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CAPITAL ACCOUNT SURPLUS: An imbalance in a nation's balance of payments capital account in which payments received by the country for selling domestic assets exceed payments made by the country for purchasing foreign assets. In other words, investment by the domestic economy in foreign assets is greater than foreign investment in domestic assets. This is generally a desireable situation for a domestic economy. However, in the wacky world of international economics, a capital account surplus is often balanced by a current account deficit, which is not generally considered a desireable situation. If, however, the current account does not balance out the capital account, then a capital account surplus contributes to a balance of payments surplus.

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FREE TRADE: The absence of trade barriers, or restrictions on foreign trade. Based on the notion of comparative advantage, unrestricted trade is generally beneficial to a trading country. However, while consumers benefit through a greater selection of products and lower prices, producers in a country are on the receiving end of lower prices and stiffer competition. In that producers tend to have more political clout than consumers, completely, unhindered free trade is seldom seen in the real world. Numerous trade restrictions such as tariffs, nontariff barriers, and quotas are usually the rule of the day (also the rule of the week, year, decade and century).

     See also | foreign trade | trade barriers | comparative advantage | absolute advantage | competition | tariff | nontariff barrier | quota | second estate | exchange |


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COMPENSATION OF EMPLOYEES

The official item in the National Income and Product Accounts maintained by the Bureau of Economics Analysis measuring wages earned by the household sector for supplying labor services. This is one of five official factor payments making up national income. The other four are net interest, rental income of persons, corporate profits, and proprietors' income. Compensation of employees is far and away the largest of the five factor payments, typically running about 70 percent of national income.

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