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PRICE CEILING: A legally established maximum price. The government is occasionally inclined to keep the price of one good or another from rising too high. Examples include apartments, gasoline, and natural gas. While the goal is invariably a noble one--like keeping stuff affordable for poor people--a price ceiling often does more harm than good. First, it usually creates a shortage, meaning that many of the buyers who being protected against high prices, can't even buy the good. Second, as a consequence of this shortage, a price ceiling is likely to generate a black market where the good is sold illegally above the price ceiling.

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MIXED ECONOMY: An economy, or economic system, that relies on both markets and governments to allocate resources. While, in theory, we could have a pure market economy or a pure command economy, in the real world all economies are mixed, relying on both markets and governments for allocation decisions. Markets allocate resources through voluntary choices made by living, breathing people. Government forces allocation through involuntary taxes, laws, restrictions, and regulations. Both institutions play vital roles in an economy.

     See also | economy | economic system | market | government | three questions of allocation | pure market economy | pure command economy | capitalism | market-oriented economy | socialism | communism |


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VALUE IN USE

The satisfaction of wants and needs provided by the direct consumption of goods and services. Acquiring value from the use of goods and services is really the ultimate goal of economic activity. It is the final step in the production, allocation, and consumption activities that are undertaken to address the fundamental problem of scarcity. Value in use should be contrasted with the similar phrase, value in exchange.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time searching for a specialty store seeking to buy either a wall poster commemorating last Friday (you know why) or a country wreathe. Be on the lookout for malfunctioning pocket calculators.
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The Dow Jones family of stock market price indexes began with a simple average of 11 stock prices in 1884.
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