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ABSOLUTE POVERTY: The amount of income a person or family needs to purchase an absolute amount of the basic necessities of life. These basic necessities are identified in terms of calories of food, BTUs of energy, square feet of living space, etc. The problem with the absolute poverty level is that there really are no absolutes when in comes to consuming goods. You can consume a given poverty level of calories eating relatively expensive steak, relatively inexpensive pasta, or garbage from a restaurant dumpster. The income needed to acquire each of these calorie "minimums" vary greatly. That's why some prefer relative poverty.

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DECISION LAG: The time lag that it takes government leaders and policy makers to determine the appropriate government action needed to address an economic problem. The decision lag arises because it takes time for policy makers to chose among the array of possible policy actions, each with assorted consequences that appeal differently to different political constituencies. This "inside lag" is one of four policy lags associated with monetary and fiscal policy. The other two "inside lags" are recognition lag and implementation lag, and one "outside lag" is implementation lag. All four policy lags can reduce the effectiveness of business-cycle stabilization policies and can even destabilize the economy.

     See also | policy lags | recognition lag | implementation lag | impact lag | automatic stabilizers | stabilization policies | unemployment | contraction | inflation | expansion | Federal Open Market Committee | Federal Reserve System | government purchases | transfer payments | taxes | open market operations | discount rate | reserve requirements | fiscal policy | monetary policy | recessionary gap | inflationary gap | recessionary gap, Keynesian model | inflationary gap, Keynesian model | multiplier | accelerator principle | paradox of thrift | injections-leakages model |


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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS

The process of investigating economic phenomena in a systematic manner. In one sense, this is the heart and soul of the economic discipline. While economists spend an ample time identifying economic concepts, the end result of this discovery process is usually aimed at combining these concepts in such a way as to evaluate or analyze alternative consequences.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time driving to a factory outlet seeking to buy either decorative picture frames or storage boxes for your income tax returns. Be on the lookout for telephone calls from long-lost relatives.
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The word "fiscal" is derived from a Latin word meaning "moneybag."
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