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February 4, 2023 

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ACTION LAG: In the context of economic policies, a part of the implementation lag involving the time it takes for appropriate policies to be launched once they have been agreed to by policy makers. Another part of the implementation lag is the decision lag. For fiscal policy, this involves appropriating funds to government agencies (for government spending) or changing the tax code (for taxes) For monetary policy, this involves the buying and selling government securities in the open market. The action lag is usually shorter for monetary policy than fiscal policy.

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BUSINESS CYCLE: The recurring expansions and contractions of the national economy (usually measured by real gross domestic product). A complete cycle typically lasts from three to five years, but could last ten years or more. It is divided into four phases -- expansion, peak, contraction, and trough. Unemployment inevitably rises during contractions and inflation tends to worsen during expansions. To avoid the inflation and unemployment problems of business cycles, the federal government frequently undertakes various fiscal and monetary policies.

     See also | real gross domestic product | economy | full-employment production | resources | aggregate expenditures | contraction | recession | expansion | peak | trough | recovery | unemployment | inflation | fiscal policy | monetary policy | business cycle phases | circular flow | business cycle measurement | economic indicators |


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ACCOUNTING COST

An actual outlay or expenses incurred in the production of a good that shows up in a firm's accounting statements and records. Accounting cost is an explicit payment (that is, money changing hands) incurred by a firm. Accounting cost, while very important to accountants, company CEOs, shareholders, and the Internal Revenue Service, is only minimally important to economists. The reason is that economists are more interested in economic cost (also called opportunity cost), which is the value of foregone production.

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