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June 18, 2018 

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AGGREGATE PRODUCTION FUNCTION: A relation between the total production of real output for an economy and the amount of labor input. The aggregate production function is comparable to the standard production function used in the microeconomic analysis of firm behavior but is applied to the macroeconomic study of aggregate supply, resource markets, and employment. It is typically assumed to experience diminishing marginal returns, resulting in a decreasing marginal product of labor.

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GOLD STANDARD: Use of gold as the standard for valuing a nation's currency. A gold standard can take at least three different forms, most of which have been part of the American economic landscape. (1) Gold is used as the money in circulation. (2) Gold is used to back up paper money in circulation. This involves the use of something like a gold certificate, such that the number of certificates in circulation is the same as the amount of gold stored someplace like Fort Knox. (3) Gold is used to fix the exchange price of paper currency in circulation. In this case, the currency could, in principle, be exchanged for some predetermined amount of gold. In other words, the price of gold is fixed in terms of dollars.

     See also | money | gold certificate | currency | Federal Reserve System |


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UNDERGROUND ECONOMY

Illegal and unreported market transactions and productive activity that escape the watchful eyes of official record keepers. By most estimates, a substantial amount of productive activity takes place in the underground economy of the United States. Of course, these are only estimates because such activity, by definition, goes unreported. If activity in the underground economy is added to official activity in the "overground" economy, then gross domestic product could be boosted by as much as 25 percent to 50 percent, or more. Inclusion of employment in the underground economy is also likely reduce the official unemployment rate by a few percentage points.

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