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KEIRETSU: A form of business structure common in Japan which involves an alliance of several businesses, each working toward the mutual success of the group. The alliance also has close ties to government. Each "independent" business owns stock in the others and shares executives and directors. Keiretsu can be either horizontally or vertically integrated. Horizontal keiretsu cluster around a major bank with business ventures in a wide variety of industries. Vertical keiretsu contain businesses in all production phases of a particular industry, from raw materials to production to marketing.

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FOREIGN TRADE: Exchange of goods and services between countries. The inclination for one country to trade with another is based in large part on the idea of comparative advantage--which says that any country, no matter how technologically disadvantaged it might be, can always find some sort of good that will let it enter the game of foreign trade. In this sense, foreign trade is just an extension of the production, exchange, and consumption that's a fundamental part of life. The only difference with foreign trade is that producers and consumers reside in separate countries.

     See also | foreign | comparative advantage | absolute advantage | production | consumption | exchange | efficiency | exchange rate | import | export | trade barriers | balance of trade | trading bloc |


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OLIGOPOLY, CONCENTRATION

Oligopoly is a market structure that contains a small number of relatively large firms, meaning oligopoly markets tend to be concentrated. A small number of large firms account for a majority of total output. Concentration unto itself is not necessarily bad, but it often leads to inefficient behavior, such as collusion and nonprice competition. Concentration is measured in three ways--market share, concentration ratio, Herfindahl index.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time at an auction trying to buy either a birthday gift for your father that doesn't look like every other birthday gift for your father or a green fountain pen. Be on the lookout for high interest rates.
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The 1909 Lincoln penny was the first U.S. coin with the likeness of a U.S. President.
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