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October 1, 2022 

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LABOR FORCE: The total number of people willing and able to exert mental and/or physical efforts in productive activities. In principle, this is everyone 16 years of age and over who is willing and able to work. In practice, it includes the sum of anyone over 16 years who is employed or unemployed but actively seeking a job. The labor force is essentially a more technical term for the economy's labor supply.

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MONETARY POLICY: The Federal Reserve System's use of the money supply to stabilize the business cycle. As the nation's central bank, the Federal Reserve System determines the total amount of money circulating around the economy. In principle, the Fed can use three different "tools"--open market operations, the discount rate, and reserve requirements--to manipulate the money supply. In practice, however, the primary tool employed is open market operations. To counter a recession, the Fed would undertake expansionary policy, also termed easy money. To reduce inflation, contractionary policy is the order of the day, and goes by the name tight money.

     See also | Federal Reserve System | money | business cycle | stabilization policies | central bank | open market operations | discount rate | reserve requirements | Federal Open Market Committee | tight money | easy money | fiscal policy | interest rate | inflation | unemployment | expansionary monetary policy | contractionary monetary policy |


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MERGER

The consolidation of two or more separately-owned businesses under single ownership. Mergers fall into one of three classes--(1) horizontal between firms that sell competing products in the same market, (2) vertical between firms in different stages of the production of one good, and (3) conglomerate between firms that are in separate industries. Because horizontal mergers tend to reduce competition, they are most likely to be scrutinized by government. Mergers are one of several behavioral inclinations of oligopoly. A related oligopolistic behavior is collusion.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time watching infomercials wanting to buy either a wall poster commemorating Thor Heyerdahl's Pacific crossing aboard the Kon-Tiki or decorative garden figurines. Be on the lookout for attractive cable television service repair people.
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