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October 19, 2021 

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ABSTRACTION: Simplifying the complexities of the real world by ignoring (hopefully) unimportant details while doing economic analysis. Abstraction is often criticized because it's, well, it's JUST NOT REALISTIC. However, when done correctly (ignoring things that JUST DON'T MATTER), then the pursuit of knowledge is greatly enhanced by abstraction. For example, when travelling cross country along a high-speed interstate highway, a paper road map is a handy tool. It shows towns and cities along the way, the major intersections, rest stop locations, and other important points of interest. However, it ignores unimportant details. It doesn't realistically show the location of every tree, bush, or blade of grass. Why bother? This information won't enhance your road trip.

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AUTOMATIC STABILIZER: A feature of the federal government's budget that tends to reduce the ups and downs of the business cycle without the need for any special legislative action, that is stabilization policies. The two key automatic stabilizers are income taxes and transfer payments. When our economy drops into a recession, unemployment rises, aggregate output declines, and people have less income. But with less income, they pay fewer income taxes, and thus there's less of a drain on consumption than their might have been. Likewise, many who are unemployed get transfer payments in the form of unemployment compensation, welfare, or Social Security. This lets them consume more than they would have otherwise. During an expansion, both of these go in the other direction. As a result, a recession sees more spending and fewer taxes, while an expansion has less spending and more taxes, all occurring quite automatically.

     See also | business cycle | stabilization policies | fiscal policy | transfer payment | unemployment compensation | welfare | income tax | business cycle | contraction | expansion | consumption | income | aggregate output |


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AUTOMATIC STABILIZER, AmosWEB GLOSS*arama, http://www.AmosWEB.com, AmosWEB LLC, 2000-2021. [Accessed: October 19, 2021].


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AVERAGE FACTOR COST

Total factor cost per unit of factor input employed by a firm in the production of output, found by dividing total factor cost by the quantity of factor input. Average factor cost, abbreviated AFC, is generally equal to the factor price. However, using the longer term average factor cost makes it easier to see the connection to related terms, including total factor cost and marginal factor cost.

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