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TRADE DEFICIT: Formally termed a balance of trade deficit, a condition in which a nation's imports are greater than exports. In other words, a country is buying more stuff for foreigners than foreigners are buying from domestic producers. A trade deficit is usually thought to be bad for a country. For this reason, some countries seek to reduce their trade deficit by--(1) establishing trade barriers on imports, (2) reducing the exchange rate (termed devaluation) such that exports are less expensive and imports more expensive, or (3) invading foreign countries with sizable armies.

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Lesson 7: Market Equilibrium | Unit 1: The Exchange Page: 2 of 22

Topic: Equilibrium <=PAGE BACK | PAGE NEXT=>

Equilibrium is the balance of opposing forces that remains unchanged until another force intervenes.

For example:

If two people are pushing in opposite ways on a swinging door with equal strength, then neither will be able to go through. Each pusher represents an opposing force.

For a market, the opposing forces are:

  • Demand. Buyers want to pay a lower price.
  • Supply. Sellers want to receive a higher price.
Market equilibrium is indicated by equilibrium quantity and equilibrium price.
  • Equilibrium quantity is the quantity of a good traded among buyers and sellers when a market is in equilibrium.
  • Equilibrium price is the price agreed to by buyers and sellers when a market is in equilibrium.
  • Buyers and sellers will continue to trade the equilibrium quantity at the equilibrium price indefinitely.
  • But, the equilibrium quantity and price can be disrupted by ceteris paribus determinants of demand and supply. Analyzing these disruptions help us understand economic events.

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MERGER

The consolidation of two or more separately-owned businesses under single ownership. Mergers fall into one of three classes--(1) horizontal between firms that sell competing products in the same market, (2) vertical between firms in different stages of the production of one good, and (3) conglomerate between firms that are in separate industries. Because horizontal mergers tend to reduce competition, they are most likely to be scrutinized by government. Mergers are one of several behavioral inclinations of oligopoly. A related oligopolistic behavior is collusion.

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The 1909 Lincoln penny was the first U.S. coin with the likeness of a U.S. President.
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