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RESERVE REQUIREMENTS: Rules by the Federal Reserve System governing the amount of bank reserves that banks must keep to back up their deposits. Legal reserve requirements came about because banks that practice fractional-reserve banking are sometimes inclined to make too many interest-paying loans and neglect to keep enough reserves on hand to pay their depositors. In principle, the Fed can alter reserve requirements to control the money supply. In practice, however, the Fed prefers to use open market operations or the discount rate.

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FLEXIBLE PRICES: The proposition that prices adjust in the long run in response to market shortages or surpluses. This condition is most important for long-run macroeconomic activity and long-run aggregate market analysis. In particular, flexible prices are the key reason for the vertical slope of the long-run aggregate supply curve. This proposition is also central to original classical theory of macroeconomics and to modern variations, including rational expectations, new classical theory, and supply-side economics.

     See also | price | market | short run, macroeconomics | long run, macroeconomics | shortage | surplus | macroeconomics | long-run aggregate market | short-run aggregate market | long-run aggregate supply curve | short-run aggregate supply curve | full-employment production | resource prices | wage | real production |


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AVERAGE COST

The opportunity cost incurred per unit of good produced. This is calculated by dividing the cost of production by the quantity of output produced. While average cost is a general term relating cost and the quantity of output, three specific average cost terms are average total cost, average variable cost, and average fixed cost. A related cost term is marginal cost.

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The portion of aggregate output U.S. citizens pay in taxes (30%) is less than the other six leading industrialized nations -- Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, or Japan.
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