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GOLD STANDARD: Use of gold as the standard for valuing a nation's currency. A gold standard can take at least three different forms, most of which have been part of the American economic landscape. (1) Gold is used as the money in circulation. (2) Gold is used to back up paper money in circulation. This involves the use of something like a gold certificate, such that the number of certificates in circulation is the same as the amount of gold stored someplace like Fort Knox. (3) Gold is used to fix the exchange price of paper currency in circulation. In this case, the currency could, in principle, be exchanged for some predetermined amount of gold. In other words, the price of gold is fixed in terms of dollars.

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CURRENT ACCOUNT: One of two parts of a nation's balance of payments (the other is capital account). It is a record of all trade, exports and imports, between a nation and the rest of the world. The current account is separated into merchandise, services, and what's called unilateral transfers. The merchandise part is nothing other than the well-known balance of trade. There's also a lesser known balance of services -- the difference between services imported and exported.

     See also | balance of trade | capital account | money | export | import | balance of services | balance of payments | asset | foreign | domestic | foreign aid | capital account surplus | capital account deficit |


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INCREASING-COST INDUSTRY

A perfectly competitive industry with a positively-sloped long-run industry supply curve that results because expansion of the industry causes higher production cost and resource prices. An increasing-cost industry occurs because the entry of new firms, prompted by an increase in demand, causes the long-run average cost curve of each firm to shift upward, which increases the minimum efficient scale of production.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time driving to a factory outlet seeking to buy either a key chain with a built-in flashlight and panic button or a green and yellow striped sweater vest. Be on the lookout for letters from the Internal Revenue Service.
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Helping spur the U.S. industrial revolution, Thomas Edison patented nearly 1300 inventions, 300 of which came out of his Menlo Park "invention factory" during a four-year period.
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