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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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MARGINAL PROPENSITY TO CONSUME: The proportion of each additional dollar of household income that is used for consumption expenditures. Or alternatively, this is the change in consumption expenditures due to a change in disposable income. Abbreviated MPC, the marginal propensity to consume is the slope of the consumption or propensity-to-consume line that forms the foundation for Keynesian economics. As such, it also takes center stage for the slope of the aggregate expenditure line and the multiplier effect. The sum of the marginal propensity to consume and the related concept, the marginal propensity to save, is equal to one.

     See also | consumption expenditures | disposable income | consumption line | Keynesian economics | multiplier | aggregate expenditures line | marginal propensity to save | marginal propensity to import | marginal propensity to invest |


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TAX MULTIPLIER

A measure of the change in aggregate production caused by changes in government taxes. The tax multiplier is the negative marginal propensity to consume times one minus the slope of the aggregate expenditures line. The simple tax multiplier includes ONLY induced consumption. More complex tax multipliers include other induced components. Two related multipliers are the expenditures multiplier, which measures the change in aggregate production caused by changes in an autonomous aggregate expenditure, and the balanced-budget multiplier which measures the change in aggregate production from equal changes in both taxes and government purchases.

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