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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Economics A-Z

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Absolute advantage: A country has an absolute advantage if its output per unit of input of all goods and services produced is higher than that of another country.

Accelerator Principle - the growth in output that would induce a continuation in net investment.

Ad valorem tax:(in Latin: to the value added) - a tax based on the value (or assessed value) of property. Ad valorem tax can also be levied on imported items.

Aggregate demand is the sum of all demand in an economy. This can be computed by adding the expenditure on consumer goods and services, investment, and not exports (total exports minus total imports).

Aggregate supply is the total value of the goods and services produced in a country, plus the value of imported goods less the value of exports.

Alternative minimum tax: An IRS mechanism created to ensure that high-income individuals, corporations, trusts, and estates pay at least some minimum amount of tax, regardless of deductions, credits or exemptions. Alternative minimum tax operates by adding certain tax-preference items back into adjusted gross income. While it was once only important for a small number of high-income individuals who made extensive use of tax shelters and deductions, more and more people are being affected by it. The AMT is triggered when there are large numbers of personal exemptions on state and local taxes paid, large numbers of miscellaneous itemized deductions or medical expenses, or by Incentive Stock Option (ISO) plans.

Asset: Anything of monetary value that is owned by a person. Assets include real property, personal property, and enforceable claims against others (including bank accounts, stocks, mutual funds, and so on).

Average propensity to consume is the proportion of income the average family spends on goods and services.

Average propensity to save is the proportion of income the average family saves (does not spend on consumption).

Average total cost is the sum of all the production costs divided by the number of units produced. See also average cost.

Balance of Payment is the summation of imports and exports made between one countries and the other countries that it trades with.

Balance of trade: The difference in value over a period of time between a country's imports and exports.

Barter system: System where there is an exchange of goods without involving money.

Base year: In the construction of an index, the year from which the weights assigned to the different components of the index is drawn. It is conventional to set the value of an index in its base year equal to 100.
Bear: An investor with a pessimistic market outlook; an investor who expects prices to fall and so sells now in order to buy later at a lower price. A Bear Market is one which is trending downwards or losing value.

Bid price: The highest price an investor is willing to pay for a stock.

Bill of exchange: A written, dated, and signed three-party instrument containing an unconditional order by a drawer that directs a drawee to pay a definite sum of money to a payee on demand or at a specified future date. Also known as a draft. It is the most commonly used financial instrument in international trade.

Birth rate: The number of births in a year per 1,000 population.

Bond: A certificate of debt (usually interest-bearing or discounted) that is issued by a government or corporation in order to raise money; the bond issuer is required to pay a fixed sum annually until maturity and then a fixed sum to repay the principal. Bonds guide.

Boom: A state of economic prosperity, as in boom times.

Break even: This is a term used to describe a point at which revenues equal costs (fixed and variable).

Bretton Woods: An international monetary system operating from 1946-1973. The value of the dollar was fixed in terms of gold, and every other country held its currency at a fixed exchange rate against the dollar; when trade deficits occurred, the central bank of the deficit country financed the deficit with its reserves of international currencies. The Bretton Woods system collapsed in 1971 when the US abandoned the gold standard.

Budget: A summary of intended expenditures along with proposals for how to meet them. A budget can provide guidelines for managing future investments and expenses.

The budget deficit is the amount by which government spending exceeds government revenues during a specified period of time usually a year.

Bull: An investor with an optimistic market outlook; an investor who expects prices to rise and so buys now for resale later. A Bull Market is one in which prices are rising.

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c.i.f., abbrev: Cost, Insurance and Freight: Export term in which the price quoted by the exporter includes the costs of ocean transportation to the port of destination and insurance coverage.

Call money: Price paid by an investor for a call option. There is no fixed rate for call money. It depends on the type of stock, its performance prior to the purchase of the call option, and the period of the contract. It is an interest bearing band deposits that can be withdrawn on 24 hours notice.

Capital: Wealth in the form of money or property owned by a person or business and human resources of economic value. Capital is the contribution to productive activity made by investment is physical capital (machinery, factories, tools and equipments) and human capital (eg general education, health). Capital is one of the three main factors of production other two are labour and natural resources.

Capital account; Part of a nation's balance of payments that includes purchases and sales of assets, such as stocks, bonds, and land. A nation has a capital account surplus when receipts from asset sales exceed payments for the country's purchases of foreign assets. The sum of the capital and current accounts is the overall balance of payments.

Capital budget: A plan of proposed capital outlays and the means of financing them for the current fiscal period. It is usually a part of the current budget. If a Capital Program is in operation, it will be the first year thereof. A Capital Program is sometimes referred to as a Capital Budget.

Capital Asset Pricing Model: A way to show the prices of securities and other risk-free assets.

Capital gains tax: Tax paid on the gain realized upon the sale of an asset. See capital gains tax for examples of tax regimes in various countries. It is a tax on profits from the sale of capital assets, such as shares. A capital loss can be used to offset a capital gain, reducing any tax you would otherwise have to pay.

Cartel: An organization of producers seeking to limit or eliminate competition among its members, most often by agreeing to restrict output to keep prices higher than would occur under competitive conditions. Cartels are inherently unstable because of the potential for producers to defect from the agreement and capture larger markets by selling at lower prices.

Census: Official gathering of information about the population in a particular area. Government departments use the data collected in planning for the future in such areas as health, education, transport, and housing..

Central bank: Major financial institution responsible for issuing currency, managing foreign reserves, implementing monetary policy, and providing banking services to the government and commercial banks.

Centrally planned economy: A planned economic system in which the production, pricing, and distribution of goods and services are determined by the government rather than market forces. Also referred to as a "non market economy." Former Soviet Union, China, and most other communist nations are examples of centrally planed economy Classical economics: The economics of Adam Smith, David Ricardo, Thomas Malthus, and later followers such as John Stuart Mill. The theory concentrated on the functioning of a market economy, spelling out a rudimentary explanation of consumer and producer behaviour in particular markets and postulating that in the long term the economy would tend to operate at full employment because increases in supply would create corresponding increases in demand.

Closed economy: A closed economy is one in which there are no foreign trade transactions or any other form of economic contacts with the rest of the world.

Collateral security: Additional security a borrower supplies to obtain a loan.

Commercial Policy: encompassing instruments of trade protection employed by countries to foster industrial promotion, export diversification, employment creation, and other desired development-oriented strategies. They include tariffs, quotas, and subsidies.

Comparative advantage: The ability to produce a good at a lower cost, relative to other goods, compared to another country. With perfect competition and undistorted markets, countries tend to export goods in which they have a Comparative Advantage and hence make gains from trading

Compound interest: Interest paid on the original principal and on interest accrued from time it became due.

Consumer Surplus is the difference between the price a consumer pays and what they were prepared to pay.

Conditionality: The requirement imposed by the International Monetary Fund that a borrowing country undertake fiscal, monetary, and international commercial reforms as a condition to receiving a loan for balance of payments difficulties.

Copyright: A legal right (usually of the author or composer or publisher of a work) to exclusive publication production, sale, distribution of some work. What is protected by the copyright is the "expression," not the idea. Notice that taking another's idea is plagiarism, so copyrights are not the equivalent of legal prohibition of plagiarism.

Correlation coefficient: Denoted as "r", a measure of the linear relationship between two variables. The absolute value of "r" provides an indication of the strength of the relationship. The value of "r" varies between positive 1 and negative 1, with -1 or 1 indicating a perfect linear relationship, and r = 0 indicating no relationship. The sign of the correlation coefficient indicates whether the slope of the line is positive or negative when the two variables are plotted in a scatter plot.

Cost benefit analysis: A technique that assesses projects through a comparison between their costs and benefits, including social costs and benefits for an entire region or country. Depending on the project objectives and its the expected outputs, three types of CBA are generally recognised: financial; economic; and social. Generally cost-benefit analyses are comparative, i.e. they are used to compare alternative proposals. Cost-benefit analysis compares the costs and benefits of the situation with and without the project; the costs and benefits are considered over the life of the project.

Countervailing duties: duties (tariffs) that are imposed by a country to counteract subsidies provided to a foreign producer

Current account: Part of a nation's balance of payments which includes the value of all goods and services imported and exported, as well as the payment and receipt of dividends and interest. A nation has a current account surplus if exports exceed imports plus net transfers to foreigners. The sum of the current and capital accounts is the overall balance of payments.

Cross elasticity of demand: The change in the quantity demanded of one product or service impacting the change in demand for another product or service. E.g. percentage change in the quantity demanded of a good divided by the percentage change in the price of another good (a substitute or complement)

Crowding out: The possible tendency for government spending on goods and services to put upward pressure on interest rates, thereby discouraging private investment spending.

Currency appreciation: An increase in the value of one currency relative to another currency. Appreciation occurs when, because of a change in exchange rates; a unit of one currency buys more units of another currency. Opposite is the case with currency depreciation.

Currency board: Form of central bank that issues domestic currency for foreign exchange at fixed rates.

Currency substitution: The use of foreign currency (e.g., U.S. dollars) as a medium of exchange in place of or along with the local currency (e.g., Rupees).

Customs duty: Duty levied on the imports of certain goods. Includes excise equivalents Unlike tariffs customs duties are used mainly as a means to raise revenue for the government rather than protecting domestic producers from foreign competition.

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