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ACTUAL INVESTMENT: Investment expenditures that the business sector actual undertakes during a given time period, including both planned investment and any unplanned inventory changes. This is a critical component of Keynesian economics and the analysis of macroeconomic equilibrium, which occurs when actual investment is equal to planned investment. The difference between planned and actual investment is unplanned investment, which is inventory changes caused by a difference between aggregate expenditures and aggregate output. Should actual and planned investment differ, then aggregate expenditures are not equal to aggregate output, and the macroeconomy is not in equilibrium.

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FREE MARKET: A competitive market that is unrestrained by government control or regulations, especially price floors, price ceilings, or taxes. In such a market the forces of demand and supply eliminate any shortages and surpluses move the market to the equilibrium price and quantity. If the free market is competitive (with large numbers of buyers and sellers) and is not infected with other market failures, such as externalities, then equilibrium price results with equality between the demand price and the supply price. This means that equilibrium is also efficient.

     See also | market | competition | price floor | price ceiling | tax incidence | competition | externalities | market failure |


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MARKET-CLEARING PRICE

The price that exists when a market is clear of shortage and surplus, or is in equilibrium. Market-clearing price is a common, non-technical term for equilibrium price. In a market graph, the market-clearing price is found at the intersection of the demand curve and the supply curve.

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During the American Revolution, the price of corn rose 10,000 percent, the price of wheat 14,000 percent, the price of flour 15,000 percent, and the price of beef 33,000 percent.
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