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Natural law: According to the political right, the law of humankind that would exist in a state of nature, before governments and positive law existed. Natural law describes rights that all humans have, like life, liberty and property. Often synonymous with the law of God. Liberals argue that natural law is a misnomer, that true laws of nature (like gravity) cannot be violated, unlike human rights, which frequently are
Natural Monopoly: One producer supplying all of the market at lower costs than many producers could.
Natural Unemployment Rate : An economy's civilian unemployment rate when supply and demand for labor are equal. The natural rate is the percentage of the civilian labor force unemployed at one time or another during any given year multiplied by the average time people spend searching for jobs.
Natural selection: A process in which changes in the environment cause
a change in the survival features of survival systems. These systems include
organisms in nature, companies in the marketplace, and individuals within firms.
In other words, systems with suitable survival features do survive, and systems
with unsuitable features don't. A changing environment means that new or different
survival features will become more suitable, resulting in a change in the constituency
of the surviving population. (Not to the individual members themselves.)
Need: A specific quantity of a specific good for which an individual would pay any price.
Net Worth: The difference between the assets and liabilities of a person or business.
New Classical Macroeconomics: See Supply-Side Economics.
New Deal: Programs initiated in the 1930s that were characterized by significantly increased government aid to various economic groups and equally significant increases in government involvement in the economy.
New Economy: Sectors of the economy that are knowledge/human-capital-based with the understanding the technology ultimately derives from human ingenuity. While human capital is a prime driver in the information technology and telecommunications sectors, it also has been responsible for significant improvements in productivity in more traditional industries such as automobiles, aircraft and agriculture.
New Keynesianism: An updated version of Keynesian theory, predominant in academia today. Not to be confused with neo-Keynesianism (classical Keynesianism). In the 1970s and early 80s, conservative economic theories had nearly replaced Keynesianism in academia. Chief among these was rational expectations, which claimed that if the central bank did nothing during a recession, individuals would lower their prices of their own accord, strengthen the dollar, and initiate a recovery. However, the events of the 80s did not bear this out, and rational expectations was gradually abandoned in favor of New Keynesianism. This was the theory that individuals are nearly rational, not perfectly rational, in setting their prices and budgets. For example, people do not review Federal Reserve policy and the dozen leading economic indicators before deciding to reduce their monthly budget by, say, $31.85. People make their best guesses; that is, they are nearly rational. But near rationality often results in price inflexibility. Therefore, when a recession hits, people do not lower their prices, at least for a very long time. Keynesian monetary policy (expanding the money supply) is therefore useful for speeding up recovery from recessions
Nominal GNP: GNP measured in current prices
Nominal Interest Rate: The cost inflicted by inflation eroding the value of stored dollars plus the forgone real interest rate; the opportunity cost of holding money.
Normative Economics: Analysis that contains value judgments, either
implicitly or explicitly
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