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THE GENERAL THEORY: The common name for the book, The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money, by John Maynard Keynes. This work laid the theoretical foundations for the modern study of macroeconomics and the specific analysis that has come to be known as Keynesian economics. Published in 1936 during the depths of the Great Depression, The General Theory provided both a theoretical explanation for the cause of the depression and recommendations for policies to correct the problems. It was THE textbook for the serious study of macroeconomics for almost four decades.

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INFLATION: A persistent increase in the average price level in the economy. Inflation occurs when the AVERAGE price level (that is, prices IN GENERAL) increases over time. This does NOT mean that ALL prices increase the same, nor that ALL prices necessarily increase. Some prices might increase a lot, others a little, and still other prices decrease or remain unchanged. Inflation results when the AVERAGE of these assorted prices follows an upward trend. Inflation is the most common phenomenon associated with the price level.

     See also | price level | business cycle | unemployment | Consumer Price Index | GDP price deflator | deflation | disinflation | inflation causes | cost-push inflation | demand-pull inflation | money | inflation problems | inflation rate | inflationary gap |


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SURPLUS

A condition in the market in which the quantity demanded is less than the quantity supplied at the existing price. Because sellers are unable to sell as much of the good as they want, a surplus generally causes a decrease in the market price, which then acts to restore equilibrium. A surplus, which also goes by the terms excess supply and buyers' market, is one of two basic states of disequilibrium for the market. The other is shortage.

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