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OLIGOPSONY: A market structure dominated by a small number of large buyers controlling the buying-side of a market. Oligopsony is the somewhat obscure and seldom discussed buying counterpart to an oligopoly seller that controls the selling side of a market. Whereas oligopoly is most relevant to product markets, oligopsony is most relevant to factor markets.

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ECONOMIC SYSTEM: The assorted institutions that society uses to answer the three basic questions of allocation and address the fundamental problem of scarcity. Another, more popular term for economic system is economy. An economy, or economic system, is the structural framework in which households, businesses, and governments undertake the production and consumption decisions that allocate limited resources to satisfy unlimited wants and needs.

     See also | economy | three questions of allocation | institution | household sector | business sector | government sector | limited resources | unlimited wants and needs | ownership and control | resources | capitalism | private sector | public sector | private property | mixed economy | market-oriented economy | communism | socialism | pure market economy | pure command economy | first estate | second estate | third estate | fourth estate |


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LAW OF COMPARATIVE ADVANTAGE

A principle that states that every nation, worker, or production entity has a production activity that incurs a lower opportunity cost than that of another nation, worker, or production entity, which means that trade between the two can be beneficial to both if each specializes in the production of a good with lower relative opportunity cost. This law is most often studied in the confines of international trade, but it also applies to labor and other types of production.

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