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LEAKAGE LINE: A line used in the injection-leakage model representing the relation between non-consumption uses of income (that is, leakages) and national income. The three leakages are saving, taxes, and imports. The foundation of the leakages line is the saving line, which is then enhanced by adding taxes and imports. The other part of the injection-leakage model is a line representing injections. The intersection of the injection and leakage lines identifies equilibrium aggregate output, or Keynesian equilibrium.

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OPPORTUNITY COST: The highest valued alternative foregone in the pursuit of an activity. This is a hallmark of anything dealing with economics--and life for that matter--because any action that you take prevents you from doing something else. The ultimate source of opportunity cost is the pervasive problem of scarcity (unlimited wants and needs, but limited resources). Whenever limited resources are used to satisfy one want or need, there are an unlimited number of other wants and needs that remain unsatisfied. Herein lies the essence of opportunity cost. Doing one thing prevents doing another.

     See also | economics | scarcity | unlimited wants and needs | limited resources | resources | scarce resource | free resources | production possibilities | production possibilities frontier | law of increasing opportunity cost | value | satisfaction | consumption | production | economic cost | accounting cost | total cost |


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ASSUMPTION

An initial condition or statement of a model or theory that sets the stage for an analysis by abstracting from the real world. Assumptions are important to economic analysis. Some assumptions are used to simplify a complex analysis into more easily manageable parts. Other assumptions are used as control conditions that are subsequently changed to evaluate the consequences.

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