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VERTICAL INTEGRATION: The situation in which a firm participates in more than one successive stage of the production or distribution process. For example a soft drink company that also controls a sugar-producing firm is said to be vertically integrated because the soft drink company does not have to buy sugar from other firms to produce soft drinks. In some cases, two separate firms are vertically integrate because one firm produces a good or service and the other distributes it.

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J CURVE: An interesting relationship that exists between the exchange rate for a nation's currency and its balance of trade. In principle, the drop in a nation's exchange rate, or price of currency, makes the currency less expensive to "buy." With "cheaper" currency the price of domestic production is less and the price of foreign stuff is more, causing an increase in exports to other countries and drop in imports coming in from foreign producers. The economy thus moves in the direction away from a trade deficit and toward a trade surplus. However, the first few months after a drop in the exchange rate the balance of trade goes in the other direction, with any existing trade deficit increasing or any trade surplus shrinking. This occurs because the quantities imported and exported don't change in the short run, but the prices do. Because more is paid for the same amount of imported goods and receive less for the same amount of exports, total spending on imports increases, total revenue received from exports declines, and the movement is in the trade deficit direction. Once those quantities start adjusting in the long run, then we see a movement in the direction of a trade surplus.

     See also | foreign trade | foreign exchange | depreciation | exchange rate | currency | balance of trade | domestic | foreign | export | import | net exports | trade deficit | trade surplus | short run | long run |


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AUTONOMOUS CONSUMPTION

Household consumption expenditures that do 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 consumption. Autonomous consumption is best thought of as a baseline or minimum level of consumption that the household sector undertakes in the unlikely event that income falls to zero. It is measured by the intercept term of the consumption function or the consumption line. The alternative to autonomous consumption is induced consumption, which does depend on income.

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