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BALANCE OF TRADE: The difference between funds received by a country when exporting merchandise and the funds paid for importing merchandise. The balance of trade is a major part of the current accounts portion of the balance of payments. A balance of trade surplus results if exports exceed imports, commonly termed a favorable balance of trade, and a balance of trade deficit exists if imports exceed exports, analogously termed an unfavorable balance of trade. The "favorable" and "unfavorable" normative connotations attached to the balance of trade rests with the presumption that a nation is "better off" when it exports more than it imports, which is not necessarily true.

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The AmosWEB GLOSS*arama is a searchable database of 2000 economic terms and concepts. GLOSS*arama entries range from A ("a" -- the vertical intercept of a straight line) to Z ("zoning" -- legal restrictions on the location of an activity).

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TOTAL FACTOR COST, PERFECT COMPETITION

The opportunity cost incurred by a perfectly competitive firm when using a given factor of production to produce a good or service. This is the total cost associated with the use of a particular resource or factor of production--it is the total cost of the factor. For a perfectly competitive firm, the price paid is constant and total factor cost increases at a constant rate. Total factor cost is predominately used in the analysis of the factor market. Two derivative factor cost measures are average factor cost and marginal factor cost.

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What Do You Have Against DISCRIMINATION?

Hunger is, of course, an avoidable malady when ambling through the economy. At the present, I'm easily tempted by a hamburger, fries, and large cola -- a pedestrian meal if there ever was one. As luck would have it, we've found ourselves at the door of Big Ott's Boiled Burger Buffet. Luck, though, is not totally on our side. Big Ott's has a large sign prominently posted at the entry to his establishment. It screams in no uncertain terms: NO PEDESTRIANS ALLOWED. As a well-known, card-carrying pedestrian, I am, to say the least, taken aback. Why on earth would Big Ott's Boiled Burger Buffet refuse service to pedestrians? A quick quiz of an employee reveals that Big Ott once swerved off the sidewalk to avoid striking a pedestrian, causing extensive damage to his sleek, new OmniMotors XL GT 9000 convertible sport coupe. His anger has been since extended to all who travel by foot.
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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time strolling around a discount warehouse buying club trying to buy either pink cotton balls or a genuine down-filled comforter. Be on the lookout for small children selling products door-to-door.
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