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DEMOGRAPHIC TRANSITION: A transition experienced by most, if not all, developed countries in which the birth rate and death rate both decline from relatively high levels to relatively low levels. However, because the death rate tends to decline first, often preceding the decline in the birth rate be several decades, the rate of population growth increases. In some cases the rate of population growth can be so high that it circumvents further develop and prevents or postpones the completion of the demographic transition.

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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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BALANCE OF TRADE

The difference between the value of goods and services exported out of a country and the value of goods and services imported into the country. The balance of trade is the official term for net exports that makes up the balance of payments. The balance of trade can be a "favorable" surplus (exports exceed imports) or an "unfavorable" deficit (imports exceed exports). The official balance of trade is separated into the balance of merchandise trade for tangible goods and the balance of services.

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