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DEFLATION: An extended decline in the average level of prices. This is the exact opposite of inflation--in which prices are rising over an extended period, and it should be contrasted with disinflation--which is a decline in the inflation rate. Like inflation, deflation occurs when the AVERAGE price level decreases over time. While some prices might decrease, other prices could increase or remain unchanged, so long as the AVERAGE follows a downward trend. Deflation is a rare bird indeed in our economy and typically happens only when we're in a prolonged period of stagnation. We might see some deflation during a fairly lengthy recession, but more than likely deflation saves itself for the occasional depression that dots our economic landscape.

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CONSUMPTION LINE: A graphical depiction of the relation between household consumption expenditures and household disposable income that forms one of the key building blocks for Keynesian economics. The slope of this line is positive, greater than zero, less than one, and goes by the name marginal propensity to consume. The vertical intercept of the consumption line is autonomous consumption. The aggregate expenditures line used in the Keynesian cross is obtained by adding investment, government purchases, and net exports to the consumption line. Because saving is the difference between disposable income and consumption, the saving line is a complementary relation to the consumption line.

     See also | consumption function | Keynesian economics | consumption expenditures | disposable income | marginal propensity to consume | aggregate expenditures | aggregate expenditures line | Keynesian cross | induced consumption | autonomous consumption |


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RELATIVELY ELASTIC

An elasticity alternative in which relatively small changes in one variable (usually price) cause relatively large changes in another variable (usually quantity). In other words, quantity is very responsive to price. Quantity changes a lot in response to small changes in price. This characterization of elasticity is most important for the price elasticity of demand and the price elasticity of supply. Relatively elastic is one of five elasticity alternatives. The other four are perfectly elastic, perfectly inelastic, relatively inelastic, and unit elastic.

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