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Holt 7525-9 S15_IT

Low Short-term Interest

Low Short-term Interest Rates The U.S. economy entered into a recession in March of 2001. Over the course of 2001, the Federal Reserve lowered the federal funds rate eleven times, from 6.50% to 1.75%. When the economic recovery proved sluggish and no sign of significant inflation appeared, the Fed continued its low interest rate policy, lowering the federal funds rate to 1.25% in November of 2002 and to 1.00% in June of 2003. The Fed began gradually increasing the rate in June of 2004, but the rate remained at 2.00% or lower for more than three years. The low short-term interest rates contributed to the housing bubble in two primary ways. The low short-term interest rates encouraged the use of adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs). As home prices rose faster than household incomes, many prospective home buyers were unable to afford house payments under fixed rate mortgages. But ARMs could provide the buyer with a lower monthly payment initially, since short-term interest rates were lower than long-term interest rates. Example 7: The monthly principal and interest payment on a $200,000 30-year fixed rate mortgage with an interest rate of 6% would be about $1200. The monthly principal and interest payment on a $200,000 30-year ARM with an initial interest rate of 4% would initially be only about $950. As the housing market heated up, mortgage lenders became more creative with ARMs, developing “option” ARMs. With an “option” ARM, the borrower could choose to make standard payments of both principal and interest (thus reducing the balance outstanding on the loan each month), or could choose to make payments of interest only (thus not changing the balance outstanding on the loan each month), or could choose to make payments of only a portion of the interest due (thus increasing the balance outstanding on the loan each month). ARMs made monthly mortgage payments temporarily affordable for more buyers and thus contributed to rising home prices. When the interest rate on the mortgage adjusted upward (typically after two years), the higher mortgage payments would prove unmanageable for many home buyers. The second way that low short-term interest rates contributed to the housing bubble was by encouraging leveraging (investing with borrowed money). With short-term interest rates extremely low, investors could increase their returns by borrowing at low short-term interest rates and investing in higher yielding long-term investments, such as mortgage-backed securities. Example 8A: XYZ Company invests $10 million in mortgage-backed securities paying 7% interest. XYZ’s return on equity is 7%. If XYZ borrows $100 million on short-term loans at 4% interest in order to invest an additional $100 million in mortgage-backed securities paying 7% interest, XYZ is now leveraged at 10 to 1 ($10 in debt for every $1 in equity). XYZ’s return on equity will now be 37% (profit of $3.7 million on equity of $10 million). Leveraging increased the financing available for mortgage lending, thus increasing the demand for houses and contributing to rising home prices. When the housing bubble eventually burst and home prices fell, the impact of the bursting of the housing bubble was increased by the degree of leverage in the economy. Example 8B: The bursting of the housing bubble led to increased mortgage foreclosures and caused the value of mortgage-backed securities to fall. If the value of the mortgage-backed securities held by XYZ Company from Example 8A falls by more than $10 million, XYZ Company becomes insolvent and will be unable to obtain new short-term financing. XYZ is forced to deleverage by selling some of its holdings of mortgage-backed securities. Many other highlyleveraged firms are going through the same deleveraging process, driving the price of mortgagebacked securities still lower. FOR REVIEW ONLY - NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION The Federal Reserve System 11 - 6

Relaxed Standards for Mortgage Loans Standards for mortgage loans were fairly consistent in the decades prior to the housing bubble. Most mortgages were 30-year fixed rate loans requiring a down payment of at least 20%, or mortgage insurance if the 20% down payment requirement were not met. The borrower also had to have sufficient income to ensure that the monthly mortgage payments would be manageable. Governmental policies have long encouraged home ownership. The tax law has for decades permitted the deduction of mortgage interest and real estate taxes. In 1997, the tax law was changed to permit homeowners to exclude from taxation a gain of up to $500,000 from the sale of a home. In the mid 1990s, new governmental policies were enacted that contributed to a relaxing of standards for mortgage loans. In 1995, the Community Reinvestment Act was modified to compel banks to increase their mortgage lending to lower-income households. To meet the new requirements of the Community Reinvestment Act, many banks relaxed their mortgage lending standards. Beginning in 1996, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) began to increase the percentage of mortgage loans to lower-income households that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were required to hold in their portfolios. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are government-sponsored enterprises that increase the funding available in the mortgage market by purchasing mortgages from loan originators. Fannie and Freddie buy only mortgages that conform to certain standards for down payment requirements and income requirements. Historically, mortgages taken out by lower-income households often did not conform to these strict standards. After HUD increased the percentage of mortgage loans to lower-income households that Fannie and Freddie were required to hold in their portfolios, Fannie and Freddie relaxed the standards that mortgages had to meet to be classified as “conforming” and thus eligible for purchase by Fannie and Freddie. Down payment requirements and income requirements were reduced. With the internet came greater competition in the mortgage loan market. Home buyers were no longer limited to borrowing locally, but could search nationally for the mortgage provider who would offer the most favorable terms. This is exemplified by the reduction in the average fee paid on a mortgage. Example 9: According to the Federal Housing Finance Board, the average fee on a mortgage loan fell from around 1% of the amount of the loan in 1998 to less than .5% from 2002 to 2007. The greater competition in the mortgage industry contributed to relaxed mortgage standards. Mortgage lenders who were willing to lower their standards gained market share. More conservative mortgage lenders either had to lower their standards or lose market share. As irrational exuberance caused the housing market to overheat, lenders relaxed their mortgage standards even further. This was particularly true for loan originators who planned to quickly sell their mortgages and thus felt little concern for the long-term credit-worthiness of the borrowers. This practice (called “originate to sell” as opposed to the traditional practice of “originate to hold”) became more common with the increasing purchases of mortgages by investment banks. The investment banks were increasing their purchases of mortgages to enable them to issue more and more of the highly profitable mortgage-backed securities. The relaxing of mortgage standards is exemplified by the increase in subprime mortgages. Subprime mortgages are home loans given to persons who are considered a poor credit risk. Historically, subprime mortgages have had a foreclosure rate about ten times higher than prime mortgages. Subprime mortgages charge a higher interest rate than conventional mortgages to offset the greater risk of default. Subprime mortgages increased from 5% of new home loans in 1994 to 20% in 2006. FOR REVIEW ONLY - NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION 11 - 7 The Federal Reserve System

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    PRINCIPLES OF ECONOMICS JEFF HOLT S

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    Principles of Economics, 6th Editio

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    16. Study Guide for Chapter 7 17. C

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    11. Appendix: Book Review - “The

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    20. Appendix: The NCAA Cartel 21. S

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    Introduction: A Brief History of U.

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    In the twentieth century, per capit

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    Appendix: The 35 Largest National E

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    Multiple Choice: ___ 1. The Jamesto

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    2. Describe the economic cost of th

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    Chapter 1 Scarcity and Choices The

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    Example 5B: At the end of 1982, the

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    Example 11: When Cindy quits her jo

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    consequences may result in failure

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    An upward sloping curve (as in Exam

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    In making decisions, humans tend to

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    5. ______________________ _________

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    ___ 13. If the value of one variabl

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    Y Point X Y A 0 1 B 3 3 C 6 5 D 9 7

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    Chapter 2 Trade and Economic System

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    Example 4B: The following quantitie

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    1. An increase in the quantity of r

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    3. For whom to produce? This is det

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    The graph below illustrates the shi

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    The two primary economic systems ar

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    ___ 12. The capitalist vision sees

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    ___ 25. According to the book “Ca

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    Chapter 3 Demand, Supply, and Equil

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    . For inferior goods, income and de

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    The same information can be placed

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    Not only does a free market elimina

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    $7 - 6 - 5 - S 3 S1 S 2 Price 4 - 3

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    Example 17: The graph below illustr

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    Questions for Chapter 3 Fill-in-the

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    ___ 12. Assuming a market originall

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    $8 - 7 - 6 - 5 - Price 4 - 3 - 2 -

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    Chapter 4 Inflation and Unemploymen

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    Computing the Rate of Inflation The

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    Full Employment Though unemployment

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    3. Cyclical unemployment - due to d

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    During the Great Depression, the ec

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    Appendix: Think Like an Economist -

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    Answer questions 8. and 9. based on

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    ___ 25. The extension of unemployme

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    Chapter 5 Measuring Total Output: G

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    5. Leisure. Leisure time is by defi

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    The U.S. is a high per capita GDP c

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    Example 17: In “An International

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    The simple circular flow diagram be

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    ___ 3. Which of the following would

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    2. Explain what nonproduction trans

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    Chapter 6 The Aggregate Market The

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    Example 2C: Assume the same facts a

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    Example 5B: The price of crude oil

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    Price Level Real GDP SRAS AD 2 AD 1

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    Appendix: Why the Aggregate Demand

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    ___ 3. DEF Company can invest in ne

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    2. List and explain the two factors

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    Chapter 7 Classical Economic Theory

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    Notice that the investment demand c

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    Long-Run Equilibrium If Real GDP is

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    Example 6B: When the economy is in

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    Laissez-faire If the economy is sel

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    ___ 5. According to Say’s Law: a.

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    3. On the graph below, draw an aggr

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    Chapter 8 Keynesian Economic Theory

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    An improvement in technology (e.g.

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    The table below shows the economic

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    will increase both Real GDP and per

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    ___ 8. Which of the following is co

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    ___ 26. The opinion that economic g

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    Chapter 15 Less Developed Countries

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    Example 8: Countries A, B, C, and D

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    Obstacles to Economic Development f

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    c. Restrictions on international tr

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    Appendix: Book Review - “The Powe

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    Example 25: In Brazil, about half t

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    Study Guide for Chapter 15 Chapter

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    ___ 13. Among the counterproductive

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    4. List four ways that governments

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    Chapter 16 International Trade The

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    Other Benefits of Free Internationa

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    Example 6: The graph below illustra

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    competitive disadvantage. But dumpi

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    is only 25% as productive as before

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    Smith was skeptical of government a

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    ___ 4. For Country X, what is the o

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    ___ 18. Frédéric Bastiat’s “P

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    4. On the graph below: (1) What is

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    Chapter 17 Elasticity We are often

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    Example 4A: What is price elasticit

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    Example 5A: Gertie’s Gas and Go i

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    Example 10A: When the price of Good

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    Example 13B: On the graph below, su

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    $7 - 6 - 5 - Price 4 - 3 - 2 - 1 -

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    In the long run, would the deadweig

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    ___ 7. The factors that determine w

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    3. a. Which price (or prices) from

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    Chapter 18 Utility The basic econom

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    Nonetheless, society generally assu

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    Example 9: Capital City operates a

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    Marginal rate of substitution - the

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    The diamond-water paradox is the ob

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    Complete the table below to answer

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    4. The graph below shows indifferen

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    Chapter 19 The Firm The basic econo

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    than contributing to team productio

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    1. Difficulty in raising large amou

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    Corporations also use self-financin

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    Example 24: A blacksmith who produc

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    For financing needs, proprietorship

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    ___ 13. Corporations: a. are comple

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    5. List two things that the absence

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    Chapter 20 Production and Costs The

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    In Example 5B, Birdwell finds that

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    variable cost initially decreases,

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    Quantity TC MC AFC AVC ATC 0 240 X

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    If the scale of operation is increa

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    average total cost. Average fixed c

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    ___ 11. Concerning the cost curves:

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    5. Complete the following cost tabl

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    Chapter 21 Perfect Competition The

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    Even though a perfect competitor ca

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    Example 6C: This example builds on

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    At what price will there be neither

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    Appendix: Perfect Competition in th

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    Multiple Choice: ___ 1. A perfect c

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    ___ 17. Perfect competition: a. req

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    Answers for Chapter 21 Fill-in-the-

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    Chapter 22 Monopoly Of the four mar

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    3. Exclusive ownership of an essent

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    maximizing quantity (4 units) creat

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    $22 - 20 - 18 - 16 - 14 - Deadweigh

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    2. Negotiating, beginning at a high

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    Legal barriers are created by gover

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    ___ 8. The slope of the demand curv

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    Price Quantity 3. List some of the

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    Chapter 23 Monopolistic Competition

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    For Percomp (the perfect competitor

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    Example 7A: The graph below represe

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    Example 9: The Organization of the

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    Example 12 illustrates the dilemma

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    its current price and quantity. The

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    ___ 14. Game theory: a. is a method

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    Answers for Chapter 23 Fill-in-the-

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    Chapter 24 Factor Markets The basic

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    $ $240 - 200 - 160 - 120 - 80 - 40

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    Since producers will attempt to equ

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    2. Differences in nonmoney aspects

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    were his strikeouts, walks, and hom

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    ___ 3. To maximize profits, a produ

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    ___ 19. According to the book, “M

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    Multiple Choice: 1. a. 8. c. 15. d.

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    Chapter 25 Labor Unions The primary

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    The elasticity of demand for union

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    Example 4A: Assume that the graph b

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    Notice from the graph in Example 6

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    Wage Factory A Quantity of Labor S

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    As a cartel, a labor union faces a

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    ___ 10. For a monopsony: a. there i

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    3. The graph below represents a lab

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    Chapter 26 Interest, Present Value,

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    An increase in expected rates of re

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    An asset is valuable because we exp

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    Example 13B: General Ordnance prove

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    Appendix: Present Value Table One f

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    ___ 4. An increase in expected rate

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    Problems: 1. List and explain the t

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    Chapter 27 Market Failure The basic

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    External Benefit If a market genera

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    Example 2: To encourage the consump

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    $100 - 90 - 80 - MSC 70 - $ 60 - 50

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    A common good is nonexcludable. Non

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    Study Guide for Chapter 27 Chapter

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    ___ 5. What government policy would

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    4. Based on the information on the

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    Chapter 28 Public Choice and Govern

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    Candidates and the Median Voter Mod

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    Example 8: According to State and F

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    Example 10: When Elvis Presley was

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    4. Pessimistic bias. This is the te

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    ___ 5. An elected official will: a.

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    2. If a certain policy will yield s

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    Chapter 29 Government Regulation of

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    underproduction is the amount that

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    micromanagement results in business

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    market. They may agree with their c

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    Questions for Chapter 29 Fill-in-th

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    ___ 10. The public interest theory

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    4. List the four types of costs imp

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    Chapter 30 Agriculture and Health C

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    weather may cause bumper crops. Bad

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    Security and Rural Investment Act o

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    Example 12: From 1960 to 2013, the

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    1. NHI would provide universal heal

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    d. Insurance providers are not allo

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    Study Guide for Chapter 30 Chapter

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    Answer questions 7. through 10. by

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    ___ 21. If there were no individual

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    Chapter 31 Income Distribution and

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    Income is more equally distributed

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    over a typical career is the accumu

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    Ideal Income Redistribution The ide

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    Poverty - a family whose income fal

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    Appendix: Income Inequality around

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    How is this story an analogy for th

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    ___ 2. In 2013, the Lowest Income 6

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    Problems: 1. Explain the two primar

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    Absolute advantage - when one natio

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    Fiat money - money by government de

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    Nonrivalrous good - a good for whic

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    Absolute advantage, 16-9 Absolute e

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    “Company town”, 25-6 Comparativ

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    Eli Lilly and Company, 22-1 Emergen

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    Houston, Texas, 15-10 Human capital

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    Market, 3-1, 3-8-9 Market basket, 4

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    Political bias, 9-4, 12-7 Political

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    Short run production, 20-2-3 Short-

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    Upturns, 9-4 USDA, 27-9, 30-1-2, 30

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