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RISK: The possibility of gain or loss. Risk the calculated probability of different events happening, is usually contrasted with uncertainty the possibility that any number of things could happen. For example, uncertainty is the possibility that you could win or lose $100 on the flip of a coin. You don't know which will happen, it could go either way. Risk, in contrast, is the 50 percent chance of winning $100 and the 50 percent chance of losing $100 on the flip of the coin. You know (or think you know) that your probability of winning or losing is 50 percent because the coin has a 50 percent chance of coming up either heads or tails.

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PRODUCTION POSSIBILITIES: The alternative combinations of goods produced if the economy fully uses all available resources. Production possibilities of an economy are limited because resources used to produce goods and services are limited. The basic presentation of production possibilities often takes the form of a production possibilities schedule, which is a table of numbers illustrating a discrete number of production bundles. A slightly more advanced presentation is through a production possibilities curve (or frontier), which is a graph of the alternative production bundles.

     See also | production | economy | resources | production possibilities curve | production possibilities frontier | production possibilities schedule |


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RECESSION

A phase of the business cycle characterized by a general period of declining economic activity. A recession is one of two basic business cycle phases. The other is expansion. The transition from recession to expansion is termed a trough and the transition from expansion to recession is termed a peak. The technical term for recession, which is generally used by economists and policy makers, is contraction.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time strolling through a department store seeking to buy either a replacement washer for your kitchen faucet or a stretchable, flexible watch band. Be on the lookout for malfunctioning pocket calculators.
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