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REGULATORY PRICING: Government control over the price charge in a market, especially by a firm with market control. Price regulation is most commonly used for public utilities characterized as natural monopolies. If allowed to maximize profit without restraint, the price charged would exceed marginal cost and production would be inefficient. However, because such firms, as public utilities, produce output that is deemed essential or critical for the public, government steps in to regulate or control the price. The two most common methods of price regulation are marginal-cost pricing and average-cost pricing.

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LABOR AGREEMENT: A formal, official, legal contract between a firm and the labor union representing the firm's employees. Such an agreement stipulates the various aspects of employment, including wages, fringe benefits, vacations, layoffs, promotions, and grievance procedures. The terms of the agreement are generally negotiated through the collective bargaining process. Should the collective bargaining process breakdown, the terms of the labor agreement might be helped along through a third-party mediator. If this doesn't help, then the labor union might call a strike or the firm might impose a lockout. Once in effect, any questions about the terms of the agreement are often subject to arbitration.

     See also | labor union | collective bargaining | Taft-Hartley Act | National Labor Relations Act | bilateral monopoly | mediation | strike | lockout | arbitration |


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INVESTMENT EXPENDITURES

Expenditures made by the business sector on final goods and services, or gross domestic product, especially the purchase of productive capital goods. Investment expenditures play a central role in macroeconomic activity affecting both short-run business cycles and long-run economic growth. These expenditures reflect the general act of investment involving foregoing current satisfaction to produce capital goods and are officially measured by gross private domestic investment. These are one of four expenditures on gross domestic product. The other three are consumption expenditures, government purchases, and net exports.

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