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COASE THEOREM: A policy proposition, developed by Ronald Coase, that pollution and other externalities can be efficiently controlled through voluntary negotiations among the affected parties (polluters and those harmed by pollution). A key to the Coase theorem is that many pollution problems involve common-property goods that have no clear-cut ownership or property rights. With clear-cut property rights, "owners" would have the incentive to achieve an efficient level of pollution. This theorem states that it doesn't matter who receives the property rights, so long as someone does. Pollution can be reduced through voluntary negotiation by assigning private property rights to common-property resources. If common-property resources are privately owned, a market in property rights can be established. Owners then have the incentive to protect the quality of their resources.

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CURRENT ACCOUNT: One of two parts of a nation's balance of payments (the other is capital account). It is a record of all trade, exports and imports, between a nation and the rest of the world. The current account is separated into merchandise, services, and what's called unilateral transfers. The merchandise part is nothing other than the well-known balance of trade. There's also a lesser known balance of services -- the difference between services imported and exported.

     See also | balance of trade | capital account | money | export | import | balance of services | balance of payments | asset | foreign | domestic | foreign aid | capital account surplus | capital account deficit |


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WHOLESALE PRICE INDEX

An index of the prices paid by retail stores for the products they ultimately resell to consumers. The Wholesale Price Index (WPI) was the forerunner of the modern Producer Price Index (PPI) and was discontinued in 1978. Other noted price indexes used to track economic activity are the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the GDP price deflator.

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