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August 18, 2019 

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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.

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INTERNATIONAL TRADE: The economic interaction among different nations involving the exchange of goods and services, that is, exports and imports. The guiding principle of international trade is comparative advantage, which indicates that every country, no matter their level of development, can find something that it can produce cheaper than another country. International finance, the study of payments between nations, is a related area of international economics. A summary of international trade undertaken by a particular nation is given with the balance of trade.

     See also | international economics | international finance | balance of trade | comparative advantage | foreign trade | export | import |


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DERIVATION, PRODUCTION POSSIBILITIES CURVE

A production possibilities curve, which illustrates the alternative combinations of two goods that an economy can produce with given resources and technology, is often derived from a production possibilities schedule. This derivation involves plotting each bundle from the production possibilities schedule as a point in a diagram measuring the two goods on the vertical and horizontal axes.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time calling an endless list of 800 numbers looking to buy either a T-shirt commemorating last Friday (you know why) or a rotisserie oven that can also toast bread. Be on the lookout for mail order catalogs with hidden messages.
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In the Middle Ages, pepper was used for bartering, and it was often more valuable and stable in value than gold.
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