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ACTION LAG: In the context of economic policies, a part of the implementation lag involving the time it takes for appropriate policies to be launched once they have been agreed to by policy makers. Another part of the implementation lag is the decision lag. For fiscal policy, this involves appropriating funds to government agencies (for government spending) or changing the tax code (for taxes) For monetary policy, this involves the buying and selling government securities in the open market. The action lag is usually shorter for monetary policy than fiscal policy.

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SOCIAL SCIENCE: The scientific study of society--of human behavior and of social interactions. Several social sciences are economics, sociology, political science, and anthropology. Economics is considered a social science because it seeks to explain how society deals with the scarcity problem.

     See also | science | scientific method | physical science | economics | scarcity |


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BALANCE OF PAYMENTS

A comprehensive set of accounts that tracks the flow of currency and other monetary assets coming in to and going out of a nation. These payments are used for international trade, foreign investments, and other financial activities. The balance of payments is divided into two accounts -- current account (which includes payments for imports, exports, services, and transfers) and capital account (which includes payments for physical and financial assets). A deficit in one account is matched by a surplus in the other account. The balance of trade is only one part of the overall balance of payments set of accounts.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time browsing through a long list of dot com websites hoping to buy either a birthday greeting card for your grandfather or a weathervane with a cow on top. Be on the lookout for neighborhood pets, especially belligerent parrots.
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