixed economy | socialism | communism | capitalism |


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AUTONOMOUS SAVING

Household saving that does not depend on income or production (especially disposable income, national income, or even gross domestic product). That is, changes in income do not generate changes in saving. Autonomous saving is best thought of as a baseline level of saving (usually negative) that the household sector undertakes in the unlikely event that income falls to zero. It is measured by the intercept term of the saving function or the saving line. The alternative to autonomous saving is induced saving, which does depend on income.

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