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January 22, 2018 

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A POSTERIORI: A conclusion reached through logical reasoning based on facts and observations about the real world. This notion is closely related to the scientific verification of hypotheses and the identification of principles. A similar sounding, but opposite term is a prior, which is a unverified presumption made before an analysis is undertaken. For example, in the study of economics of crime you might assume, a priori, that people are basically "good", and conclude, a posteriori, that people are more likely to commit crimes when the threat of capture and conviction is lower.

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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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OPPORTUNITY COST, AmosWEB GLOSS*arama, http://www.AmosWEB.com, AmosWEB LLC, 2000-2018. [Accessed: January 22, 2018].


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COMPARATIVE ADVANTAGE

The ability to produce one good at a relatively lower opportunity cost than other goods, especially compared to production in another country. Every person or country has a comparative advantage in production of at least one good or service, even with relatively limited production technology. A related, but contrasting concept is absolute advantage. Both terms are perhaps most important to the study of international trade, but also provide insight into other exchanges.

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