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AGGREGATE EXPENDITURE DETERMINANT: A ceteris paribus factor that affects aggregate expenditures, but which is assumed constant when the aggregate expenditure line is constructed. Changes in any of the aggregate expenditures determinants cause the aggregate expenditure line to shift. While a wide variety of specific ceteris paribus factors can cause the aggregate expenditure line to shift, it's usually most convenient to group them into the four, broad expenditure categories -- consumption, investment, government purchases, and net exports. The reason is that changes in these expenditures are the direct cause of shifts in the aggregate expenditure line. If any determinant affects aggregate expenditures it MUST affect one of these four expenditures.

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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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KINKED-DEMAND CURVE ANALYSIS

An analysis using the kinked-demand curve to explain rigid prices often found with oligopoly. The kinked-demand curve contains two distinct segments--one for higher prices that is more elastic and one for lower prices that is less elastic. Key to this analysis is that the corresponding marginal revenue curve contains three segments--one associated with the more elastic segment, one associated with the less elastic segment, and one associated with the kink. A profit-maximizing firm can then equate marginal cost to a wide range of marginal revenue values along the vertical segment of the marginal revenue curve. This suggests that marginal cost must change significantly before an oligopolistic firm is inclined to change price.

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