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COMPARATIVE STATICS: The technique of comparing the equilibrium resulting from a change in a determinant with the equilibrium prior to the change. Comparative statics is the primary analytical technique used in the study of economics. A popular example of this technique is found in the study of markets. Comparative statics is used to analyze how the equilibrium price and equilibrium quantity are affected by changes in the demand and supply determinants, which are graphically represented by shifts of the respective demand or supply curves.

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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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PLANT

The physical capital (building and equipment) at a particular location used for the production of goods and services. A plant, or factory, is usually a relatively large production operation (compared with something smaller, like a shop). While plant and firm are occasionally used synonymously, a given firm might own more than one plant and a given plant might be owned by more than one firm.

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