The Imperfect Microscope: Chapter One Vocabulary

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the social science that deals with the analysis of material problems and how societies allocate scarce resources to satisfy human wants


the study of aggregated economic activity and forces that determine income level & employment in a society


the study of disaggregated economic activities & how a market economy allocates resources through prices

independent variable

the variable whose value depends on the value of the independent variable in a set of relationships

dependent variable

the variable whose value depends on the value of the independent variable in a set of relationships


the relationship between independent and dependent variables in which the dependent variable changes in opposite direction of the independent variable


the relationship between the independent and dependent variable in which both variables change in the same direction

normative economics

consists of making judgements about what should be

positive economics

consists of determining what is


philosophical school arguing that self-satisfaction is the primary goal of individuals; founded by Jeremy Bentham

homo economicus

"economic person"; supposedly maximized satisfaction and minimized pain by carefully making decisions

homo Communista

Communist man

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