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January 19, 2018 

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PARETO EFFICIENCY: A type of efficiency that results if one person can not be made better off without making someone else worse off. Named after Vilfredo Pareto, this criterion is the guiding theoretical notion of efficiency used in the study of economics, especially welfare economics. Pareto efficiency is generally not attained if some resources are idle or unemployed. By engaging idle resources in production, some people can have more production without reducing that available to others. A problem with Pareto efficiency, however, is that it is based on the existing distribution of income and wealth. This is one of two noted efficiency criteria used in economics. The other is Kaldor-Hicks efficiency.

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VALUE-ADDED TAX: A tax on the extra value added during each stage in the production of a good. Most of the stuff our economy produces goes through several "stages," usually with different businesses. In each stage, resources do their thing to the good to make it a little more valuable. For example, an ice cream store can take 50 cents worth of ice cream, fudge, and whipped topping and turn it into a hot fudge sundae that's valued at $1.50. The efforts of the ice cream resources thus add $1 in value. A value-added tax is based on this extra value. While it's been debated off and on in the United States, a value-added tax is commonly used in Europe.

     See also | tax | production | resources | sales tax | income tax | stages of production |


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STABLE EQUILIBRIUM

Equilibrium that is restored if disrupted by an external force. Most economic models have equilibrium that is stable, reflecting the observation that the real world adapts to changes and maintains a fair degree of stability. The alternative to a stable equilibrium is an unstable equilibrium.

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