Glossary Terms:

No Funny Money, Honey....I Want the Real Thing!

Glossary terms from:


Trading a good or service directly for another good or service, without using money or credit.


Money in the form of paper currency or coins (as distinct from checks, money orders or credit).

Characteristics of Money

Characteristics of money include it being durable (both physically and socially), divisible (money can be divided into increments appropriate for the cost of an item), transportable (literally meaning that money must be easy to move), and the ability to regulate the amount of money in a market by making it uncounterfeitable.


A written order to a financial institution directing the financial institution to pay a stated amount of money, as instructed, from the customer's account.


Decision made or course of action taken when faced with a set of alternatives.


Government-issued pieces of metal that have value and are used as money.


An amount that must be paid or spent to buy or obtain something. The effort, loss or sacrifice necessary to achieve or obtain something.


The money in circulation in any country.


Trading a good or service for another good or service, or for money.


Tangible objects that satisfy economic wants.


Anything that is generally accepted as final payment for goods and services; serves as a medium of exchange, a store of value and a standard of value. Characteristics of money are portability, stability in value, uniformity, durability and acceptance.

Money Supply

Narrowly defined by economists as currency in the hands of the public plus checking-type deposits; also called M1. Other definitions of the money supply (M2, M3) include various savings deposits, money market deposits and money market mutual fund balances.


The basic kinds of resources used to produce goods and services: land or natural resources, human resources (including labor and entrepreneurship), and capital.


The condition that exists because human wants exceed the capacity of available resources to satisfy those wants; also a situation in which a resource has more than one valuable use. The problem of scarcity faces all individuals and organizations, including firms and government agencies.


Activities performed by people, firms or government agencies to satisfy economic wants.


The amount of a good or service that producers are willing and able to offer for sale at each possible price during a given period of time. Normally, as the price of a good or service rises (or falls), the quantity supplied of the good or service rises (or falls).


The exchange of goods and services for money or other goods and services.


Desires that can be satisfied by consuming or using a good or service. Economists do not differentiate between wants and needs.