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M: The standard abbreviation for imports produced by the domestic economy and purchased by the foreign sector, especially when used in the study of macroeconomics. This abbreviation is most often seen in the aggregate expenditure equation, AE = C + I + G + (X - M), where C, I, G, and (X - M) represent expenditures by the four macroeconomic sectors, household, business, government, and foreign. The United States, for example, buys a lot of the stuff produced within the boundaries of other countries, including bananas, coffee, cars, chocolate, computers, and, well, a lot of other products. Imports, together with exports, are the essence of foreign trade--goods and services that are traded among the citizens of different nations. Imports and exports are frequently combined into a single term, net exports (exports minus imports).

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Lesson 12: Elasticity and Demand | Unit 4: Determinants Page: 20 of 25

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  • Demand elasticity also depends on how much of their budgets buyers devote to a given good.

    • Demand tends to be relatively inelastic for goods the comprise a smaller budget proportion. A smaller budget share reduces the incentive to switch between substitutes.

    • Demand tends to be relatively elastic for goods the comprise a larger budget proportion. A larger budget share increases the incentive to switch between substitutes.

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KINKED-DEMAND CURVE ANALYSIS

An analysis using the kinked-demand curve to explain rigid prices often found with oligopoly. The kinked-demand curve contains two distinct segments--one for higher prices that is more elastic and one for lower prices that is less elastic. Key to this analysis is that the corresponding marginal revenue curve contains three segments--one associated with the more elastic segment, one associated with the less elastic segment, and one associated with the kink. A profit-maximizing firm can then equate marginal cost to a wide range of marginal revenue values along the vertical segment of the marginal revenue curve. This suggests that marginal cost must change significantly before an oligopolistic firm is inclined to change price.

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