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ALLOCATION EFFECT: The goal of imposing taxes to change the allocation of resources, that is, to discourage the production, consumption, or exchange or one type of good usually in favor of another. This is one of two reasons that governments impose taxes. The other reason is the revenue effect. Because people would rather not pay taxes, taxes create disincentives to produce, consume, and exchange. If society deems that less of a particular good, such as alcohol, pollution, or cigarettes are "bad," then a tax can reduce its production and consumption, and thus change the allocation of resources.

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INCOME EFFECT: One of two reasons for the law of demand and the negative slope of the market demand curve (the other is the substitution effect). The income effect results because a change in price gives buyers more real income, or the purchasing power of the income, even though money or nominal income remains the same. This causes changes in the quantity demanded of the good.

     See also | demand | demand curve | law of demand | slope | quantity demanded | substitution effect | demand price | price | purchasing power |


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PERFECT COMPETITION

An ideal market structure characterized by a large number of small firms, identical products sold by all firms, freedom of entry into and exit out of the industry, and perfect knowledge of prices and technology. This is one of four basic market structures. The other three are monopoly, oligopoly, and monopolistic competition. Perfect competition is an idealized market structure that is not observed in the real world. While unrealistic, it does provide an excellent benchmark that can be used to analyze real world market structures. In particular, perfect competition efficiently allocates resources.

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