March 23, 2018 

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HORIZONTAL MERGER: The consolidation under a single ownership of two separately-owned businesses in the same industry. An example of a horizontal merger would be two soft drink companies merging to form a single firm. A horizontal merger should be contrasted with vertical merger--two firms in different stages of the production of one good, such that the output of one business is the input of the other; and conglomerate merger--two firms in totally, completely separate industries.

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VARIABLE: A quantity, usually represented as a symbol, that can take on one of a set of values. Variables play a key role in the scientific method and economic analysis. A major task undertaken by the study of economics is to identify the specific value of variables such as price, quantity, unemployment, production, wages, income, among a host of others. This often accomplished using assorted models, such as the market model.

     See also | model | economic analysis | scientific method | exogenous variable | endogenous variable | market | price | quantity |

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An elasticity alternative in which relatively large changes in one variable (usually price) cause relatively small changes in another variable (usually quantity). In other words, quantity is not very responsive to price. Quantity does change, but not much, in response to large changes in price. This characterization of elasticity is most important for the price elasticity of demand and the price elasticity of supply. Relatively inelastic is one of five elasticity alternatives. The other four are perfectly elastic, perfectly inelastic, relatively elastic, and unit elastic.

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