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LAFFER CURVE: The graphical inverted-U relation between tax rates and total tax collections by government. Developed by economist Arthur Laffer, the Laffer curve formed a key theoretical foundation for supply-side economics of President Reagan during the 1980s. It is based on the notion that government collects zero revenue if the tax rate is 0% and if the tax rate is 100%. At a 100% tax rate no one has the incentive to work, produce, and earn income, so there is no income to tax. As such, the optimum tax rate, in which government revenue is maximized, lies somewhere between 0% and 100%. This generates a curve shaped like and inverted U, rising from zero to a peak, then falling back to zero. If the economy is operating to the right of the peak, then government revenue can be increased by decreasing the tax rate. This was used to justify supply-side economic policies during the Reagan Administration, especially the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981 (Kemp-Roth Act).

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MACROECONOMY: The aggregate, or national economy that is the prime focus of the study of macroeconomics.

     See also | economy | macroeconomics |


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SELF CORRECTION, INFLATIONARY GAP

The automatic process in which the aggregate market eliminates an inflationary gap created by a short-run equilibrium that is greater than full employment through increases in wages (and other resource prices). The self-correction mechanism is triggered by short-run resource market imbalances that are closed by long-run price flexibility. The self-correction process of the aggregate market also acts to close a recessionary gap with lower wages (and other resource prices).

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