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August 17, 2018 

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WIDGET: A fictitious good commonly used by economic instructors to demonstrate economic principles or undertake hypothetical analyses. For example, the analysis of short-run production for a firm might be demonstrated through the production of widgets. Alternatively, the law of demand might be illustrated with a table or curve comparing the price of widgets with the quantity demanded of widgets. If such a good exists, and there is no clear evidence that widgets have every existed, it is a small mechanical device, constructed of interlocking cogs, several knobs, and at least one handle. Widgets are most often used when thingamajigs and dohickies are unavailable.

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TRADE BARRIERS: Restrictions, invariably by government, that prevent free trade among countries. The more popular trade restrictions are tariffs, import quotas, and assorted nontariff barriers. An occasional embargo will be even thrown into this mix. The primary use of trade barriers is to restrict imports from entering in country. By restring imports, domestic producers of the restricted goods are protected from competition and are even subsidized through higher prices. Consumers, though, get the short end of this stick with higher prices and a limited choice of goods. In that producers tend to have more political clout than consumers, it's pretty obvious why trade barriers are a "natural" state of affairs.

     See also | foreign trade | free trade | tariff | import | quota | embargo | export | competition | subsidy | GATT |


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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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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time wandering around the shopping mall looking to buy either decorative picture frames or storage boxes for your income tax returns. Be on the lookout for neighborhood pets, especially belligerent parrots.
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