Glossary Terms:

Graphing a Lorenz Curve and Calculating the Gini Coefficient

Glossary terms from:


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.


Attempts by two or more individuals or organizations to acquire the same goods, services, or productive and financial resources. Consumers compete with other consumers for goods and services. Producers compete with other producers for sales to consumers.


The allocation or dividing up of the goods and services a society produces.

Distribution of Income

The way in which the nation's income is divided among families, individuals or other designated groups.

Gini Coefficient

An index measuring the degree of income or wealth inequality.


Individuals and family units that buy goods and services (as consumers) and sell or rent productive resources (as resource owners).


Payments earned by households for selling or renting their productive resources. May include salaries, wages, interest and dividends.

Income Inequality

The unequal distribution of an economy's total income among families, individuals or other designated groups.

Lorenz Curve

A graph showing income or wealth inequality.


The study of economics concerned with the economy as a whole, involving aggregate demand, aggregate supply, and monetary and fiscal policy.


The study of economics concerned with individual units of the economy such as households, firms and markets; with how prices and outputs are determined in those markets; and with how the price mechanism allocates resources and distributes income.


A regular payment, often at monthly or biweekly intervals, made by an employer to an employee, especially in the case of professional or white-collar employees. Salaries are paid for services rendered and are not based on hours worked.


Payments for labor services that are directly tied to time worked, or to the number of units of output produced.


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


Effort applied to achieve a purpose or result, often for pay; skills and knowledge put to use to get something done; employment at a job or in a position; occupation, profession, business, trade, craft, etc.


People employed to do work, producing goods and services.