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Incentives

Rewards or penalties for engaging in a particular activity.

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Economics

The study of how people allocate their limited resources to satisfy their unlimited wants.

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Resources

Things used to produce good sand services to satisfy people's wants.

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Wants

What people would buy if their incomes were unlimited.

4

Microeconomics

The study of decision making undertaken by individuals (or households) and by firms.

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Macroeconomics

The study of the behavior of the economy as a whole, including such economy wide phenomena as changes in unemployment, the general price level, and national income.

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Aggregates

Total amount or quantities. Aggregate demand, for example, is total planned expenditures throughout a nation.

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Economic system

A societies institutional mechanism for determining the way in which scarce resources are used to satisfy human desire.

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Rationality assumption

The assumption that people do not intentionally make decisions that would leave them worse off.

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Models, or theories

Simplified representations of the real world used as the basis for predictions or explanations.

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Certeris paribus [kay-ter-us Pear-uh-bus] assumption

The assumption that nothing changes except the factor or factors being studied.

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Empirical

Relying on real-world data in evaluating the usefulness of a model.

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Behavioral economics

An approach to the study of consumer behavior that emphasizes psychological limitations and complications that potentially interfere with rational decision making.

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Bounded rationality

The hypothesis that people are nearly, but not fully, rational, so that they cannot examine every possible choice available to them but instead use simple rules of thumb to sort among the alternatives that happen to occur to them.

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Positive economics

Analysis that is strictly limited to making either purely descriptive statements or scientific predictions; for example, " if A, then B." A statement of what is.

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Normative economics

Analysis evolving value judgements about economic policies; relates to whether outcomes are good or bad. A statement of what ought to be.

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Direct relationship

A relationship between two variables that is positive, meaning that increase in one variable is associated with an increase in the other and a decrease in variable is associated with a decrease in the other.

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Inverse relationship

A relationship between two variables that is negative, meaning that an increase in one variable is associated with a decrease in the other and a decrease in one variable is associated with a increase in the other.

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Number line

A line that can be divided into segments of equal length, each associated with a number.

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Y axis

The vertical axis in a graph.

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X axis

The horizontal axis in a graph.

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Origin

The intersection of the y axis and the x axis in a graph.

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Slope

The change in the y value divided by the corresponding change in the x value of a curve; the " incline" of the curve.