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AGGREGATE EXPENDITURE LINE: A line representing the relation between aggregate expenditures and gross domestic product used in the Keynesian cross. The aggregate expenditure line is obtained by adding investment expenditures, government purchases, and net exports to the consumption line. As such, the slope of the aggregate expenditure line is largely based on the slope of the consumption line (which is the marginal propensity to consume), with adjustments coming from the marginal propensity to invest, the marginal propensity for government purchases, and the marginal propensity to import. The intersection of the aggregate expenditures line and the 45-degree line identifies the equilibrium level of output in the Keynesian cross.

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ECONOMY: The system of production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services that a society uses to address the problem of scarcity. The essential task of an economy is to transform resources into useful goods and services (the act of production), then distribute or allocate these products to useful ends (the act of consumption). Virtually all economies accomplish this task through a combination of decisions made through voluntary market exchanges and involuntary government rules and regulations.

     See also | economic system | three questions of allocation | institution | household sector | business sector | government sector | limited resources | unlimited wants and needs | ownership and control | resources | capitalism | private sector | public sector | private property | mixed economy | market-oriented economy | communism | socialism | pure market economy | pure command economy | first estate | second estate | third estate | fourth estate |


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SHORT-RUN PRODUCTION ANALYSIS

An analysis of the production decision made by a firm in the short run, with the ultimate goal of explaining the law of supply and the upward-sloping supply curve. The central feature of this short-run production analysis is the law of diminishing marginal returns, which results in the short run when larger amounts of a variable input, like labor, are added to a fixed input, like capital. A contrasting analysis is long-run production analysis.

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