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ABSOLUTE POVERTY LEVEL: The amount of income a person or family needs to purchase an absolute amount of the basic necessities of life. These basic necessities are identified in terms of calories of food, BTUs of energy, square feet of living space, etc. The problem with the absolute poverty level is that there really are no absolutes when in comes to consuming goods. You can consume a given poverty level of calories eating relatively expensive steak, relatively inexpensive pasta, or garbage from a restaurant dumpster. The income needed to acquire each of these calorie "minimums" vary greatly. That's why some prefer a relative poverty level.

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POSITIVE ECONOMICS: The branch of economics that tries to explain the way the economy actually operates. It is the application of the scientific method and the process of testing hypothesis. A positive statement can be refuted by looking at the real world, that is testing hypotheses. Positive economics is the consequence of applying the scientific method to economic phenomena. This term should be compared and contrasted with normative economics, which says the way the world should be.

     See also | economics | normative economics | scientific method | hypothesis | verification | data | phenomenon | principle | science | bankruptcy | living standard | Gini index | Lorenz curve |


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AGGREGATE DEMAND

The total real expenditures on final goods and services produced in the domestic economy that buyers are willing and able to undertake at different price levels, during a given time period (usually a year). Aggregate demand, usually abbreviated AD, is an inverse relation between price level and aggregate expenditures. This is one half of the AS-AD (aggregate market) analysis. The other half is aggregate supply. Aggregate demand consists of four aggregate expenditures--consumption expenditures, investment expenditures, government purchases, and net exports--made by the four macroeconomic sectors--household, business, government, and foreign.

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