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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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YIELD: The rate of return on a financial asset. In some simple cases, the yield on a financial asset, like commercial paper, corporate bond, or government security, is the asset's interest rate. However, as a more general rule, the yield includes both the interest earned from an asset plus any changes in the asset's price. Suppose, for example, that a $100,000 bond has a 10 percent interest rate, such that the holder receives $10,000 interest per year. If the price of the bond increases over the course of the year from $100,000 to $105,000, then the bond's yield is greater than 10 percent. It includes the $10,000 interest plus the $5,000 bump in the price, giving a yield of 15 percent. Because bonds and similar financial assets often have fixed interest payments, their prices and subsequently yields move up and down as economic conditions change.

     See also | rate of return | interest rate | asset | commercial paper | corporate bond | government security | price | financial markets |


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AUTONOMOUS SAVING

Household saving that does not depend on income or production (especially disposable income, national income, or even gross domestic product). That is, changes in income do not generate changes in saving. Autonomous saving is best thought of as a baseline level of saving (usually negative) that the household sector undertakes in the unlikely event that income falls to zero. It is measured by the intercept term of the saving function or the saving line. The alternative to autonomous saving is induced saving, which does depend on income.

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