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January 16, 2019 

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INSTITUTION: An established method or way of doing something that's widely accepted throughout society. Common institutions include marriage, markets, high school football in the fall, government, and Christmas gift-giving. Institutions provide the rules and guidelines needed to carry out the day-to-day activities of our lives. Institutions provide the crucial structure of a society and the framework within which economic activity takes place. Without institution structure, anarchy would prevail. With the rules, though, come rigidities that can prevent resources from being allocated efficiently.

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LEISURE: The portion of time workers and other people spend not being compensative for work performed when they actively engaged in the production of goods and services. In other words, this is the time people sent off the job. Leisure activities can include resting at home, working around the house (without compensation), engaging in leisure activities (such as weekend sports, watching movies), or even sleeping. Leisure time pursuits becomes increasingly important for economies as they become more highly developed. As technological advances reduce the amount of time people need to spend working to generate a given level of income, they have more freedom to pursue leisure activities. Not only does this promote sales of industries that provide leisure related goods (sports, entertainment, etc.) it also triggers an interesting labor-leisure tradeoff and what is termed the backward-bending labor supply curve.

     See also | labor | labor-leisure tradeoff | backward-bending labor supply curve | economic development | technology | hierarchy of needs |


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PRODUCT DIFFERENTIATION

Slight differences that exist between two or more goods that are essentially the same and which satisfy the same basic want or need. This is generally pursued in monopolistic competition and oligopoly by firms seeking to increase sales and profit. Many of the best known businesses in the economy practice product differentiation to gain an advantage on the competition and to acquire a bit of market control. For example, Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola are very similar, but each has a few differences in terms of taste, packaging, and esteem.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time at a garage sale wanting to buy either a small palm tree that will fit on your coffee table or several magazines on fashion design. Be on the lookout for fairy dust that tastes like salt.
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Only 1% of the U.S. population paid income taxes when the income tax was established in 1914.
"Good humor is a tonic for mind and body. It is the best antidote for anxiety and depression. It is a business asset. It attracts and keeps friends. It lightens human burdens. It is the direct route to serenity and contentment."

-- Grenville Kleiser, Author

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