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A: The common notation for the "intercept" term of an equation specified as Y = a + bX. Mathematically, the a-intercept term indicates the value of the Y variable when the value of the X variable is equal to zero. Theoretically, the a-intercept is frequently used to indicate exogenous or independent influences on the Y variable, that is, influences that are independent of the X variable. For example, if Y represents consumption and X represents national income, a measures autonomous consumption expenditures.

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CAPITAL ACCOUNT: One of two parts of a nation's balance of payments. The capital is a record of all purchases of physical and financial assets between a nation and the rest of the world in a given period, usually one year. On one side of the balance of payments ledger account are all of the foreign assets purchase by our domestic economy. On the other side of the ledger are all of our domestic assets purchased by foreign countries. The capital account is said to have a surplus if a nation's investments abroad are greater than foreign investments at home. In other words, if the good old U. S. of A. is buying up more assets in Mexico, Brazil, and Hungry, than Japanese, Germany, and Canada investors are buying up of good old U. S. assets, then we have a surplus. A deficit is the reverse.

     See also | balance of payments | asset | foreign | domestic | capital account surplus | capital account deficit | current account |


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LABOR FORCE

The total number of people in an economy, society, or country willing and able to exert mental and/or physical efforts in productive activities. The labor force is a more technical term for the labor resource or labor supply. It includes both employed workers and unemployed workers. An official variation of this term is civilian labor force. While labor force may or may not include military personnel, the civilian labor force explicitly excludes the military. Labor and labor resources are the theoretical terms that economists like to banter about. Labor force and civilian labor force are the terms of choice for government policy makers, data-crunchers, and others who need precise labor resource numbers.

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