- M -

M 1. In microeconomic models involving international trade, M is usually chosen to represent imports, and X to represent exports, perhaps because I and E have too many other uses.
2. In macroeconomic models M is more likely to represent the money supply.
M1 The smallest of several measures of the stock of money in an economy, this consisting primarily of currency held by the public and demand deposits. Also includes several other very liquid items: travelers checks and other accounts on which checks can be written.
M2 A measure of the stock of money in an economy that includes, in addition to all that is in M1, savings deposits and other relatively liquid assets such as small certificates of deposit and money market mutual funds.
M&A Mergers and Acquisitions
Maastricht criteria The convergence criteria laid out in the Maastricht Treaty as conditions for countries to adopt the euro. The criteria required two years of exchange-rate stability and the achievement of quantitative targets for low inflation, interest rates, and limits on government deficits and debt.
Maastricht Treaty The 1992 Treaty on European Union among members of the EC that created the European Union. It also launched the Economic and Monetary Union that ultimately resulted in adoption of the euro in 1999.
MAcMap Market Access Map
Macroeconometric model An econometric model of macroeconomic relationships, usually intended to capture the overall functioning of a national economy.
Macroeconomic Referring to the variables or performance of an economy as a whole, or its major components, as opposed to that of individual industries, firms, or households. Contrasts with microeconomic.
Macroeconomic closure The assumptions made in an economic model, especially a CGE model, for it to have a solution. In a neoclassical closure, all markets clear and all agents satisfy budget constraints. For short-run policy purposes, some assume that certain markets (labor, foreign exchange) do not clear, or that government budgets are not balanced.
Macroeconomic policy Any policy intended to influence the behavior of important macroeconomic variables, especially unemployment and inflation. Macroeconomic policies include monetary and fiscal policies, but also such things as price controls and incentives for economic growth.
Macroeconomic stabilization See stabilization policy.
Made in America An office within the US White House created by Executive Order 14005, signed by US President Biden in his first week in office, "Ensuring the Future is Made in America by All of America's Workers." It seeks "to strengthen the use of federal procurement to support American manufacturing".
Made in China 2025 A strategy announced in 2015 by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to upgrade China's manufacturing sector to produce high technology products, such as robotics, aerospace, electric vehicles, and more.
Made in the world 1. The view said to be held by many multinational corporations that products are no longer made in specific countries but are made wherever in the world they can be produced most efficiently and conveniently.
2. A perspective on world trade promoted by the WTO in its Made in the World Initiative that focuses on trade in value added.
Made in the World Initiative A WTO program of support for "the exchange of projects, experiences, and pratical approaches in measuring and analysing trade in value added."
Made-to-measure tariff A tariff set so as to raise the price of an imported good to the level of the domestic price, so as to leave domestic producers unaffected. Also called a scientific tariff.
Madrid Agreement The Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks, signed in 1891, standardized the registration and protection of trademarks and service marks.
Maghreb The region of West and Central North Africa comprised of Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia, and Western Sahara. Also spelled Maghrib.
Magnification effect The property of the Heckscher-Ohlin Model that certain exogenous changes lead to larger changes in the corresponding endogenous variables: goods prices as they affect factor prices in the Stolper-Samuelson Theorem; factor endowments as they affect outputs in the Rybczynski Theorem. Due to Jones (1965).
Magnitsky Act The Russia and Moldova Jackson-Vanik Repeal and Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012 repealed the Jackson-Vanik Amendment and banned Russian officials accused of human rights abuses. Named for Sergei Magnitsky, who had investigated malfeasance by Russian officials and was then arrested and died.
MAI Multilateral Agreement on Investment
Main refinancing operations The mechanism by which the European Central Bank provides the bulk of liquidity to the banking system.
Majority-owned foreign affiliate A company in another country more than 50% of which is owned by a domestic person or company; thus one form of foreign direct investment.
Make in India A campaign launched by India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014 to "to facilitate investment, foster innovation, enhance skill development, protect intellectual property & build best in class manufacturing infrastructure." Modern version of the Swadeshi Movement.
Managed float An exchange rate regime in which the rate is allowed to be determined in the exchange market without an announced par value as the goal of intervention, but where the authorities do nonetheless intervene at their discretion to influence the rate.
Managed trade The use of trade policies to manipulate trade for political or other purposes. Critics object that this determines commercial outcomes independently of market conditions and productive efficiency. [Source]
Manchester Cotton Exchange Officially the Manchester Royal Exchange after an 1851 visit by Queen Victoria, this began in 1809 restarting an earlier exchange that had operated from 1729 to the late 1700s. It conducted trade in spun yarn and woven fabrics, exporting cotton goods across the world. [Source]
Mandated countertrade A requirement by government that importing firms engage in countertrade, as a means of increasing exports.
Mandatory Oil Import Quota Program Established by the United States in 1959 by presidential proclamation, this placed quotas on imports of crude oil and oil-produced products. It replaced earlier programs that had been informal and voluntary. [Source]
Manipulation Currency manipulation.
Manufactured good A good that is produced by manufacturing.
Manufacturing Production of goods primarily by the application of labor and capital to raw materials and other intermediate inputs, in contrast to agriculture, mining, forestry, fishing, and services.
Manufacturing competitiveness index See Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index.
Manufacturing value added Value added in the manufacturing sector of an economy; thus the income generated there for labor and other primary factors. Those who believe that manufacturing is somehow more important than other sectors of the economy regard a decline in this as cause for concern.
Maquiladora A program for the temporary importation of goods into Mexico without duty, under the condition that they contribute -- through further processing, transformation, or repair -- to exports. The program was established in 1965, and expanded in 1989.
Margin 1. The edge. In economics it usually refers to the last (in terms of quantity, not of time) unit consumed or produced by a consumer or firm.
2. A gap between one number and another, such as a dumping margin or injury margin.
3. See also extensive and intensive margin.
Margin of preference 1. The extent to which one person or group is given more favorable treatment than others.
2. The percentage by which particular imports from one country are subject to lower tariffs than the MFN rate, as in a preferential trading arrangement.
Marginal analysis The determination of optimal behavior by comparing benefits and costs at the margin, that is, benefits and costs that result from small (i.e., marginal) changes. Optimality requires that marginal benefit equal marginal cost, since otherwise a rise or fall could increase benefit more than cost.
Marginal benefit The increase in well-being caused by an additional unit of some activity, such as the consumption of a good. Exactly whose well-being this refers to depends on the context.
Marginal change A small change in some quantity.
Marginal cost 1. The increase in cost that accompanies a unit increase in output
2. The partial derivative of a cost function with respect to output.
Marginal cost pricing The outcome of perfectly competitive markets in which the price of each good is equal to its marginal cost. This is not because optimizing sellers choose to set price equal to marginal cost, but rather that, as price takers, they would expand output if marginal cost were less than price.
Marginal intra-industry trade The portion of a change in trade, usually from one year to the next, that is intra-industry trade. The term was introduced by Hamilton and Kniest (1991), who provided a measure of it. Other measures have appeared since.
Marginal product In a production function, the marginal product of a factor is the rise in output due to a unit increase in input of the factor or the partial derivative of the function with respect to the factor. In a competitive equilibrium, the equilibrium price of a factor is its marginal value product wherever it is employed.
Marginal profit The amount by which a firm's profit rises or falls when output increases by one unit; thus marginal revenue minus marginal cost.
Marginal propensity The fraction of a change in income devoted to an activity, such as consumption, importing, or saving. See propensity.
Marginal propensity to consume The fraction of a change in income (or perhaps disposable income) spent on consumption. Contrasts with average propensity to consume.
Marginal propensity to import The fraction of a change in income (or perhaps disposable income) spent on imports. Contrasts with average propensity to import.
Marginal propensity to save The fraction of a change in income (or perhaps disposable income) that is saved.
Marginal rate of substitution In a production function or a utility function, the ratio at which one argument (input) substitutes for another along an isoquant or indifference curve.
Marginal rate of technical substitution More complete name for the marginal rate of substitution between factors in a production function, sometimes used to distinguish it from the analogous concept in a utility function.
Marginal rate of transformation The increase in output of one good made possible by a one-unit decrease in the output of another, given the technology and factor endowments of a country; thus the absolute value of the slope of the transformation curve.
Marginal returns 1. Loosely, the extra that you get in return for doing more of something.
2. Marginal product
Marginal revenue The amount by which a firm's revenue increases when it expands output by one unit, taking into account that to sell one more unit it may need to reduce price on all units.
Marginal revenue product The added revenue generated by the extra output from using one more unit of a factor of production. In a competitive industry this is the marginal value product. With imperfect competition it is smaller, due to the lower price needed to sell more. Determines factor prices in competitive factor markets.
Marginal social benefit The marginal benefit of an activity, such as consuming an additional unit of a good, where benefit here includes all positive effects on society as a whole, such as positive externalities, not just the benefit accruing to the consumer of the good. Negative externalities should also be deducted.
Marginal social cost The marginal cost of an activity, such as producing an additional unit of a good, where cost here includes all negative effects on society as a whole, such as negative externalities, not just the cost borne by the producer of the good. Positive externalities should also be deducted.
Marginal tax rate The amount that a taxpayer's total tax bill rises due to a one-unit increase in the activity being taxed. Referring to an income tax, it is the tax on an additional dollar of income. Contrasts with average tax rate.
Marginal utility In a utility function, the increase in utility associated with a one-unit increase in consumption of one good; or the partial derivative of the utility function.
Marginal value product The value of the marginal product of a factor in an industry; that is, the price of the good produced times the marginal product. Determines factor prices when all markets are competitive.
Marginalism 1. The belief that marginal analysis provides a useful theory of economic behavior.
2. The belief that economic value reflects marginal utility.
Marine Mammal Protection Act The 1972 U.S. law prohibiting the "taking" (harassing, hunting, capturing, or killing) of marine mammals, and also prohibiting the import of any marine mammal product or any fish that has been associated with the taking of marine mammals. See tuna-dolphin case.
Maritime industry The sector of the world economy that provides transportation services for goods and people by ship on the world's oceans.
Maritime Silk Road The portion of China's Belt and Road Initiative that includes building ports and other infrastructure for ocean shipping.
Mark 2 Washington Consensus Mark 2 (or Mark II)
Mark of origin A physical mark on a good, indicating its country of origin. Most countries require these on most imported goods. (But see J-List.)
Market 1. The interaction between supply and demand to determine the market price and corresponding quantity bought and sold.
2. The determination of economic allocations by decentralized, voluntary interactions among those who wish to buy and sell, responding to freely determined market prices.
Market access 1. The ability of firms from one country to sell in another.
2. In GATT and WTO negotiations, market access refers to reductions in tariffs and NTBs.
Market-access-based reciprocity Reciprocity of market access.
Market Access Map A data source for tariffs and non-tariff barriers applied by more than 200 countries and faced by even more countries and territories. Available to users from developing countries, it is maintained by the International Trade Centre.
Market adjustment The process by which the economy moves to a new market equilibrium when conditions change.
Market balance Market equilibrium
Market capitalization The stock-market value of a company, as measured by the number of shares outstanding times their market price.
Market clearing Equality of quantity supplied and quantity demanded. A market-clearing condition is an equation (or other representation) stating that supply equals demand. A market-clearing price is a price that causes quantities supplied and demanded to be equal.
Market disruption The effect of an import surge, if large enough to cause serious injury and justify safeguard protection or action under the Multifiber Arrangement. [Source]
Market dynamics The process by which market adjustment takes place. Common examples include Walrasian and Marshallian.
Market economy An economy in which most economic decisions are left up to individual consumers and firms interacting through markets. Contrasts with central planning and non-market economy.
Market economy status Under WTO rules for anti-dumping and CVD investigations of exports from a market economy, the country's own prices are compared to export prices. For exporters without market-economy status, prices from substitute countries may be used. China claimed this status in 2016 but withdrew its claim in 2019.
Market equilibrium Equality of quantity supplied and quantity demanded. See equilibrium.
Market failure Any market imperfection, but especially the complete absence of a market due to incomplete or asymmetric information.
Market forces The forces of demand and supply that cause prices to rise and to fall, as opposed, for example, to the actions of particular market participants or government which might otherwise be blamed for such changes.
Market fundamentalism A negative term for the ardent belief that free markets are always the best way to organize economic activity, either because market failures do not exist or because efforts to correct such distortions usually make things worse. The term predated but was popularized by Soros (1998).
Market imperfection Any departure from the ideal benchmark of perfect competition, due to externalities, taxes, market power, etc. Same as distortion.
Market integration Removal of barriers between two markets for the same product, so that prices in the two markets become more closely linked. Trade liberalization contributes to international market integration.
Market intervention The act, usually by a government or central bank, of buying or selling in a market so as to influence the price. Most common is exchange market intervention, but governments also sometimes intervene in other markets, such as for agricultural products and primary commodities.
Market mechanism The process by which a market solves a problem of allocating resources, especially that of deciding how much of a good or service should be produced, but other such problems as well. The market mechanism is an alternative, for example, to having such decisions made by government and central planning.
Market Oriented Sector Selective talks Talks between Japan and the US in 1984 to reduce overt and informal trade barriers in 5 sectors: forestry products, telecommunications, electronics, pharmaceuticals/medical equipment, and transportation machinery. [Source]
Market potential The capacity of a location, such as a country, to become or to grow as a demander of goods and services that outside suppliers might provide. Various measures of market potential are provided especially for emerging economies, intended as guides to exports and foreign direct investment.
Market power 1. Ability of a firm or other market participant to influence price by varying the amount that it chooses to buy or sell. Equivalently, ability to set price, as opposed to being a price taker.
2. Ability of a country to influence world prices by altering its trade policies.
Market price 1. The price at which a market clears.
2. Alternative to factor cost.
Market rate The interest rate or exchange rate at which a market clears.
Market reserve policy See law of similars.
Market restriction Any government-imposed or legal requirement that impedes the ability of suppliers and demanders to interact freely, such as limits on quantity or price. Restrictions are most common in labor markets and on foreign owned service providers.
Market segmentation Segmented markets.
Market share Usually refers to the fraction of total sales in a national or international market for a product that is sold by a particular firm. However, the term is also sometimes used for the share for sellers from a particular country, as "the Japanese share of the US auto market."
Market structure The way that suppliers and demanders in an industry interact to determine price and quantity. There are four main idealized market structures that have been used in trade theory: perfect competition, monopoly, oligopoly, and monopolistic competition.
Market value See factor cost.
Marketing The activities of a firm intended to induce buyers to select its product. Models of perfect competition omit this activity, assuming that each firm can sell all it wishes at the prevailing price. Models of imperfect competition are more likely to include this, though in practice models of international trade seldom do.
Marketing board A form of state trading enterprise, a marketing board typically buys up the domestic supply of a good and sells it on the international market.
Marking duty An additional duty added to the price of an imported good if its country of origin is not properly marked, to cover the cost of marking it.
Markup The amount (percentage) by which price exceeds marginal cost. A profit-maximizing seller facing a price elasticity of demand η will set a markup equal to (p-c)/p=1/η. One effect of international trade that increases competition is to reduce markups.
Marrakesh Ministerial The final ministerial meeting of the GATT, in Marrakesh, Morroco, April 1994, at which the Uruguay Round was concluded and the World Trade Organization created, replacing and incorporating the GATT.
Marrakesh Protocol The agreement entered into by all signatories of the GATT at the April 1994 ministerial in Marrakesh, Morroco. This agreement adopted the Final Act of the Uruguay Round which, among other things, created the World Trade Organization.
Marshall-Dodge fixed-rate dollar standard A name for the Bretton Woods system based on the role the Marshall and Dodge Plans played in "provid[ing] dollars to finance the imported inputs needed to get exports going again, averting the danger that countries would be forced to resort to barter," thus "saving the Bretton Woods System." [Source]
Marshall-Lerner condition The condition that the sum of the elasticities of demand for exports and imports exceed one (in absolute value); that is, ηX + ηM > 1, where ηX, ηM are the demand elasticities for a country's exports and imports respectively, both defined to be positive for downward sloping demands. Under certain assumptions, this is the condition for a depreciation to improve the trade balance, for the exchange market to be stable, and for international barter exchange to be stable. [Origin]
Marshall Plan A U.S. program to assist the economic recovery of certain European countries after World War II. Also called the European Recovery Program, it was initiated in 1947 and it dispersed over $12 billion before it was completed in 1952.
Marshallian adjustment A market adjustment mechanism in which quantity rises when demand price exceeds supply price and falls when supply price exceeds demand price. Contrasts with Walrasian adjustment.
Marshallian demand The demand function with arguments that include income, in contrast to Hicksian demand which holds utility constant instead of income.
Marshallian externality Also called a Marshallian economy, an externality in which more output of a firm raises productivity of other firms in its region or industry. Also called external economies of scale (for an industry) and agglomeration economy or localization economy (for a geographical region). Due to Marshall (1890).
Marshallian surplus 1. This refers to the concepts of consumer surplus and producer surplus, as they were introduced by Alfred Marshall.
2. For consumer surplus, the Marshallian definition uses the demand curve holding income constant, in contrast to the Hicksian definitions, due to John Hicks, of compensating and equivalent variation.
Marxist Referring to the writings of Karl Marx and to a body of economic thought based, more or less loosely, on those writings.
MAS Monetary Authority of Singapore
Masala bond A bond issued by a borrower in India to a lender outside of India and denominated in the Indian currency, the rupee. Payment and repayment are both actually done in US dollars, but based on the exchange rate at the time. Currency risk is therefore born by the lender.
Maskus curve A graph of how intellectual property protection varies with per capita income, first falling as income rises, then rising. Due to Maskus and Penubarti (1995).
Material injury The injury requirement of the AD and CVD statutes, understood to be less stringent than serious injury but otherwise apparently not precisely defined.
Maturity The date at which a bond matures, that is, the date at which the issuer of the bond makes the final payment.
MAUP Modifiable areal unit problem
Maximum price system Similar to a minimum price system, except that the price specified is the highest, rather than the lowest, permitted for an imported good.
Maximum revenue tariff A tariff set to collect the largest possible revenue for the government.
Maximum-minimum tariff schedule A tariff schedule that includes two rates for each product, the lower to be used for most imports and the higher to be used against countries that discriminate against the importing country. [Source]
May 10th Agreement A bipartisan agreement on May 10, 2007 between the George W. Bush administration and Democrats in Congress to adopt a New Trade Policy Template to apply to both future and then-pending free trade agreements.
MC Ministerial Conference. Sometimes denoted by number: e.g., MC11 was the Buenos Aires Ministerial.
MCA Millennium Challenge Account
MCC Millennium Challenge Corporation
McKinley Tariff The increase in US tariffs to an average of almost 50% enacted in 1890. Named for McKinley, who was later president, because he chaired the Ways and Means Committee.
MDB Multilateral Development Bank
MDG Millennium Development Goals
MDRI Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative
Meade Geometry The geometric technique introduced by Meade (1952) of deriving a country's offer curve from its transformation curve and community indifference curves by first constructing a set of trade indifference curves.
Meade Index Meade (1955a) used a measure of the gains from trade that has since been called the Meade Index. It can be expressed as I = ΣiXi)ti + ΣiMi)ti, where ΔXi and ΔMi are changes in exports and imports in sector i, each valued at the supply price in the exporting country, and ti is the ad valorem tariff on that trade. [Origin]
Mean The arithmetic average of the values of an economic or statistical variable. For a variable x with values xi, i=1,…,n, the mean is x̄ = Σi=1…n(xi/n).
Measure of economic welfare An aggregate figure that adjusts GDP in an attempt to measure a country's economic well-being rather than its production, with adjustments for leisure, environmental degradation, etc.
Measured at PPP Constructed using the PPP method.
Median 1. In a sample of data, a value above which half the values lie and below which half the values lie.
2. In a probability distribution, a value above which there is 50% probability and below which there is 50% probability.
Medium of exchange Anything that is used, like money, to make payments for goods, services, and assets. For payments between countries with different currencies, if the national currencies are not trusted, another country's currency or gold may be used.
Medium-Term Expenditure Framework An integrated approach to policy, planning, and budgeting by developing countries that estimates expenditures three years into the future. It has been advocated by the World Bank and applied in a number of developing countries.
Mega-regional trade agreement A trade agreement -- usually an FTA -- among a large group of countries covering a significant share of world trade. Prominent examples include the TPP and TTIP.
Méline tariff The tariff on agricultural imports levied by France in 1892. It created a two-tiered tariff schedule, with higher tariffs for countries such as the US with which France did not have a trade agreement, and lower tariffs for those it did. [Source]
Melitz model A heterogeneous firm model in which firms employ labor as their only input, firm productivity is chosen randomly, and firms die with some constant probability. With trade, only firms with productivity above some cutoff level are able to export. Due to Melitz (2003).
Melvin indeterminacy That in a more-goods-than-factors H-O Model sector outputs are not fully determined. Given goods prices, factor endowments, and CRTS technologies, if more goods than factors can be produced, then only a linear relationship among outputs is assured. Demonstrated for 3 goods and 2 factors by Melvin (1968).
Member International organizations have "members," in contrast to international agreements that have "parties" to the agreement. Thus countries may be members of the WTO, while they were contracting parties to the GATT.
Memorandum of Understanding An "agreement between two or more parties outlined in a formal document. It is not legally binding but signals the willingness of the parties to move forward with a contract." China uses MOUs for its BRI, but they are probably used much more generally in international economic agreements. [Source]
MENA Middle East and North Africa. The acronym is used frequently by international organizations, but without a uniform definition of which countries are included.
MEP Member of the European Parliament
Mercantilism An economic philosophy of the 16th and 17th centuries that international commerce should primarily serve to increase a country's financial wealth, especially of gold and foreign currency. To that end, exports are viewed as desirable and imports as undesirable unless they lead to even greater exports.
Merchandise trade Exports and imports of goods. Contrasts with trade in services.
Merchant marine Also called a merchant navy, this refers to the fleet of all ocean-going ships that cary cargo and/or people for non-military purposes that are registered to a country, but that may be enlisted to assist the military in time of war.
Merchant Marine Act Jones Act
Merchanting The act by a resident of one country of buying a good in another country and reselling it in that or a third country, without the good ever entering the merchant's country of residence.
MERCOSUR A common market in South America, known as the "Common Market of the South" ("Mercado Común del Sur"), created in 1991. Its full and associate members together include all the countries of South America.
Mergers and Acquisitions The combination of what were previously two separate firms into one, either by their joining together as more or less equals (merging) or by one acquiring the other. These occur increasingly across national borders, thus constituting an important form of foreign direct investment.
Metageography Defined by Martin W. Lewis as the "spatial frameworks through which knowledge is organized within all fields of the social sciences and humanities." In geography, Europe is the physical continent. In metageography, Europe refers to its cultures, ideologies, political systems, etc. [Source]
METI Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
Metzler diagram A diagram showing the joint determination of savings, investment, and the interest rate in two countries. Invented by Metzler (1960).
Metzler paradox 1. The possibility, identified by Metzler (1949), that a tariff may lower the domestic relative price of the imported good. This will happen if it drives the world price down by even more than the size of the tariff, as it may do if the foreign demand for the importing country's export good is inelastic. [Origin]
2. The same phenomenon as it may arise for other reasons, such as in a Melitz model.
MEW Measure of economic welfare.
MFA Multifiber Arrangement.
MFF Multiannual Financial Framework.
MFN Most Favored Nation.
MFN rate MFN tariff.
MFN China renewal The one-year extension of US MFN status for China. Almost automatic until China's 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown, from 1990 on, many in Congress voted to attach human rights conditions to renewal, though this was not signed by the president. In 1998, "MFN status" was changed to NTR
MFN status The status given by the U.S. to some non-members of the GATT/WTO whereby they are charged MFN tariffs even though they are eligible for higher tariffs. See PNTR.
MFN tariff The tariff level that a member of the GATT/WTO charges on a good to other members.
MIC Middle Income Country
MIC2025 Made in China 2025.
Micro-, small, and medium-sized enterprises The group of all but large enterprises in the world, accounting for 90% of firms, identified by the United Nations in 2020 as particularly vulnerable to the hardhips of the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Microeconomic Referring to the behavior of and interactions among individual economic agents, especially firms and consumers, and especially in markets. Contrasts with macroeconomic.
Microfinance Refers to institutions that specialize in making very small loans to very poor persons in developing countries. Instead of using collateral to assure repayment, these lenders harness social pressure within the borrower's community. Originally done on a nonprofit basis, it is now being done increasingly for profit.
Middle Income Country The middle income group in the World Bank's classification of countries by GNI per capita, calculated by the Atlas Method. As of February 2024, these were countries with incomes between $1,136 and $13,845 in 2023. The group is also split into Lower-Middle and Upper-Middle, below and above $4,465 respectively. Other groups are Low Income Countries and High Income Countries.
Middle income trap The idea that once a developing country reaches are certain "middle" level of per capita income, it becomes difficult or impossible to advance further. Term was introduced by Gill and Karas in 2006 while working at the World Bank. ] [Source]
Middle product A good that has undergone some processing and that requires further processing before going to final consumers; an intermediate good. Sanyal and Jones (1982) introduced the term, observing that almost all international trade is of middle products, and they provided a model based on that assumption.
MIGA Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency
Migration The permanent relocation of people from one country to another. See emigration and immigration.
MIIT Marginal intra-industry trade
Military Cargo Preference Act of 1904 US legislation that "requires that 100% of cargoes 'bought for the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps' be carried on U.S.-flag vessels. Essentially, this means all military cargo." [Source]
Mill-Graham demand A demand function in which a constant share of expenditure is spent on each argument. Arises from what is also called Mill-Graham utility, although this is the same as the Cobb-Douglas function.
Millennium Challenge Account The fund in which contributions to the Millennium Challenge Corporation are held prior to disbursement.
Millennium Challenge Corporation "An innovative and independent U.S. foreign aid agency that is helping lead the fight against global poverty." It provides aid to the world's poorest countries in the form of partnerships, but only to countries that meet eligibility criteria of "good governance, economic freedom, and investments in their citizens."
Millennium Development Goals A set of eight objectives for economic development agreed upon at a September 2000 meeting of world leaders at the United Nations, and intended to be achieved by the end of 2015. They were followed by the Sustainable Development Goals.
Millennium Round The name suggested by the European Union for the trade round that they and others hoped would be initiated at the Seattle Ministerial in 1999. That ministerial ended without agreement to start a new round.
Mill's test One of two conditions needed for infant industry protection to be welfare-improving, this requires that the protected industry become, over time, able to compete internationally without protection. See also Bastable's test. Due to Mill (1848) and named by Kemp (1960). [Origin]
Mills Bill 1. Legislation authored by Roger Mills in 1888 to reduce the average US tariff on dutiable imports from 54% to 33%. It was passed by the House but not the Senate. [Source]
2. Legislation authored by the Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, Wilbur Mills, in 1970, which would have authorized tariff reductions but also imposed some quotas. The bill passed the House but was never brought up in the Senate. [Source]
Mimeo Short for mimeograph, this today indicates that a paper has been written but not yet published or issued as formal working paper. It originates from the time before photocopying when multiple copies of a paper were prepared with a mimeograph machine after first typing them on a wax-coated cloth stencil.
Minerals Security Partnership Announced in June 2022, the MSP is an "initiative to bolster critical mineral supply chains." The partners are 12 countries (including the US) plus the EU. The goal is that "critical minerals [be] produced, processed, and recycled [so that countries can] realize the full economic development benefit."
Minimum efficient scale The smallest output of a firm consistent with minimum average cost. In small countries, in some industries the level of demand in autarky is not sufficient to support minimum efficient scale. If there are increasing returns to scale, however, the minimum efficient scale may not exist.
Minimum import price See minimum price system.
Minimum price system Specification of the lowest price permitted for an import. Prices below the minimum may trigger a tariff, hence a variable levy, or quota. See maximum price system. These have several names: basic import price, minimum import price, reference price, and trigger price.
Minimum valuation A customs valuation procedure that sets a minimum value for an imported good, regardless of its transaction value and thus, with an ad valorem tariff, sets a higher duty than it otherwise would.
Minister of International Trade Title, in many but not all countries, of the trade minister.
Ministerial 1. A meeting of ministers.
2. Ministerial Conference
Ministerial Conference In the context of the GATT and WTO, a meeting of the trade ministers from the member countries (including, from the U.S., USTR).
Ministerial Declaration The outcome of a successful ministerial: a document that the ministers have agreed upon.
Ministry of Commerce "Internally, MOFCOM oversees China's compliance with its WTO obligations. Externally, MOFCOM protects China's trading interests abroad."" [Source]
Ministry of Economic Warfare Established September 3, 1939, this British ministry was responsible for all economic warfare, thus the economic weapon. This began with a blockade of Germany, then licensing of exports and pre-emptive purchases of strategic goods to keep them out of enemy hands. [Source]
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry The Japanese government ministry that deals with economic issues, including the vitality of the private sector, external economic relations including trade, energy policy, and industrial development.
Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation China's MOFTEC is the part of its government that "oversees foreign investment and trade." It is "responsible for the overall administration of China's foreign trade and foreign enterprises." [Source]
Ministry of International Trade and Industry The Japanese government ministry that deals with trade and industrial policies. Established in 1949 as the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, MITI was renamed METI as of January 6, 2000.
MIR The local payment card introduced and sponsored by the government of Russia in July 2014 after sanctions against Russia following its takeover of Crimea made Russian cardholders and merchants unable to transact with international credit cards. [Source]
Mirror reciprocity A principle for the levying of tariffs that was followed in the early years of the US: "to insist that trade partners entirely abandon the use of discriminatory duties on shipping in exchange for the same from the United States."" [Source]
Mirror statistics The approach of inferring a country's trade data, or checking their accuracy, by using the trade data of the countries with which it trades. [Origin]
Misalignment Currency misalignment.
Misery index 1. The sum of the rates of unemployment and inflation. Originated by Arthur Okun as advisor to President Lyndon Johnson.
2. The Barro Misery Index due to Barro (1999) which adds to definition 1 the increase in the long-term interest rate and the shortfall of GDP from potential.
Misinvoicing A means of illegally moving money internationally by over- or under-stating the true value of a trade transaction.
Missing trade See mystery of the missing trade.
MITI Ministry of International Trade and Industry
Mittelstand Germany's small and mid-sized companies. Many have world market shares of 70% to 90% and together they account for "the bulk of Germany's considerable trade surplus." [Source]
MiWi Made in the World Initiative
Mixed credit A form of trade financing that provides an element of aid, through a low interest rate or long credit period, and is therefore partially an export subsidy.
Mixed economy An economy in which some production is done by the private sector and some by the state, in state-owned enterprises.
Mixed tariff Compound tariff
Mixing regulation 1. Specification of the required proportion of domestically produced content in products sold on the domestic market.
2. Specification of an amount of domestically produced product that must be bought by an importer for given quantities of imports, under a linking scheme.
Mixing requirement Mixing regulation
MNC Multinational Corporation
MNE Multinational Enterprise
Mo Ibrahim Foundation An African foundation established in 2006 focusing on governance and leadership in Africa. It produces the Ibrahim Index of African Governance.
Mobility See labor mobility.
Modality Method or procedure. WTO documents speak of modalities of negotiations, i.e., the outlines (formulas or other approaches) of how the negotiations are to be conducted. Getting agreement on modalities is often extremely difficult.
Mode of supply The method by which suppliers of internationally traded services deliver their service to buyers. The four modes usually identified are: Mode 1: cross-border supply, Mode 2: consumer movement, Mode 3: producer presence, and Mode 4: movement of natural persons.
Modes 1 to 4 See Mode of supply
Model A stylized simplification of reality that represents behavior by variables and assumptions on how they are determined and interact. Models enable one to think consistently and logically about complex issues, to find how changes in an economic system matter, and (sometimes) to predict economic performance.
Moderation See Great Moderation.
Modifiable areal unit problem Distortions and/or exaggerations that arise when spatial data are grouped (as they usually must be) by arbitrary geographical units.
MOFA Majority-owned foreign affiliate
MOFCOM Ministry of Commerce of China
MOFTEC Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation of China
MOIP Mandatory Oil Import Quota Program
Molotov Plan "A system of bilateral trade agreements ... created by the Soviet Union in 1947 ... to rebuild the [Soviet-aligned] countries in Eastern Europe." Named in response to the Marshall Plan, the planning predated it. The plan also established COMECON to create an economic alliance of socialist countries." [Source]
Monetary aggregate Any of several definitions of a country's money supply.
Monetary approach A framework for analyzing exchange rates and the balance of payments that focuses on supply and demand for money in countries. A floating exchange rate is assumed to equate these and thus to reflect growth rates of money supplies and determinants of money demand. With a pegged exchange rate, the balance of payments surplus (deficit) equals the excess demand (supply) for a country's money.
Monetary Authority of Singapore Singapore's central bank.
Monetary base 1. The currency and central bank deposits that together provide the base for the money supply under fractional reserve banking.
2. The central bank assets acquisition of which creates this base by injecting domestic money into the economy. These usually include international reserves and domestic credit. By either definition, the monetary base changes as a result of open market operations and exchange market intervention.
Monetary contraction Contractionary monetary policy.
Monetary easing Expansionary monetary policy
Monetary expansion Expansionary monetary policy; thus printing money or otherwise increasing the money supply.
Monetary independence The ability of a country to determine its own monetary policy, as opposed to allowing the money supply to be determined by the exchange market intervention required to maintain a fixed exchange rate.
Monetary integration The adoption of a common currency by two or more countries.
Monetary neutrality The principle that the quantity of money should not affect real variables in the long run.
Monetary overhang Money overhang
Monetary policy The use of the money supply and/or the interest rate to influence the level of macroeconomic activity and other policy objectives including the balance of payments or the exchange rate.
Monetary stimulus Expansionary monetary policy. So called because, by lowering interest rates, it stimulates investment and thus aggregate demand.
Monetary tightening Contractionary monetary policy
Monetary transmission mechanism 1. Any of several channels through which a change in the money supply of a country can cause changes in real variables. Most operate primarily within a country, but some, such as through the exchange rate, operate through international transactions.
2. Any of several ways that real and monetary shocks in one economy can be transmitted to another through monetary channels involving interest rates, exchange rates, and/or international capital flows.
Monetary union Two or more countries sharing a common currency.
Monetize 1. To turn anything into money.
2. To convert government debt into currency.
Monetize debt To pay off government debt by printing money.
Money 1. Anything that serves the three basic purposes of money: medium of exchange; store of value; and unit of account.
2. In modern economies, a currency issued by an agency of government.
3. As an adjective, "money" refers to the value of something denominated in the prevailing currency and not corrected for inflation; contrasts with real.
Money GDP Nominal GDP; contrasts with real GDP.
Money income Nominal income; contrasts with real income.
Money laundering The conversion of large amounts of money the source of which one wants to hide (e.g., from drug trafficking) into a form that appears to be legitimate. The process often involves multiple international transactions across currencies and financial institutions in order to obscure the source.
Money market The money market, in macroeconomics and international finance, is the equilibration of demand for a country's domestic money to its money supply. These are amounts that people in the country do, and want to, hold at a point in time (a stock). Not to be confused with the exchange market, which equates flows.
Money multiplier When a central bank uses open market operations to change the monetary base, the money multiplier is the ratio of the resulting change in the money supply to the change in the base. If banks and others keep the base at a fraction, ρ, of the money supply (e.g., if only banks hold currency, with a reserve ratio, ρ), the money multiplier is 1/ρ.
Money neutrality Monetary neutrality
Money overhang A money supply that is larger than what people want to hold at prevailing prices, perhaps because of shortages or rationing of goods in the past. This was said to be a major cause of inflation in Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union, which left an excess of money in circulation.
Money price The nominal price; thus the price as it would actually be observed, in current dollars. Contrasts with the real price, which is adjusted for inflation.
Money supply There are several formal definitions, such as M1 and M2, but all include the quantity of currency in circulation plus the amount of demand deposits. The money supply, together with the amount of real economic activity in a country, is an important determinant of its price level and its exchange rate.
Mongrel Tariff The Tariff Act of 1883. [Source]
Monitoring List A list of countries that the US Treasury identifies as satisfying some, but not all, of its criteria for being a currency manipulator, and therefore that it will pay close attention to. [Source]
Monopolistic Having some power to set price.
Monopolistic competition A market structure in which there are many sellers each producing a differentiated product. Each can set its own price and quantity, but is too small for that to matter for prices and quantities of other producers in the industry.
Monopoly A market structure in which there is a single seller.
Monopoly argument The monopoly argument for a tariff is the same as the optimal tariff argument. It gets its name from the fact that a country using a tariff to improve its terms of trade is acting much like a monopoly firm, restricting its sales to get a better price. A more accurate analogy would be to monopsony.
Monopoly price The profit-maximizing price charged by a monopolist. Because a monopoly faces a demand elasticity, η>0, that is finite, this price exceeds marginal cost. The optimal markup over marginal cost is (P−MC)/P=1/η.
Monopsony A market structure in which there is a single buyer. Term introduced in Robinson (1932).
Monotonic Changing in one direction only; thus either strictly rising or strictly falling, but not reversing direction.
Montevideo Treaty Signed August 12, 1980, by Ministers of Foreign Affairs of 11 countries of Latin America, this created the Latin-American Integration Association.
Montreal Protocol The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, signed in 1987, limited trade in products containing CFCs. It was the first major agreement to restrict trade for environmental purposes. It was expanded in the 2016 Kigali Amendment.
Moral hazard The tendency of individuals, firms, and governments, once insured against some contingency, to behave so as to make that contingency more likely. A pervasive problem in the insurance industry, it also arises internationally when international financial institutions assist countries in financial trouble.
Moral rights In terms of IP, these are the rights of an author or other creative person over how their creation is used, modified, etc., after the economic rights have been transferred to somebody else by copyright. Moral rights are not uniform across IP jurisdictions and are not regulated by the WTO's TRIPs Agreement.
Moratorium on customs duties on electronic transmissions An agreement among members of the WTO first in 1997 not to levy tariffs on electronic transmissions for one year. Each year since then, the moratorium has been extended, and currently (February 2024) is scheduled to expire March 31, 2024, unless the General Council of the WTO extends it further. [Source]
Morrill Tariff The small increase in US tariffs enacted in 1861. Tariffs had been at their lowest level ever after the Tariff Act of 1857, and the Morrill Tariff raised them only to an average of less than 15%. But during the US Civil War that started just after, tariffs were increased well beyond these levels.
Mortgage A loan the collateral for which is a house or other real estate. Became relevant for international economics in 2008 when mortgage-backed securities, which had been traded internationally, contributed to the global financial crisis when borrowers defaulted after the bursting of the housing bubble.
Mortgage-backed security A financial instrument that packages the ownership of shares in a large number of mortgages.
MOSS talks Market Oriented Sector Selective talks
Most Favored Nation The principle, fundamental to the GATT, of treating imports from a country on the same basis as that given to the most favored other nation. That is, and with some exceptions, every country gets the lowest tariff that any country gets, and reductions in tariffs to one country are provided also to others. [Origin]
Mothballing The preservation of an idle production facility, keeping the machinery in working order and supplies available. This may be preferable -- if operating costs are high and the aim is to have it available in time of war -- to having it produce under a subsidy or import protection. See national defense argument.
MOU Memorandum of Understanding
Movement of natural persons Mode 4 of four modes of supply under the GATS, this involving the temporary movement across national borders of natural persons employed by or associated with a firm in order to participate in the firm's business. Also called temporary producer movement.
MPC Marginal propensity to consume.
MPIA Multiparty Interim Appeal Arbitration Arrangement.
MRIO Multi-region input-output table.
MRO Main refinancing operations.
MRS Marginal rate of substitution.
MRT Marginal rate of transformation.
MRTS Marginal rate of technical substitution.
MSMEs Micro-, small, and medium-sized enterprises.
MSP Minerals Security Partnership.
MTEF Medium-Term Expenditure Framework.
MTN Multilateral trade negotiation.
MTO Multilateral Trade Organization.
Multi-cone equilibrium A free-trade H-O equilibriumin which all goods cannot be produced in one country; instead there are multiple diversification cones. This, or two cone equilibrium, arises if country factor endowments differ sufficiently relative to industry factor intensities. Contrasts with one cone equilibrium.
Multi-level governance A theoretical perspective on the organization of modern states that acknowledges flexible structures of overlapping jurisdictions, both above and below the national government as well as in a lateral relationship to it.
Multi-region input-output table An input-output table covering multiple countries and regions, such as Eora and the World Input-Output Database.
Multi-speed Europe A another name for variable geometry when applied to Europe.
Multiannual Financial Framework The total budget for the European Union, typically planned for a seven-year period.
Multifactor model A model with more than two factors. In the context of trade theory this is likely to mean a Heckscher-Ohlin Model with more than two factors.
Multifiber Arrangement An agreement (OMA) among developed country importers and developing country exporters of textiles and apparel to regulate and restrict the quantities traded. It was negotiated in 1973 under GATT auspices as a temporary exception to the rules that would otherwise apply, and was superseded in 1995 by the ATC.
Multifunctionality Refers to the purposes that an industry may serve in addition to producing its output. Most often applied to agriculture by countries that wish to subsidize it, arguing that subsidies are needed to serve these other purposes, such as rural viability, land conservation, cultural heritage, etc.
Multigood model A model with more than two goods.
Multilateral Among a large number of countries, usually including all countries that are members of a large international organization, such as the WTO. Contrasts with bilateral and plurilateral.
Multilateral agreement An agreement among a large number of countries.
Multilateral Agreement on Investment A proposed agreement to liberalize rules on FDI, negotiated in the OECD but never completed or adopted because of adverse public reaction. Preliminary text of the agreement was leaked to the Internet in April 1997, where many groups opposed it. Negotiations discontinued in November 1998.
Multilateral aid Aid provided by a group of countries, or by an institution representing a group of countries such as the World Bank, to one or more recipient countries. Contrasts with unilateral aid.
Multilateral-bilateral Sometimes describes how early GATT Rounds of multilateral trade liberalization were negotiated. Pairs of countries (typically the largest supplier and demander of a product) would negotiate tariff reductions that would then extend to others by MFN. [Source]
Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative An initiative proposed in 2005 by the G8 for debt relief by the IMF, IDA, and AfDF to be extended beyond that provided in the HIPC Initiative.
Multilateral development bank See development bank.
Multilateral exchange rate An index of the value of a currency relative to multiple other currencies, most commonly calculated as a trade-weighted average.
Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency One of the five institutions that comprise the World Bank Group, MIGA helps encourage foreign investment in developing countries.
Multilateral resistance A term introduced into the gravity equation by Anderson and van Wincoop (2003) to account for overall distance and other trade impediments to a country's total trade. It must be considered, relative to bilateral resistance to trade with any single country, in estimating the determinants of trade with that country.
Multilateral trade liberalization Reduction of tariffs and/or nontariff barriers by one or (usually) more countries on imports from all countries (or all members of the WTO). This is most likely to happen as a result of multilateral trade negotiations, such as the various GATT and WTO Rounds.
Multilateral trade negotiation A trade negotiation involving a large number of countries, usually all of the signatories of the GATT or members of the WTO in the form of a GATT or WTO trade round.
Multilateral Trade Organization The proposed name, during the Uruguay Round negotiations, for what ultimately became the World Trade Organization.
Multilateral trading system The system of agreements among large numbers of countries to limit tariffs and other policies that interfere with international trade. It began with the GATT and was further institutionalized by the creation of the WTO.
Multilateralism The approach to trade policy and trade negotiations favoring agreements among all (or most) countries of the world at once, rather than only one or a small number at a time in separate bilateral, regional, or plurilateral agreements.
Multinational corporation A corporation that operates in two or more countries. Since it is headquartered in only one country but has production or marketing facilities in others, it is the result of previous FDI.
Multinational enterprise A firm, usually a corporation, that operates in two or more countries. In practice the term is used interchangeably with multinational corporation.
Multiparty Interim Appeal Arbitration Arrangement A 2020 agreement by the EU and about 20 other members of the WTO to establish an arbitration arrangement for disputes among themselves as long as the Appellate Body is unable to function due to blockage of appointments by the United States.
Multiple equilibria Refers to a system in which there is more than one equilibrium, most simply a market in which a backward bending supply curve crosses a demand curve more than once, at prices each of which is a market-clearing price.
Multiple exchange rates The existence of more than one exchange rate for a given pair of currencies. Rare today, this used to be common in countries with extensive capital controls, which also set different exchange rates for different purposes.
Multiplier In Keynesian models, the ratio of change in an endogenous variable to change in an exogenous variable. Usually means the multiplier for government spending on income. In the simplest Keynesian model of a closed economy, this is 1/s, where s is the marginal propensity to save. See open economy multiplier.
Multistage production Another term for fragmentation. Used by Dixit and Grossman (1982).
Mundell-Fleming Model An open-economy version of the IS-LM model that allows for international trade and international capital flows. Due to Mundell (1962,63) and Fleming (1962).
Murky protectionism Policies that discriminate against imports or otherwise distort trade but are not prohibited under WTO rules, perhaps because they have another legitimate purpose. Also called soft protectionism.
Mussa diagram 1. The specific factors model diagram, as attributed to Mussa (1974).
2. A diagram for explicating properties of the 2-factor H-O Model introduced by Mussa (1979). With factor prices on its axes, zero-profit curves for each sector show the determination of factor prices more directly than the Lerner Diagram, which serves much the same purposes.
Mussa puzzle The observation documented by Mussa (1986 that the variability over time of real exchange rates increases dramatically when industrial countries move from fixed to floating exchange rates. It is said to be a puzzle because the volatility is greater than can be explained by changes in domestic price levels.
Mutatis mutandis Latin phrase meaning, approximately, "allowing other things to change accordingly." Used as a shorthand for indicating the effect of one economic variable on another, within a system in which other variables that matter will also change as a result. Contrasts with ceteris paribus.
Mutual Aid Agreement See Anglo-American Mutual Aid Agreement.
Mutual recognition The acceptance by one country of another country's certification that a satisfactory standard has been met for ability, performance, safety, etc.
Mystery of excess trade balances The finding of David and Weinstein (2002) that bilateral trade imbalances are much larger than those predicted based on aggregate trade imbalances together with a gravity model and a model of triangular trade.
Mystery of the missing trade The empirical observation, by Trefler (1995), that the amount of trade is far less than predicted by the HOV version of the Heckscher-Ohlin Model. More precisely, the factor content of trade is far less than the differences between countries in their factor endowments.