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VERTICAL INTEGRATION: The situation in which a firm participates in more than one successive stage of the production or distribution process. For example a soft drink company that also controls a sugar-producing firm is said to be vertically integrated because the soft drink company does not have to buy sugar from other firms to produce soft drinks. In some cases, two separate firms are vertically integrate because one firm produces a good or service and the other distributes it.

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FINANCIAL MARKETS: A market that trades financial assets. Financial assets are the legal claims on the real assets in our economy and include such notable items as corporate stocks and bonds, government securities, and money. Without financial markets our economy would find it almost impossible to accumulate the funds needed for investment in big, expensive capital projects.

     See also | financial asset | legal claims | corporate stock | government security | stock market | money | commodity exchange | futures | option | foreign exchange market | capital | investment | circular flow | factor markets | product markets | interest rate | rate of return | yield |


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CONSUMPTION RIVALRY

Whether or not the consumption of a particular good by one person prevents simultaneous consumption by another person. In other words, does consumption impose an opportunity cost on others. Rival consumption occurs if the consumption by one imposes an opportunity cost on others because others are prevented from consuming the good. Nonrival consumption occurs if the consumption by one does not impose an opportunity cost on others because others are not prevented from consuming the good. When combined with nonpayer excludability, the result is four alternative types of goods -- private, public, common-property, and near-public.

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