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ASSUMPTIONS, CLASSICAL ECONOMICS: Classical economics, especially as directed toward macroeconomics, relies on three key assumptions--flexible prices, Say's law, and saving-investment equality. Flexible prices ensure that markets adjust to equilibrium and eliminate shortages and surpluses. Say's law states that supply creates its own demand and means that enough income is generated by production to purchase the resulting production. The saving-investment equality ensures that any income leaked from consumption into saving is replaced by an equal amount of investment. Although of questionable realism, these three assumptions imply that the economy would operate at full employment.

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MONEY FUNCTIONS: Any item used as money in an economy performs automatically takes on four basic functions: (1) medium of exchange, (2) measure of value, (3) store of value, and (4) standard of deferred payment. While "buying and selling" means that money is THE medium of exchange, by far THE most important function of money, money also performs measure of value, store of value, and standard of deferred payment functions. Measure of value, also termed unit of account, means that prices are stated in terms of money. Store of value means that value, the satisfaction of wants and needs, can be stored over time using money. Standard of deferred payment means that future payments, such as paying off a car loan, are also in terms of the monetary unit.

     See also | money | medium of exchange | measure of value | unit of account | store of value | standard of deferred payment | money characteristics | barter |


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INFLATIONARY GAP, KEYNESIAN MODEL

The difference between equilibrium aggregate production achieved in the Keynesian model and full-employment aggregate production that occurs when equilibrium aggregate production is greater than full-employment aggregate production. An inflationary gap, also termed an expansionary gap, is associated with a business-cycle expansion. The prescribed Keynesian remedy for an inflationary gap is contractionary fiscal policy. This is one of two alternative output gaps that can occur when equilibrium generates production that differs from full employment. The other is a recessionary gap.

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