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ACTUAL INVESTMENT: Investment expenditures that the business sector actual undertakes during a given time period, including both planned investment and any unplanned inventory changes. This is a critical component of Keynesian economics and the analysis of macroeconomic equilibrium, which occurs when actual investment is equal to planned investment. The difference between planned and actual investment is unplanned investment, which is inventory changes caused by a difference between aggregate expenditures and aggregate output. Should actual and planned investment differ, then aggregate expenditures are not equal to aggregate output, and the macroeconomy is not in equilibrium.

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MERGER: The consolidation of two separately-owned businesses under single ownership. This can be accomplished through a mutual, "friendly" agreement by both parties, or through a "hostile takeover," in which one business gets ownership without cooperation from the other. Mergers fall into one of three classes -- (1) horizontal--two competing firms in the same industry that sell the same products, (2) vertical--two firms in different stages of the production of one good, such that the output of one business is the input of the other, and (3) conglomerate--two firms that are in totally, completely separated industries.

     See also | oligopoly | market structure | collusion | horizontal merger | vertical merger | conglomerate merger | antitrust laws | cartel | monopoly | competition |


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INDUCED CONSUMPTION

Household consumption expenditures that depend on income or production (especially disposable income, national income, or even gross domestic product). That is, changes in income induce changes in consumption. Induced consumption captures the fundamental psychological law put forth by John Maynard Keynes. It is measured by the marginal propensity to consume (MPC) and is reflected by the positive slope of consumption line. The alternative to induced consumption is autonomous consumption, which does not depend on income.

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