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CENTRAL PLANNING: A system of extensive central government control of an economy, including organizing production and making allocation decisions. This was the popular method of allocating resources and answering the three basic questions of allocation under the communism/socialism economic systems of the Soviet Union, China, and others during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. Applying the communist/socialist philosophy that private property and market allocation were "bad," central planning relied on extremely detailed plans made by government. These plans would set specific production quotas for individual products, parts, components, and inputs fabricated by all of the factories and farms across the economy. This was a daunting, complex task that required detailed production information for hundreds of thousands of different commodities.

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PRODUCTION POSSIBILITIES CURVE: A curve that illustrates the production possibilities for the economy. A production possibilities curve (or PPC), like the one presented here, represents the boundary or frontier of the economy's production capabilities. That's why it's also frequently termed a production possibilities frontier (or PPF). As a frontier, it is the maximum production possible given existing (fixed) resources and technology. Producing on the curve means resources are fully employed, while producing inside the curve means resources are unemployed. The law of increasing opportunity cost is what gives the curve its distinctive convex shape.

     See also | production possibilities | production possibilities schedule | resources | technology | full employment | unemployment | opportunity cost | economic growth | law of increasing opportunity cost | scarcity | convex |


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GDP PRICE DEFLATOR

A price index calculated as the ratio nominal gross domestic product to real gross domestic product. Also commonly referred to as the implicit price deflator, the GDP price deflator is used as an indicator of the economy's average price level. This price index is tabulated and reported every three months along with the gross domestic product, national income, and related measures that make up the National Income and Product Accounts maintained by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The GDP part of GDP price deflator stands for gross domestic product.

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