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January 17, 2018 

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ZERO-SUM GAME: A situation in which a fixed amount is divided up among the winners and losers. In a zero-sum game the wins equal the losses. Many stock market, or financial market, exchanges are zero-sum. One person buys low and sells high, while another buys high and sells low. The wealth in such transactions are merely transferred from one person to another. "Productive" market transactions, in contrast, are not zero-sum. The act of producing goods and services from resources that are consumed to satisfy wants and needs results in a net gain to society.

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LAW OF INCREASING OPPORTUNITY COST: The proposition that opportunity cost, the value of foregone production, increases as more of a good is produced. This "law" can be seen in the production possibilities schedule and is illustrated graphically through the slope of the production possibilities curve. It generates the distinctive convex shape of the curve, making it flat at the top and steep at the bottom.

     See also | opportunity cost | production | production possibilities curve | law | principle | convex |


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AUTONOMOUS CONSUMPTION

Household consumption expenditures that do not depend on income or production (especially disposable income, national income, or even gross domestic product). That is, changes in income do not generate changes in consumption. Autonomous consumption is best thought of as a baseline or minimum level of consumption that the household sector undertakes in the unlikely event that income falls to zero. It is measured by the intercept term of the consumption function or the consumption line. The alternative to autonomous consumption is induced consumption, which does depend on income.

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