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VERTICAL MERGER: The consolidation under a single ownership of two separately-owned businesses that have an input-output relationship, in which the output of one firm is the input of another. An example of a vertical merger would be a soft drink company merging with a sugar company to form a single firm. A vertical merger should be contrasted with horizontal merger--two competing firms in the same industry that sell the same products; and conglomerate merger--two firms in totally, completely separate industries.

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CONSUMPTION LINE: A graphical depiction of the relation between household consumption expenditures and household disposable income that forms one of the key building blocks for Keynesian economics. The slope of this line is positive, greater than zero, less than one, and goes by the name marginal propensity to consume. The vertical intercept of the consumption line is autonomous consumption. The aggregate expenditures line used in the Keynesian cross is obtained by adding investment, government purchases, and net exports to the consumption line. Because saving is the difference between disposable income and consumption, the saving line is a complementary relation to the consumption line.

     See also | consumption function | Keynesian economics | consumption expenditures | disposable income | marginal propensity to consume | aggregate expenditures | aggregate expenditures line | Keynesian cross | induced consumption | autonomous consumption |


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UTILITARIANISM

A philosophical view that the value or worth of an action depends on the amount of pleasure it generates or the amount of pain it prevents, or in economic terms, the amount of utility generated. Utilitarianism, although dating back to the early Greek philosophers, is largely attributable to the work of Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill. This philosophy played a major role in the development of modern consumer demand theory and utility analysis.

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