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MARGINAL PROPENSITY TO CONSUME: The proportion of each additional dollar of household income that is used for consumption expenditures. Or alternatively, this is the change in consumption expenditures due to a change in disposable income. Abbreviated MPC, the marginal propensity to consume is the slope of the consumption or propensity-to-consume line that forms the foundation for Keynesian economics. As such, it also takes center stage for the slope of the aggregate expenditure line and the multiplier effect. The sum of the marginal propensity to consume and the related concept, the marginal propensity to save, is equal to one.

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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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SHORT RUN, MACROECONOMICS

In terms of macroeconomic analysis, especially the aggregate market (AS-AD) analysis, a period of time in which some prices, notably wages, are rigid, inflexible, or otherwise in the process of adjusting. This is one of two macroeconomic time designations; the other is the long run. Short-run wage and price rigidity prevents some markets, especially resource markets and most notably labor markets, from achieving equilibrium. Wage and price rigidity and the resulting resource market imbalances are the source of the positively-sloped short-run aggregate supply curve.

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