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Basic Glossary of Economic Terms

glossary of basic economic terms from a feminist perspective. For more information visit

householda basic economic unit in which one or more people choose to live together and share resources
interestthe cost of borrowing money
invisible handthe force Adam Smith believed would guide free market economics ensuring that prosperity would come to all
wagewhat an invidual receives, usually in the form of money, for providing a service
taxmoney the government collects from individuals and corporations to fund the services it provides
transactionthe exchange of money, goods, or services through buying, selling, or exchange
valuewhat something or someone is worth, in economic terms defined soley as monetary value
budgeta statement outlining the spending plans of a government or an individual for the coming year
deficitthe amount remaining if the amount of money spent is greater than the amount received
economicsthe study of the economy
economythe production, distribution, and exchange of goods and services, usually measured in terms of the money which facilitates these activities
GDPthe total value of the goods and services produced in a country in a given year
UN System of National Accounts (UNSNA)an international system of account that displays a country's economic activities, in other words, only those activities that involve monetary transactions
unemployment ratethe percentage of a country's labour force (those people who are working or looking for work) that does not have work
revenuevarious incomes and payments received by a government, corporation, or an individual
neo-liberalismeconomic theory which opposes state intervention in the economy and believes in the free operation of the market
inflationa general increase in prices usually attributed to a situation in which there is too much money chasing too few goods thus driving up the price of all goods by driving down the value of money
macroeconomicsusually refers to economic issues that concern the performance of the economy on a national scale
microeconomicsdeals with the economic activity of individuals or small groups
free marketa market in which there are no regulations as to what can be bought, sold, or traded therefore nothing to ensure the well-being of all peoples and the environment

Jennifer deGroot

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