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Investments glossary

Deadweight Loss

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A deadweight loss is a cost to society created by market inefficiency, which occurs when supply and demand are out of equilibrium. Mainly used in economics, deadweight loss can be applied to any deficiency caused by an inefficient allocation of resources. Price ceilings, such as price controls and rent controls; price floors, such as minimum wage and living wage laws; and taxation can all potentially create deadweight losses. With a reduced level of trade, the allocation of resources in a society may also become inefficient.


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