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RESOURCE ALLOCATION: The process of dividing up and distributing available, limited resources to competing, alternative uses that satisfy unlimited wants and needs. Given that world is rampant with scarcity (unlimited wants and needs, but limited resources), every want and need cannot be satisfied with available resources. Choices have to be made. Some wants and needs are satisfied, some are not. These choices, these decisions are the resource allocation process. An efficient resource allocation exists if society has achieved the highest possible level of satisfaction of wants and needs from the available resources AND resources can not be allocated differently to achieve any greater satisfaction.

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DATA: Real world observations that are used to test or verify hypotheses. This is the key to the process of acquiring knowledge about the world using the scientific method. While theoretical speculation might indicate what we "think" the world is like, we don't know for sure until we compare our hypothesized view with the real world itself. Data is what adds empirical to empirical economic analysis.

     See also | scientific method | verification | hypothesis | principle | empirical | economic analysis | variable | price | quantity | unemployment rate | money | gross domestic product | Federal Reserve System | Bureau of Labor Statistics | Bureau of Economic Analysis | National Income and Product Accounts |


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CONSUMPTION FUNCTION

A mathematical relation between consumption and income by the household sector. The consumption function can be stated as an equation, usually a simple linear equation, or as a diagram designated as the consumption line. This function captures the consumption-income relation that forms one of the key building blocks for Keynesian economics. The two key parameters of the consumption function are the intercept term, which indicates autonomous consumption, and the slope, which is the marginal propensity to consume and indicates induced consumption. Aggregate expenditures used in Keynesian economics are derived by adding investment, government purchases, and net exports to the consumption function.

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The word "fiscal" is derived from a Latin word meaning "moneybag."
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