A market is one of the many varieties of systems, procedures, social relations and infrastructures whereby parties engage in exchange. While parties may exchange goods and services by barter, most markets rely on sellers offering their goods or services in exchange for money from buyers, it can be said that a market is the process by which the prices of goods and services are established. Markets facilitate enable the distribution and resource allocation in a society. Markets allow any trade-able item to be priced. A market emerges more or less spontaneously or may be constructed deliberately by human interaction in order to enable the exchange of rights of services and goods. Markets supplant gift economies and are held in place through rules and customs, such as a booth fee, competitive pricing, source of goods for sale. Markets can differ by products or factors sold, product differentiation, place in which exchanges are carried, buyers targeted, selling process, government regulation, subsidies, minimum wages, price ceilings, legality of exchange, intensity of speculation, concentration, exchange asymmetry, relative prices and geographic extension.
The geographic boundaries of a market may vary for example the food market in a single building, the real estate market in a local city, the consumer market in an entire country, or the economy of an international trade bloc where the same rules apply throughout. Markets can be worldwide, see for example the global diamond trade. National economies can be classified as developed markets or developing markets. In mainstream economics, the concept of a market is any structure that allows buyers and sellers to exchange any type of goods and information; the exchange of goods or services, with or without money, is a transaction. Market participants consist of all the buyers and sellers of a good who influence its price, a major topic of study of economics and has given rise to several theories and models concerning the basic market forces of supply and demand. A major topic of debate is how much a given market can be considered to be a "free market", free from government intervention. Microeconomics traditionally focuses on the study of market structure and the efficiency of market equilibrium.
However, it is not always clear how the allocation of resources can be improved since there is always the possibility of government failure. A market is one of the many varieties of systems, procedures, social relations and infrastructures whereby parties engage in exchange. While parties may exchange goods and services by barter, most markets rely on sellers offering their goods or services in exchange for money from buyers, it can be said that a market is the process by which the prices of goods and services are established. Markets enables the distribution and allocation of resources in a society. Markets allow any trade-able item to be priced. A market sometimes emerges more or less spontaneously or may be constructed deliberately by human interaction in order to enable the exchange of rights of services and goods. Markets of varying types can spontaneously arise whenever a party has interest in a good or service that some other party can provide. Hence there can be a market for cigarettes in correctional facilities, another for chewing gum in a playground, yet another for contracts for the future delivery of a commodity.
There can be black markets, where a good is exchanged illegally, for example markets for goods under a command economy despite pressure to repress them and virtual markets, such as eBay, in which buyers and sellers do not physically interact during negotiation. A market can be organized as an auction, as a private electronic market, as a commodity wholesale market, as a shopping center, as a complex institution such as a stock market and as an informal discussion between two individuals. Markets vary in form, scale and types of participants as well as the types of goods and services traded; the following is a non exhaustive list: Food retail markets: farmers' markets, fish markets, wet markets and grocery stores Retail marketplaces: public markets, market squares, Main Streets, High Streets, souqs, night markets, shopping strip malls and shopping malls Big-box stores: supermarkets and discount stores Ad hoc auction markets: process of buying and selling goods or services by offering them up for bid, taking bids and selling the item to the highest bidder Used goods markets such as flea markets Temporary markets such as fairs Physical wholesale markets: sale of goods or merchandise to retailers.
Development economics is a branch of economics which deals with economic aspects of the development process in low income countries. Its focus is not only on methods of promoting economic development, economic growth and structural change but on improving the potential for the mass of the population, for example, through health and workplace conditions, whether through public or private channels. Development economics involves the creation of theories and methods that aid in the determination of policies and practices and can be implemented at either the domestic or international level; this may involve restructuring market incentives or using mathematical methods such as intertemporal optimization for project analysis, or it may involve a mixture of quantitative and qualitative methods. Unlike in many other fields of economics, approaches in development economics may incorporate social and political factors to devise particular plans. Unlike many other fields of economics, there is no consensus on what students should know.
Different approaches may consider the factors that contribute to economic convergence or non-convergence across households and countries. The earliest Western theory of development economics was mercantilism, which developed in the 17th century, paralleling the rise of the nation state. Earlier theories had given little attention to development. For example, the dominant school of thought during medieval feudalism, emphasized reconciliation with Christian theology and ethics, rather than development; the 16th- and 17th-century School of Salamanca, credited as the earliest modern school of economics did not address development specifically. Major European nations in the 17th and 18th century all adopted mercantilist ideals to varying degrees, the influence only ebbing with the 18th-century development of physiocrats in France and classical economics in Britain. Mercantilism held that a nation's prosperity depended on its supply of capital, represented by bullion held by the state, it emphasised the maintenance of a high positive trade balance as a means of accumulating this bullion.
To achieve a positive trade balance, protectionist measures such as tariffs and subsidies to home industries were advocated. Mercantilist development theory advocated colonialism. Theorists most associated with mercantilism include Philipp von Hörnigk, who in his Austria Over All, If She Only Will of 1684 gave the only comprehensive statement of mercantilist theory, emphasizing production and an export-led economy. In France, mercantilist policy is most associated with 17th-century finance minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert, whose policies proved influential in American development. Mercantilist ideas continue in the theories of economic neomercantilism. Following mercantilism was the related theory of economic nationalism, promulgated in the 19th century related to the development and industrialization of the United States and Germany, notably in the policies of the American System in America and the Zollverein in Germany. A significant difference from mercantilism was the de-emphasis on colonies, in favor of a focus on domestic production.
The names most associated with 19th-century economic nationalism are the American Alexander Hamilton, the German-American Friedrich List, the American Henry Clay. Hamilton's 1791 Report on Manufactures, his magnum opus, is the founding text of the American System, drew from the mercantilist economies of Britain under Elizabeth I and France under Colbert. List's 1841 Das Nationale System der Politischen Ökonomie, which emphasized stages of growth, proved influential in the US and Germany, nationalist policies were pursued by politician Henry Clay, by Abraham Lincoln, under the influence of economist Henry Charles Carey. Forms of economic nationalism and neomercantilism have been key in Japan's development in the 19th and 20th centuries, the more recent development of the Four Asian Tigers, most China. Following Brexit and the United States presidential election, 2016, some experts have argued a new kind of "self-seeking capitalism" popularly known as Trumponomics could have a considerable impact on cross-border investment flows and long-term capital allocation The origins of modern development economics are traced to the need for, problems with the industrialization of eastern Europe in the aftermath of World War II.
The key authors are Paul Rosenstein-Rodan, Kurt Mandelbaum, Ragnar Nurkse, Sir Hans Wolfgang Singer. Only after the war did economists turn their concerns towards Asia and Latin America. At the heart of these studies, by authors such as Simon Kuznets and W. Arthur Lewis was an analysis of not only economic growth but structural transformation. An early theory of development economics, the linear-stages-of-growth model was first formulated in the 1950s by W. W. Rostow in The Stages of Growth: A Non-Communist Manifesto, following work of Marx and List; this theory modifies Marx's stages theory of development and focuses on the accelerated accumulation of capital, through the utilization of both domestic and international savings as a means of spurring investment, as the primary means of promoting economic growth and, development. The linear-stages-of-growth model posits that there are a series of five consecutive stages of development which all countries must go through during the process of development.
These stages are "the traditional society, the pre-conditions for take-off, the take-off, the drive to maturity, the age of high mass-consumption" Simple versi
Political economy is the study of production and trade and their relations with law and government. As a discipline, political economy originated in moral philosophy, in the 18th century, to explore the administration of states' wealth, with "political" signifying the Greek word polity and "economy" signifying the Greek word "okonomie"; the earliest works of political economy are attributed to the British scholars Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, David Ricardo, although they were preceded by the work of the French physiocrats, such as François Quesnay and Anne-Robert-Jacques Turgot. In the late 19th century, the term "economics" began to replace the term "political economy" with the rise of mathematical modelling coinciding with the publication of an influential textbook by Alfred Marshall in 1890. Earlier, William Stanley Jevons, a proponent of mathematical methods applied to the subject, advocated economics for brevity and with the hope of the term becoming "the recognised name of a science".
Citation measurement metrics from Google Ngram Viewer indicate that use of the term "economics" began to overshadow "political economy" around 1910, becoming the preferred term for the discipline by 1920. Today, the term "economics" refers to the narrow study of the economy absent other political and social considerations while the term "political economy" represents a distinct and competing approach. Political economy, where it is not used as a synonym for economics, may refer to different things. From an academic standpoint, the term may reference Marxian economics, applied public choice approaches emanating from the Chicago school and the Virginia school. In common parlance, "political economy" may refer to the advice given by economists to the government or public on general economic policy or on specific economic proposals developed by political scientists. A growing mainstream literature from the 1970s has expanded beyond the model of economic policy in which planners maximize utility of a representative individual toward examining how political forces affect the choice of economic policies as to distributional conflicts and political institutions.
It is available as a stand-alone area of study in certain universities. Political economy meant the study of the conditions under which production or consumption within limited parameters was organized in nation-states. In that way, political economy expanded the emphasis of economics, which comes from the Greek oikos and nomos. Political economy was thus meant to express the laws of production of wealth at the state level, just as economics was the ordering of the home; the phrase économie politique first appeared in France in 1615 with the well-known book by Antoine de Montchrétien, Traité de l’economie politique. The French physiocrats were the first exponents of political economy, although the intellectual responses of Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill, David Ricardo, Henry George and Karl Marx to the physiocrats receives much greater attention; the world's first professorship in political economy was established in 1754 at the University of Naples Federico II in southern Italy. The Neapolitan philosopher Antonio Genovesi was the first tenured professor.
In 1763, Joseph von Sonnenfels was appointed a Political Economy chair at the University of Vienna, Austria. Thomas Malthus, in 1805, became England's first professor of political economy, at the East India Company College, Hertfordshire. In its contemporary meaning, political economy refers to different yet related approaches to studying economic and related behaviours, ranging from the combination of economics with other fields to the use of different, fundamental assumptions that challenge earlier economic assumptions: Political economy most refers to interdisciplinary studies drawing upon economics and political science in explaining how political institutions, the political environment, the economic system—capitalist, communist, or mixed—influence each other; the Journal of Economic Literature classification codes associate political economy with three sub-areas: the role of government and/or class and power relationships in resource allocation for each type of economic system. Much of the political economy approach is derived from public choice theory on the one hand and radical political economics on the other hand, both dating from the 1960s.
Public choice theory is a microfoundations theory, intertwined with political economy. Both approaches model voters and bureaucrats as behaving in self-interested ways, in contrast to a view, ascribed to earlier mainstream economists, of government officials trying to maximize individual utilities from some kind of social welfare function; as such and political scientists associate political economy with approaches using rational-choice assumptions in game theory and in examining phenomena beyond economics' standard remit, such as government failure and complex decision making in which context the term "positive political economy" is common. Other "traditional" topics include analysis of such public policy issues as economic regulation, rent-seeking, market protection, institutional corruption and distributional politics. Empirical analysis includes the influence of elections on the choice of economic policy and forecasting models of electoral outcome
Public economics is the study of government policy through the lens of economic efficiency and equity. At its most basic level, public economics provides a framework for thinking about whether or not the government should participate in economic markets and to what extent it should do so. In order to do this, microeconomic theory is utilized to assess whether the private market is to provide efficient outcomes in the absence of governmental interference. Inherently, this study involves the analysis of government taxation and expenditures; this subject encompasses a host of topics including market failures and the creation and implementation of government policy. Public economics builds on the theory of welfare economics and is used as a tool to improve social welfare. Broad methods and topics include: the theory and application of public finance analysis and design of public policy distributional effects of taxation and government expenditures analysis of market failure and government failure.
Emphasis is on analytical and scientific methods and normative-ethical analysis, as distinguished from ideology. Examples of topics covered are tax incidence, optimal taxation, the theory of public goods; the Journal of Economic Literature classification codes are one way categorizing the range of economics subjects. There, Public Economics, one of 19 primary classifications, has 8 categories, they are listed below with JEL-code links to corresponding available article-preview links of The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics Online and with similar footnote links for each respective subcategory if available: JEL: H – Public Economics JEL: H0 – General JEL: H1 – Structure and Scope of Government JEL: H2 – Taxation and Revenue JEL: H3 – Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents JEL: H4 – Publicly Provided Goods JEL: H5 – National Government Expenditures and Related Policies JEL: H6 – National Budget and Debt JEL: H7 – State and Local Government. In 1971, Peter A. Diamond and James A. Mirrlees published a seminal paper which showed that when lump-sum taxation is not available, production efficiency is still desirable.
This finding is known as the Diamond–Mirrlees efficiency theorem, it is credited with having modernized Ramsey's analysis by considering the problem of income distribution with the problem of raising revenue. Joseph E. Stiglitz and Partha Dasgupta have criticized this theorem as not being robust on the grounds that production efficiency will not be desirable if certain tax instruments cannot be used. One of the achievements for which the great English economist A. C. Pigou is known, was his work on the divergences between marginal private costs and marginal social costs. In his book, The Economics of Welfare, Pigou describes how these divergences come about:...one person A, in the course of rendering some service, for which payment is made, to a second person B, incidentally renders services or disservices to other persons, of such a sort that payment cannot be extracted from the benefited parties or compensation enforced on behalf of the injured parties. In particular, Pigou is known for his advocacy of what are known as corrective taxes, or Pigouvian taxes: It is plain that divergences between private and social net product of the kinds we have so far been considering cannot, like divergences due to tenancy laws, be mitigated by a modification of the contractual relation between any two contracting parties, because the divergence arises out of a service or disservice to persons other than the contracting parties.
It is, possible for the State, if it so chooses, to remove the divergence in any field by "extraordinary encouragements" or "extraordinary restraints" upon investments in that field. The most obvious forms which these encouragements and restraints may assume are, of course, those of bounties and taxes. Externalities arise when consumption by individuals or production by firms affect the utility or production function of other individuals or firms. Positive externalities are education, public health and others while examples of negative externalities are air pollution, noise pollution, non-vaccination and more; the government can intervene in the market, using an emission tax for example to create a more efficient outcome. Pigou describes as positive externalities, examples such as resources invested in private parks that improve the surrounding air, scientific research from which discoveries of high practical utility grow. Alternatively, he describes negative externalities, such as the factory that destroys a great part of the amenities of neighboring sites.
In 1960, the economist Ronald H. Coase proposed an alternative scheme whereby negative externalities are dealt with through the appropriate assignment of property rights; this result is known as the Coase theorem. Public goods, or collective consumption goods, exhibit two properties. Something is non-rivaled if one person's consumption of it does not deprive another person, a firework display is non-rivaled - since one person watching a firework display does not prevent another person from doing so. Something is non-excludable. Again, since one cannot prevent people from viewing a firework display it is non-excludable. Conceptually, another example of public good is the service, provided by law enforcement organizations, such as sheriffs and police. Cities and towns are served by only one
Microeconomics is a branch of economics that studies the behaviour of individuals and firms in making decisions regarding the allocation of scarce resources and the interactions among these individuals and firms. One goal of microeconomics is to analyze the market mechanisms that establish relative prices among goods and services and allocate limited resources among alternative uses. Microeconomics shows conditions, it analyzes market failure, where markets fail to produce efficient results. Microeconomics stands in contrast to macroeconomics, which involves "the sum total of economic activity, dealing with the issues of growth and unemployment and with national policies relating to these issues". Microeconomics deals with the effects of economic policies on microeconomic behavior and thus on the aforementioned aspects of the economy. In the wake of the Lucas critique, much of modern macroeconomic theories has been built upon microfoundations—i.e. Based upon basic assumptions about micro-level behavior.
Microeconomic theory begins with the study of a single rational and utility maximizing individual. To economists, rationality means an individual possesses stable preferences that are both complete and transitive; the technical assumption that preference relations are continuous is needed to ensure the existence of a utility function. Although microeconomic theory can continue without this assumption, it would make comparative statics impossible since there is no guarantee that the resulting utility function would be differentiable. Microeconomic theory progresses by defining a competitive budget set, a subset of the consumption set, it is at this point that economists make the technical assumption that preferences are locally non-satiated. Without the assumption of LNS there is no 100% guarantee but there would be a rational rise in individual utility. With the necessary tools and assumptions in place the utility maximization problem is developed; the utility maximization problem is the heart of consumer theory.
The utility maximization problem attempts to explain the action axiom by imposing rationality axioms on consumer preferences and mathematically modeling and analyzing the consequences. The utility maximization problem serves not only as the mathematical foundation of consumer theory but as a metaphysical explanation of it as well; that is, the utility maximization problem is used by economists to not only explain what or how individuals make choices but why individuals make choices as well. The utility maximization problem is a constrained optimization problem in which an individual seeks to maximize utility subject to a budget constraint. Economists use the extreme value theorem to guarantee that a solution to the utility maximization problem exists; that is, since the budget constraint is both bounded and closed, a solution to the utility maximization problem exists. Economists call the solution to the utility maximization problem a Walrasian demand function or correspondence; the utility maximization problem has so far been developed by taking consumer tastes as the primitive.
However, an alternative way to develop microeconomic theory is by taking consumer choice as the primitive. This model of microeconomic theory is referred to as revealed preference theory; the theory of supply and demand assumes that markets are competitive. This implies that there are many buyers and sellers in the market and none of them have the capacity to influence prices of goods and services. In many real-life transactions, the assumption fails because some individual buyers or sellers have the ability to influence prices. Quite a sophisticated analysis is required to understand the demand-supply equation of a good model. However, the theory works well in situations meeting these assumptions. Mainstream economics does not assume a priori that markets are preferable to other forms of social organization. In fact, much analysis is devoted to cases where market failures lead to resource allocation, suboptimal and creates deadweight loss. A classic example of suboptimal resource allocation is that of a public good.
In such cases, economists may attempt to find policies that avoid waste, either directly by government control, indirectly by regulation that induces market participants to act in a manner consistent with optimal welfare, or by creating "missing markets" to enable efficient trading where none had existed. This is studied in the field of public choice theory. "Optimal welfare" takes on a Paretian norm, a mathematical application of the Kaldor–Hicks method. This can diverge from the Utilitarian goal of maximizing utility because it does not consider the distribution of goods between people. Market failure in positive economics is limited in implications without mixing the belief of the economist and their theory; the demand for various commodities by individuals is thought of as the outcome of a utility-maximizing process, with each individual trying to maximize their own utility under a budget constraint and a given consumption set. The study of microeconomics involves several "key" areas: Supply and demand is an economic model of price determination in a competitive market.
It concludes that in a competitive market with no externalities, per unit taxes, or price controls, the unit price for a particular good is the price at which the quantity demanded by consumers equals the quantity supplied by producers. This price results in a stable economic equilibrium. Elasticity is the measurement of how resp
Institutional economics focuses on understanding the role of the evolutionary process and the role of institutions in shaping economic behaviour. Its original focus lay in Thorstein Veblen's instinct-oriented dichotomy between technology on the one side and the "ceremonial" sphere of society on the other, its name and core elements trace back to a 1919 American Economic Review article by Walton H. Hamilton. Institutional economics emphasizes a broader study of institutions and views markets as a result of the complex interaction of these various institutions; the earlier tradition continues today as a leading heterodox approach to economics."Traditional" institutionalism rejects the reduction of institutions to tastes and nature. Tastes, along with expectations of the future and motivations, not only determine the nature of institutions but are limited and shaped by them. If people live and work in institutions on a regular basis, it shapes their world views. Fundamentally, this traditional institutionalism emphasizes the legal foundations of an economy and the evolutionary and volitional processes by which institutions are erected and changed Institutional economics focuses on learning, bounded rationality, evolution.
It was a central part of American economics in the first part of the 20th century, including such famous but diverse economists as Thorstein Veblen, Wesley Mitchell, John R. Commons; some institutionalists see Karl Marx as belonging to the institutionalist tradition, because he described capitalism as a historically-bounded social system. A significant variant is the new institutional economics from the 20th century, which integrates developments of neoclassical economics into the analysis. Law and economics has been a major theme since the publication of the Legal Foundations of Capitalism by John R. Commons in 1924. Since there has been heated debate on the role of law on economic growth. Behavioral economics is another hallmark of institutional economics based on what is known about psychology and cognitive science, rather than simple assumptions of economic behavior; some of the authors associated with this school include Robert H. Frank, Warren Samuels, Marc Tool, Geoffrey Hodgson, Daniel Bromley, Jonathan Nitzan, Shimshon Bichler, Elinor Ostrom, Anne Mayhew, John Kenneth Galbraith and Gunnar Myrdal, but the sociologist C. Wright Mills was influenced by the institutionalist approach in his major studies.
Thorstein Veblen wrote his first and most influential book while he was at the University of Chicago, on The Theory of the Leisure Class. In it he analyzed the motivation in capitalism for people to conspicuously consume their riches as a way of demonstrating success. Conspicuous leisure was another focus of Veblen's critique; the concept of conspicuous consumption was in direct contradiction to the neoclassical view that capitalism was efficient. In The Theory of Business Enterprise Veblen distinguished the motivations of industrial production for people to use things from business motivations that used, or misused, industrial infrastructure for profit, arguing that the former is hindered because businesses pursue the latter. Output and technological advance are restricted by business practices and the creation of monopolies. Businesses protect their existing capital investments and employ excessive credit, leading to depressions and increasing military expenditure and war through business control of political power.
These two books, focusing on criticism first of consumerism, second of profiteering, did not advocate change. Through the 1920s and after the Wall Street Crash of 1929 Thorstein Veblen's warnings of the tendency for wasteful consumption and the necessity of creating sound financial institutions seemed to ring true. Thorstein Veblen wrote in 1898 an article entitled "Why is Economics Not an Evolutionary Science" and he became the precursor of current evolutionary economics. John R. Commons came from mid-Western America. Underlying his ideas, consolidated in Institutional Economics was the concept that the economy is a web of relationships between people with diverging interests. There are large corporations, labour disputes and fluctuating business cycles, they do however have an interest in resolving these disputes. Commons thought. Commons himself devoted much of his time to advisory and mediation work on government boards and industrial commissions. Wesley Clair Mitchell was an American economist known for his empirical work on business cycles and for guiding the National Bureau of Economic Research in its first decades.
Mitchell’s teachers included economists Thorstein Veblen and J. L. Laughlin and philosopher John Dewey. Clarence Ayres was the principal thinker of what some have called the Texas school of institutional economics. Ayres developed on the ideas of Thorstein Veblen with a dichotomy of "technology" and "institutions" to separate the inventive from the inherited aspects of economic structures, he claimed. It can be argued that Ayres was not an "instit
Labour economics seeks to understand the functioning and dynamics of the markets for wage labour. Labour markets or job markets function through the interaction of employers. Labour economics looks at the suppliers of labour services and the demanders of labour services, attempts to understand the resulting pattern of wages and income. Labour is a measure of the work done by human beings, it is conventionally contrasted with such other factors of production as capital. Some theories focus on human capital. There are two sides to labour economics. Labour economics can be seen as the application of microeconomic or macroeconomic techniques to the labour market. Microeconomic techniques study individual firms in the labour market. Macroeconomic techniques look at the interrelations between the labour market, the goods market, the money market, the foreign trade market, it looks at how these interactions influence macro variables such as employment levels, participation rates, aggregate income and gross domestic product.
The labour force is defined as the number of people of working age, who are either employed or looking for work. The participation rate is the number of people in the labour force divided by the size of the adult civilian noninstitutional population; the non-labour force includes those who are not looking for work, those who are institutionalised such as in prisons or psychiatric wards, stay-at home spouses and those serving in the military. The unemployment level is defined as the labour force minus the number of people employed; the unemployment rate is defined as the level of unemployment divided by the labour force. The employment rate is defined as the number of people employed divided by the adult population. In these statistics, self-employed people are counted as employed. Variables like employment level, unemployment level, labour force, unfilled vacancies are called stock variables because they measure a quantity at a point in time, they can be contrasted with flow variables. Changes in the labour force are due to flow variables such as natural population growth, net immigration, new entrants, retirements from the labour force.
Changes in unemployment depend on inflows made up of non-employed people starting to look for jobs and of employed people who lose their jobs and look for new ones, outflows of people who find new employment and of people who stop looking for employment. When looking at the overall macroeconomy, several types of unemployment have been identified, including: Frictional unemployment – This reflects the fact that it takes time for people to find and settle into new jobs. Technological advancement reduces frictional unemployment. Structural unemployment – This reflects a mismatch between the skills and other attributes of the labour force and those demanded by employers. Rapid industry changes of a technical and/or economic nature will increase levels of structural unemployment; the process of globalization has contributed to structural changes in labour markets. Natural rate of unemployment – This is the summation of frictional and structural unemployment, that excludes cyclical contributions of unemployment.
It is the lowest rate of unemployment that a stable economy can expect to achieve, given that some frictional and structural unemployment is inevitable. Economists do not agree on the level of the natural rate, with estimates ranging from 1% to 5%, or on its meaning – some associate it with "non-accelerating inflation"; the estimated rate varies from country from time to time. Demand deficient unemployment – In Keynesian economics, any level of unemployment beyond the natural rate is due to insufficient goods demand in the overall economy. During a recession, aggregate expenditure is deficient causing the underutilisation of inputs. Aggregate expenditure can be increased, according to Keynes, by increasing consumption spending, increasing investment spending, increasing government spending, or increasing the net of exports minus imports, since AE = C + I + G +. Neoclassical economists view the labour market as similar to other markets in that the forces of supply and demand jointly determine price and quantity.
However, the labour market differs from other markets in several ways. In particular, the labour market may act as a non-clearing market. While according to neoclassical theory most markets attain a point of equilibrium without excess supply or demand, this may not be true of the labour market: it may have a persistent level of unemployment. Contrasting the labour market to other markets reveals persistent compensating differentials among similar workers. Models that assume perfect competition in the labour market, as discussed below, conclude that workers earn their marginal product of labour. Households are suppliers of labour. In microeconomic theory, people are assumed to be rational and seeking to maximize their utility function. In the labour market model, their utility function expresses