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INCOME, DEMAND DETERMINANT: One of the five demand determinants assumed constant when a demand curve is constructed, and that shift the demand curve when they change. Income affects demand differently for normal goods and inferior goods. A normal good, the name indicates, is affected by income much as you might expect. Additional income allows buyers to purchase more normal goods, thus demand increases with an increase in income. The demand for an inferior good is affected exactly opposite. An increase in income causes a decrease in the demand for an inferior good. Buyers decide to buy less of an inferior good when they have additional income.

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DURABLE GOOD: A good bought by consumers that tends to last for more than a year. Common examples are cars, furniture, and appliances. Durable goods play an important role in the business cycle. During a business cycle recession, consumers tend to put off buying durable goods, hoping that the ones they already have will last until the economy improves. This lack of durable good purchases by consumers, though, contributes to the length and severity of a recession because durable good producers are then forced to reduce output and lay off workers. An important part of a business cycle recovery is then an increase in durable goods purchases.

     See also | business cycle | recession | expansion | recovery | nondurable |


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OPPORTUNITY COST

The highest valued alternative foregone in the pursuit of an activity. Opportunity cost is a one of the most fundamental concepts used in the study of economics. An opportunity cost can be either explicit, usually involving a monetary payment, or implicit, which does not involve a transaction. Opportunity cost is also commonly termed economic cost.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time at a dollar discount store looking to buy either a 50 foot extension cord or a combination CD player, clock radio, and telephone (with answering machine). Be on the lookout for letters from the Internal Revenue Service.
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