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ALTERNATIVE UNEMPLOYMENT RATES: The official unemployment rate estimated and reported monthly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) using data from Current Population Survey is one of six alternative measures of unemployment tracked by the BLS, officially labeled U1-U6. The "official" unemployment rate is U3. The other five measures seek to document different ways in which labor can be underutilized, including unemployment duration, job losers, discouraged workers, marginally-attached workers, and part-time workers.

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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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RATIONAL IGNORANCE

The decision NOT to become informed about a topic (such as what a political candidate wants to do) because the cost of acquiring the information is more than the expected benefit. The rational decision to remain ignorant about a subject is a straightforward application of utility maximization and along with the related notion of rational abstention, is a source of voter apathy and government inefficiency.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time looking for a downtown retail store hoping to buy either several magazines on home repairs or a remote controlled sports car with an air spoiler. Be on the lookout for spoiled cheese hiding under your bed hatching conspiracies against humanity.
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The wealthy industrialist, Andrew Carnegie, was once removed from a London tram because he lacked the money needed for the fare.
"Always make a total effort, even when the odds are against you."

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