Questions tagged [definition]

Questions about how economic terms, quantities, or ideas can be defined.

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9
votes
2answers
6k views

Is 'full employment' synonymous with 'the natural rate of unemployment'?

Is the phrase 'full employment' synonymous with the phrase 'the natural rate of unemployment'? Parkin, et al. (2010) seem to use these two terms interchangably in chapter 20, but looking up these two ...
9
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4answers
314 views

Definition of capitalism

Does the discipline of economics have an accepted rigorous definition of capitalism? I.e. not something like "some economists would quote Hayek and say that so and so constitutes capitalism" but an ...
8
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1answer
288 views

Teaching changes in “demand” v. “quantity demanded”

I am always struggling with teaching this one. The terminology of standard intro textbooks is unfortunate, although it's so pervasive that we probably have to live with it. By a "Demand", intro ...
7
votes
1answer
5k views

“Competitive equilibrium” vs. “General equilibrium”

What is the difference between the term "competitive equilibrium" and the term "general equilibrium"? Here in econ.SE, they are two different tags, so there is probably a difference between them, but ...
7
votes
2answers
353 views

Problem with defining liquidity

I have heard multiple times that a consistent definition of liquidity does not exist. The two wikipedia articles describing liquidity (Market liquidity and accounting liquidity) lack a discussion of ...
6
votes
1answer
70 views

Meaning of $dF(z)$ in expected utility framework

Background: from a Microeconomics course, $F$ is a cdf. In other words, if $F$ has a density function $f$, then $$F(z)={\int_{-\infty}^z f(x) dx} $$ Write the Bernoulli utility function $u:...
6
votes
1answer
880 views

Is there a general name for the setup in which payoffs are not known exactly but players try to influence each other's perception of the payoffs?

A recent question elsewhere made me look at the "madman strategy" which actually consists of trying to make the opposite player think that he is playing a game of chicken instead of prisoner's dilemma....
6
votes
1answer
4k views

Economies of Scale vs Learning Curve

Is there a difference between the meanings of the terms "economies of scale" and "learning curve"? The term "learning curve" is being used by cost estimators and refers (more or less) to the idea ...
6
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3answers
1k views

Who created the concept of “present value”?

I cannot find anything on this online. The wikipedia article is purely technical, except by a mention that such system was used in England in early 16th century. Do you know who was the first to come ...
6
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1answer
109 views

A guide to hyphenation in economics?

In the econ literature, what is the convention when it comes to (not) hypenating some common terms like: first(-?)best, second(-?)best,... best(-?)response? ... The Economist suggests that "There is ...
6
votes
1answer
204 views

What were “scissors prices” (China, 1950s)?

Chan (2018) writes: Implementing such a strategy, the state siphoned off resources in the rural sector for capital accumulation in industry through the well-known process of "scissors prices". ...
6
votes
1answer
518 views

Great “constants” of economics

Question What are the great "constants" of economics? Background In his Structural Slumps (Chapter 3, p.20), Phelps refers to the great "constants" of economics. He explains that the natural ...
5
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2answers
372 views

What is an econometrician?

According to Wikipedia, Econometrics is the application of mathematics, statistical methods, and computer science to economic data and is described as the branch of economics that aims to give ...
5
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3answers
337 views

What's the opposite of a Pareto improvement called?

Wikipedia defines a Pareto Improvement, "given a certain initial allocation of goods among a set of individuals" as: a change to a different allocation that makes at least one individual or ...
5
votes
2answers
709 views

What does Marx mean by “the division between capital and labor”?

I am reading an eight page piece called "Labor Alienation" by Karl Marx for my Literature class. Here's a link to it if you would like to read it: http://www.yavanika.org/classes/reader/marx1.pdf In ...
5
votes
2answers
113 views

Who first used the term “externality” in economics?

Who first used the term externality in economics, as the term is currently used in its modern sense? (I believe it was already used in philosophy to mean something else and the economics version of ...
5
votes
1answer
928 views

What is the “entry price” in relation to tariffs?

I see the term “entry price” and “price entry system” in relation to tariffs. What do these means? For example this document: https://ageconsearch.umn.edu/bitstream/10095/1/sp06go22.pdf
5
votes
1answer
81 views

Is there a name for this family of games (Binomial games?)?

I'm wondering if there's a name for a $n$-player symmetric game, such that the payoff for player $i$ playing strategy $j$ only depends on the number of other players which played $j$. Such family of ...
5
votes
1answer
361 views

Understanding at a quote about externalities in law and economics

that something is an externality is partly a statement about physical reality and partly a statement about the legal system. What does this mean? I assume the aspect of externality being a physical ...
5
votes
2answers
87 views

Is a country in economic downturn if its growth rate is negative, but improving?

As I understand it, economic downturn means that economic growth is significantly slowing down or entering into recession. (If anyone wants to correct me, please do so). i.e. Growth rate is decreasing....
5
votes
1answer
196 views

What term/theory describes more efficient utilization of a resource?

I may be asking the wrong question here, but I wonder if there is a term/theory that describes/studies the evolution of an economy that continually improves the utilization and allocation of certain ...
5
votes
1answer
64 views

What does the adjective “structural” mean in “structural reforms” or “structural effects”?

Economists frequently speak of structural reforms and structural effects. For example, Manmohan Singh (1992): The economic crisis was used as an opportunity to implement basic structural reforms ...
4
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3answers
1k views

What precisely is scarcity?

I'm aware that certain terms in economics have precise definitions that don't necessarily line up with our intuition about what they mean. I'm currently writing a paper that heavily relies on the ...
4
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2answers
599 views

What would you call a real market that is close to perfect competition?

I want to explain perfect competition to students using a few practical examples without going into much of the theory. But I want it to be theoretically accurate and I don't want to claim that those ...
4
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2answers
127 views

Is “management science” a subsection of economics?

Reading about the academic journal Management Science, one can read the following: Management Science is a scholarly journal that publishes scientific research on the practice of management. (...) ...
4
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3answers
193 views

What does 'intelligent money' mean?

Is 'intelligent money' or 'smart money' an economic term, and if yes, what does it refer to?
4
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3answers
142 views

What is the difference between a Start-Up and a small company which is not a Start-Up?

What exactly makes a small and youg company a "Start-Up", among other small and young companies which are not necessarly start-ups?
4
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3answers
3k views

What is Opportunity Cost?

Suppose you have 2 activities, A and B. Doing activity A gives a return of 100 dollars, doing activity B gives a return of -50 dollars. What would be the opportunity cost of choosing activity B? 100 ...
4
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1answer
4k views

What is the “gross national saving” for?

I don't understand what the term Gross National Saving is for. According to the world factbook, it represents the following: Gross national saving is derived by ...
3
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2answers
2k views

What is the difference between gross, operating, net profit and EBIT(DA)?

What is the difference between the following accounting measures, if any? Gross profit Operating profit Net profit/income EBIT EBITDA
3
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3answers
128 views

Discounting terminology confusion

An example of the terminology that surrounds discounting that confuses me can be found in "Investment and Hysteresis" by Dixit: Let future revenues be discounted at a positive rate $\rho &...
3
votes
3answers
128 views

Is the arable land a mean of production?

Wikipedia claims that "capitalism is an economic system and an ideology based on private ownership of the means of production and their operation for profit". And then, the land used for agriculture ...
3
votes
2answers
149 views

What is the definition of: 'commodity space'?

I have seen the concept of commodity space being used multiple times in economics, in particular within microeconomics, but I could not find a general definition of it. Based on the examples that I ...
3
votes
3answers
206 views

Difference between shocks, innovations and disturbances

In macroeconomics and macroeconomic models, shocks, innovations, and disturbances are very prominent and often mentioned in the literature. In general, is there a difference between macroeconomic ...
3
votes
1answer
111 views

Why is it called Bayesian Persuasion?

I'm sure most of you are familiar with the paper titled "Bayesian Persuasion" by Kamenica and Gentzkow (2011), (you can find it here). I was wondering what are your thoughts as to why it is called "...
3
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2answers
2k views

Why is M0 higher than M1?

In my understanding, M2 includes M1 and M1 include M0. However, I checked the money supply here and used the "Compare" function to compare the money supply of m0 with money supply of m1, and found ...
3
votes
1answer
353 views

A term for utility functions based on the max operator

What is a standard term for utility functions of the type: $$ u(x_1,\dots,x_m) = \max(\frac{x_1}{w_1},\dots,\frac{x_m}{w_m}) $$ where $x_i$ is the amount of commodity type $i$, and $w_i$ is a ...
3
votes
1answer
357 views

What is the definition of distributionally neutral tax?

On the website https://www.core-econ.org/ in the book provided, there is an exercise 19.10. It asks whether poll tax is progressive, regressive or distributionally neutral. To answer this question of ...
3
votes
2answers
77 views

Why was the term 'Economic Rent' chosen? How does it relate to the ordinary meaning of 'rent'?

Pindyck, Rubinfeld. Microeconomics (2017 9 ed). pp. 314-315. Etymonline substantiates that 'rent' originally didn't mean the microeconomics meaning overhead: no surprise, as microeconomics is a ...
3
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2answers
1k views

what is the difference between microeconomics and microfinance?

what is the difference between microeconomics and microfinance? I cannot understand the difference between the two terms
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Suitable terminology for the inverse elasticity?

In many microeconomic applications (e.g. monopoly price-setting) the inverse elasticity appears. Explaining such relations to laymen is often awkward because inverse proportionality is not as ...
3
votes
2answers
162 views

Preference relations defined by $x_1^n + x_2^n$ converge to $\max\{x_1, x_2\}$

In the problem set 2 of Rubinsteins Microeconomics (btw is there a comparably nice written book on macroeconomics?) there is the following question: Let $\succ_n$ be the preference relations defined ...
3
votes
3answers
5k views

What is the term for 'forgone cost' as 'opportunity cost' is for 'forgone profit'?

For example, suppose I made \$100 from an investment. If I'd had deposit the same amount of money in the bank I would have get \$60 of interest. Then the 'forgone profit' or 'opportunity cost' in this ...
3
votes
1answer
76 views

Definiton of information sets in rational expecations models

I am struggling with the notion of 'information sets' in the context of rational expectation models in economics. I found interesting notes on the web (http://www2.econ.iastate.edu/tesfatsi/reintro....
3
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0answers
41 views

Meaning of “let him take Money at Interest, and not buy at Time”

Dudley North (1691): let him take Money at Interest, and not buy at Time What does the above statement mean? I think "take Money at Interest" simply means "borrow at some interest rate". But I ...
3
votes
2answers
147 views

Definition: Extractive Goods (Comtrades HS-Categorization)

I'm currently writing a paper on China in Africa and I'd like to compare Africas Exports to China with its exports to Europe and the USA. More specifically I'd like to find out if the Exports to China ...
3
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0answers
49 views

Terminology and formalization for “anonymous” game forms

I have an intuitive notion of what an "anonymous" (extensive) game form $\Gamma$ is. In my mind an "anonymous" game is a game in which the players' identity does not matter. This includes the (again ...
2
votes
2answers
67 views

Need examples for confusion about rent-seeking. Who is the seeker and what is the rent?

Please answer assuming I have no background in economics. I keep coming across this term in various articles (Example) but get more confused every time I look up what it means. I have read about the ...
2
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2answers
2k views

Are social goods and public goods the same thing?

I am confused as to they are the same or different?
2
votes
2answers
62 views

What's the term for consumers not being able to pay their mortgage?

Is there a term for not being able to pay your mortgage(s)? Like "personal bankruptcy", "consumer default" or something like that?