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LAW OF COMPARATIVE ADVANTAGE: A basic principle that states every nation has a production activity that incurs a lower opportunity cost than that of another nation, which means that trade between the two nations can be beneficial to both if each specializes in the production of a good with lower relative opportunity cost. While this law is fundamental to the study of international trade, it also applies to other activities, especially the specialization and the division of labor.

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CHANGE IN INVENTORIES: The increase or decrease in the stocks of final goods, intermediate goods, raw materials, and other inputs that businesses keep on hand to use in production the occur because aggregate expenditures are not equal to aggregate output. Inventory changes play a key role in the Keynesian economics and the analysis of macroeconomic equilibrium. When inventory changes are zero, then aggregate expenditures are equal to aggregate output and there is no reason for the business sector to change the rate of production. Hence this is equilibrium.

     See also | change in business inventories | planned investment | unplanned investment | actual investment | final good | intermediate good | raw materials | business sector | aggregate expenditures | aggregate output | business cycle | economic indicators |


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TOTAL UTILITY CURVE

A curve illustrating the relation between the total utility obtained from consuming a good and the quantity of the good consumed. The shape of the total utility curve, increasing at a decreasing rate, reflects the law of diminishing marginal utility. The reason for this is that slope of the total utility curve is marginal utility, meaning the total utility curve can be use to derive the marginal utility curve.

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Before 1933, the U.S. dime was legal as payment only in transactions of $10 or less.
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