Term Definition Paper

894 words - 4 pages

Term Definition PaperNameECO/372: MacroeconomicsMarch 8, 2010InstructorTerm Definition PaperWhether a person monitors the financial situation of the United States or how their personal finances are fluctuating, economics is all around. Economics is "the study of how human beings coordinate their wants and desires, given the decision-making mechanisms, social customs, and political realities of the society" (Colander, 2008, p. 4). Economics deals with the coordination of how the three central problems, (a)" what, and how much, to produce," (b) "how to produce it," and (c) "for whom to produce it" (Colander, 22008, p. 5) an economy faces are solved. To better understand how the economy works requires knowledge of economic terms and how the interaction of households, government, and business creates economic conditions that affect one another.Term DefinitionsGross Domestic Product (GDP)Gross domestic product is "the total market value of all final goods and services produced in an economy in a one-year period" (Colander, 2008, p. 533). GDP is divided into four expenditure categories: (a) consumption, (b) investment, (c) government spending, and (d) net exports. GDP is measured in quarters, reflects the previous quarter and is released at 8:30 a.m. EST on the last day of each quarter (InvestorGuide, 2010, para. 2). In the United States, the economy grows at approximately 2.5 to 3% each year.Real GDPReal GDP is the "inflation-adjusted measure that reflects the value of all goods and services produced in a given year, expressed in base-year prices" (Investopedia, 2010, para. 1). Economists measure the growth in the United States economy by the changes in real GDP. Real GDP is calculated by dividing the nominal GDP by the GDP deflator, then multiplying by 100.Unemployment RateUnemployment rate is "the percentage of people in the economy who are willing and able to work but who are not working" (Colander, 2008, p. G-12). The unemployment rate is calculated by dividing the number of unemployed by the number of labor force then multiplying by 100. The target unemployment rate in the United States is estimated at 6% (About, 2010).Inflation RateAccording to Investor Words, inflation rate is "the percentage increase in the price of goods and services, usually annually" (InvestorWords, 2010, para. 1).Interest RateThe interest rate is defined by Colander (2008) "the price paid for the use of a financial asset" (p. G-5).Circular Flow DiagramThe United States economy is a market economy that is divided into three sectors. The three sectors, (a) households, (b) government, and (c) business interact in a variety of ways. The circular flow diagram (Appendix A) provides a visual example of the interaction between the three sectors.Households and business interact in the goods market and factor market by buying and selling goods and services, and labor and factors of production to each other. In...

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