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KEYNES, JOHN MAYNARD: A British economist (born--1883, died--1946) who is most noted for his work The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money, published 1936. The The General Theory revolutionized economic theory of the day, forming the foundation of Keynesian economics and creating the modern study of macroeconomics. Keynes was a well-known and highly respected economist prior to publication of The General Theory, however, this revolutionary work guaranteed Keynes a place as one of the most influential economists of all time.

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FISCAL POLICY: Use of the federal government's powers of spending and taxation to stabilize the business cycle. If the economy is mired in a recession, then the appropriate fiscal policy is to increase spending or reduce taxes--termed expansionary policy. During periods of high inflation, the opposite actions are needed--contractionary policy. The consequences of fiscal policy are typically observed in terms of the federal deficit.

     See also | government sector | stabilization policies | government purchases | taxes | transfer payments | federal deficit | full-employment budget | business cycle | recession | contraction | expansion | unemployment | inflation | crowding out | expansionary fiscal policy | contractionary fiscal policy | automatic stabilizer | monetary policy | recessionary gap | inflationary gap |


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BALANCE ON MERCHANDISE TRADE

A subset of the balance of payments current account that records the difference between the payments received for exports of goods to other nations and the payments made for the imports of goods from other nations. The goods included are physical or tangible goods, but not intangible services. The balance on merchandise trade is thus appropriately divided into merchandise exported and merchandise imported. Two other subsets of the current account include the balance on services and unilateral transfers. The commonly termed balance of trade is the sum of the balance on merchandise trade and the balance on services.

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