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Economic Terms and Concepts
Cartel: Topic Page
National or international organization of manufacturers or traders allied by agreement to fix prices, limit supply, divide markets, or to fix quotas for sales, manufacture, or division of profits among the member firms.
Commodity market: Topic Page
Organized traders' exchange in which standardized, graded products are bought and sold.
Consumption: Topic Page
In economics, direct utilization of goods and services by consumers, not including the use of means of production, such as machinery.
Debt: Topic Page
Something that is owed by a person, organization, or country, usually money, goods, or services.
Distribution: Topic Page
In economics, the allocation of a society's total wealth among various economic groups. Distribution, in that sense, does not refer to the physical marketing or circulation of goods, which is part of the process of exchange, but to the relative well-being and economic wealth of persons and groups.
Econometrics: Topic Page
Technique of economic analysis that expresses economic theory in terms of mathematical relationships and then tests it empirically through statistical research.
Embargo: Topic Page
Prohibition by a country of the departure of ships or certain types of goods from its ports. Instances of confining all domestic ships to port are rare, and the Embargo Act of 1807 is the sole example of this in American history.
Gross domestic product: Topic Page
Value of all final goods and services produced within a country within a given time period, usually one year. GDP thus includes the production of foreign-owned firms within the country, but excludes the income from domestically-owned firms located abroad.
Labor law: Topic Page
Legislation dealing with human beings in their capacity as workers or wage earners.
Laissez-faire: Topic Page
in economics and politics, doctrine that an economic system functions best when there is no interference by government.
Macroeconomics: Topic Page
Division of economics concerned with the study of whole (aggregate) economies or systems, including such aspects as government income and expenditure, the balance of payments, fiscal policy, investment, inflation, and unemployment.
Poverty: Topic Page
Condition in which the basic needs of human beings (shelter, food, and clothing) are not being met.
Resources: Topic Page
Materials that can be used to satisfy human needs. Because human needs are varied and extend from basic physical requirements, such as food and shelter, to spiritual and emotional needs that are hard to define, resources cover a vast range of items.
Social security: Topic Page
Government program designed to provide for the basic economic security and welfare of individuals and their dependents.
Speculation: Topic Page
Practice of engaging in business in order to make quick profits from fluctuations in prices, as opposed to the practice of investing in a productive enterprise in order to share in its earnings.
Standard of living: Topic Page
Level of consumption that an individual, group, or nation has achieved. The evaluation of a standard of living is relative, depending upon the judgment of the observer as to what constitutes a high or a low scale.
Statistics: Topic Page
Branch of mathematics concerned with the collection and interpretation of data.
Supply and demand: Topic Page
In classical economics, factors that are said to determine price, by correlating the amount of a given commodity producers hope to sell at a certain price (supply), and the amount of that commodity that consumers are willing to purchase (demand).
Trade: Topic Page
Traffic in goods. Conducted by gift, barter, or sale, trade is one of the most widespread of all social institutions.
Unemployment: Topic Page
Lack of paid employment. The unemployed are usually defined as those out of work who are available for and actively seeking work.
Finance Terms & Concepts
Accounting: Topic Page
Classification, analysis, and interpretation of the financial, or bookkeeping, records of an enterprise.
Balance of payments: Topic Page
The difference in value between the amount of money coming into a country and the amount going out of it, over a period of time.
Banking: Topic Page
Primarily the business of dealing in money and instruments of credit. Banks were traditionally differentiated from other financial institutions by their principal functions of accepting deposits—subject to withdrawal or transfer by check—and of making loans.
Bankruptcy: Topic Page
In law, settlement of the liabilities of a person or organization wholly or partially unable to meet financial obligations.
Bond: Topic Page
In finance, usually a formal certificate of indebtedness issued in writing by governments or business corporations in return for loans. It bears interest and promises to pay a certain sum of money to the holder after a definite period, usually 10 to 20 years.
Broker: Topic Page
One who acts as an intermediary in a sale or other business transaction between two parties.
Credit: Topic Page
Granting of goods, services, or money in return for a promise of future payment. Most credit is accompanied by an interest charge, which usually makes the future payment greater than an immediate payment would have been.
Dividend: Topic Page
That part of the net earnings of a corporation that is distributed to its stockholders. Dividend disbursements are based on a percentage of the par value of the stock or are a certain sum per share of no-par-value stock.
Dumping: Topic Page
Selling goods at less than the normal price, usually as exports in international trade. It may be done by a producer, a group of producers, or a nation.
E-commerce: Topic Page
Commerce conducted over the Internet, most often via the World Wide Web. E-commerce can apply to purchases made through the Web or to business-to-business activities such as inventory transfers.
Euro: Topic Page
Single currency of the European Union (EU), which was officially launched on 1 January 1999 in 11 of the then 15 EU member states (Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain).
Fraud: Topic Page
In law, willful misrepresentation intended to deprive another of some right. The offense, generally only a tort, may also constitute the crime of false pretenses.
Hedge Fund: Topic Page
In finance, a highly speculative, largely unregulated investment device. Originating in the 1950s, the funds "hedge" by offsetting "short" positions (borrowing a security and then selling it at a higher price before repaying the lender) against "long" positions.
Income tax: Topic Page
Assessment levied upon individual or corporate incomes.
Inflation: Topic Page
In economics, persistent and relatively large increase in the general price level of goods and services. Its opposite is deflation, a process of generally declining prices.
Interest: Topic Page
Charge for the use of credit or money, usually figured as a percentage of the principal and computed annually.
Liability: Topic Page
In law, an obligation of one party to another, usually to compensate financially. It is a fundamental aspect of tort law, although liability may also arise from duties entered into by special agreement.
Money: Topic Page
Term that actually refers to two concepts: the abstract unit of account in terms of which the value of goods, services, and obligations can be compared; and anything that is widely established as a means of payment.
Tariff: Topic Page
Tax on imported and, more rarely, exported goods. It is also called a customs duty.
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