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PRICE FIXING: An agreement by two or more firms in an industry to charge the same price and avoid competing with each other. This is one of the methods businesses use to practice collusion or form a cartel. It is, by the way, against antitrust law.

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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.

     See also | inflation | price level | disinflation | recession | depression | Consumer Price Index | GDP price deflator |


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DIAMOND-WATER PARADOX

The apparently conflicting and perplexing observation that water, which is more useful than diamonds, has a lower price than diamonds. This paradox was proposed by economists in the 1800s as a means understanding the role utility plays in the demand price of a good by differentiating between total utility and marginal utility.

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Okun's Law posits that the unemployment rate increases by 1% for every 2% gap between real GDP and full-employment real GDP.
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