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ECONOMIC COST: Another term for opportunity cost (the highest valued alternative foregone in the pursuit of an activity) that is used in the study of economics to indicate the fundamental role opportunity cost plays in economics. The value expressed in terms of satisfaction of the foregone activity is your opportunity cost. Because there are usually several alternatives that aren't pursued, opportunity cost is the highest-valued one. An opportunity cost is sometimes compensated with some form of payment, like a wage. However, the existence of an opportunity cost is independent of any actual cash outlay.

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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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BALANCE OF TRADE

The difference between the value of goods and services exported out of a country and the value of goods and services imported into the country. The balance of trade is the official term for net exports that makes up the balance of payments. The balance of trade can be a "favorable" surplus (exports exceed imports) or an "unfavorable" deficit (imports exceed exports). The official balance of trade is separated into the balance of merchandise trade for tangible goods and the balance of services.

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In 1914, Ford paid workers who were age 22 or older $5 per day -- double the average wage offered by other car factories.
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