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DISCRETIONARY: A specific choice, act, or decision, often designed to achieve a particular goal. The term is commonly used in economics in reference to government policies, such as discretionary fiscal policy or discretionary monetary policy. In both examples, government undertakes explicit actions through changes in government spending, taxes, the money supply, or interest rates to stabilize the business cycle. Discretionary is also frequently used to modify income, spending, expenditures, or comparable terms to capture choices made over the use of income. Discretionary income, for example, is the amount of after-tax household income that can be used for either consumption spending or saving.

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PERFECT COMPETITION, PROFIT ANALYSIS: A perfectly competitive firm produces the profit-maximizing quantity of output that generates the highest level of profit. This profit approach is one of three methods that used to determine the profit-maximizing quantity of output. The other two methods involve a comparison of total revenue and total cost or a comparison of marginal revenue and marginal cost.

     See also | perfect competition, short-run production analysis | perfect competition, marginal analysis | perfect competition, total analysis | perfect competition, breakeven output | short-run production alternatives | perfect competition, profit maximization | perfect competition, loss minimization |


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LABOR FORCE

The total number of people in an economy, society, or country willing and able to exert mental and/or physical efforts in productive activities. The labor force is a more technical term for the labor resource or labor supply. It includes both employed workers and unemployed workers. An official variation of this term is civilian labor force. While labor force may or may not include military personnel, the civilian labor force explicitly excludes the military. Labor and labor resources are the theoretical terms that economists like to banter about. Labor force and civilian labor force are the terms of choice for government policy makers, data-crunchers, and others who need precise labor resource numbers.

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