Lucas Wedge


DEFINITION of 'Lucas Wedge'

The aggregate amount of loss in output for an economy that is the result of a slowdown in the growth rate of the real gross domestic product (GDP). The Lucas wedge is a visual representation of where a given economy would be in terms of economic output if there hadn't been a slowdown.


The Lucas wedge represents the costs to society because of the inefficiency in the market. This deadweight loss is a burden on society and often cannot be avoided because of economic conditions or government policy. Many economics will calculate the Lucas wedge by analyzing the difference between potential GDP and the actual figures.

  1. Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

    An inflation-adjusted measure that reflects the value of all ...
  2. Soft Patch

    A period of economic slowdown amid a larger trend of economic ...
  3. Deadweight Loss

    The costs to society created by market inefficiency. Mainly used ...
  4. Economic Growth

    An increase in the capacity of an economy to produce goods and ...
  5. Gross Domestic Product - GDP

    The monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced ...
  6. Labor Productivity

    A measurement of economic growth of a country. Labor productivity ...
Related Articles
  1. Economics

    Economics Basics

    Learn economics principles such as the relationship of supply and demand, elasticity, utility, and more!
  2. Options & Futures

    Explaining The World Through Macroeconomic Analysis

    From unemployment and inflation to government policy, learn what macroeconomics measures and how it affects everyone.
  3. Retirement

    Economic Indicators To Know

    The economy has a large impact on the market. Learn how to interpret the most important reports.
  4. Investing

    How Worried Should We Be About China?

    An economic slowdown, a freezing up in trade and plunging markets and currencies are casting a shadow across Asia—and the globe. How worried should we be?
  5. Economics

    These Will Be the World's Top Economies in 2020

    Discover the current economic forces that are anticipated to significantly shift the landscape of the world's most powerful economies over the next decade.
  6. Fundamental Analysis

    Emerging Markets: Analyzing Colombia's GDP

    With a backdrop of armed rebels and drug cartels, the journey for the Colombian economy has been anything but easy.
  7. Fundamental Analysis

    Emerging Markets: Analyzing Chile's GDP

    Chile has become one of the great economic success stories of Latin America.
  8. Fundamental Analysis

    Emerging Markets: Analyzing The Philippines' GDP

    Although its growth rate was mediocre in the past, the Philippines is slowly yet steadily emerging as a rising tiger.
  9. Fundamental Analysis

    Emerging Markets: Analyzing Indonesia's GDP

    We look at the GDP of Indonesia, which bore the brunt of the Asian financial crisis but weathered the 2008 financial crisis better than its peers.
  10. Economics

    Understanding Per Capita

    Per capita is a Latin term that means “by head.”
  1. Is Colombia an emerging market economy?

    Colombia meets the criteria of an emerging market economy. The South American country has a much lower gross domestic product, ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Is Mexico an emerging market economy?

    Mexico meets all the criteria of an emerging market economy. The country's gross domestic product, or GDP, per capita beats ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Is Argentina a developed country?

    Argentina is not a developed country. It has one of the strongest economies in South America or Central America and ranks ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Is Brazil a developed country?

    Brazil is not a developed country. Though it has the largest economy in South America or Central America, Brazil is still ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Are Social Security payments included in the US GDP calculation?

    Social Security payments are not included in the U.S. definition of the gross domestic product (GDP). Transfer Payments For ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. When has the United States run its largest trade deficits?

    In macroeconomics, balance of trade is one of the leading economic metrics that determines the trading relationship of a ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Purchasing Power

    The value of a currency expressed in terms of the amount of goods or services that one unit of money can buy. Purchasing ...
  2. Real Estate Investment Trust - REIT

    A REIT is a type of security that invests in real estate through property or mortgages and often trades on major exchanges ...
  3. Section 1231 Property

    A tax term relating to depreciable business property that has been held for over a year. Section 1231 property includes buildings, ...
  4. Term Deposit

    A deposit held at a financial institution that has a fixed term, and guarantees return of principal.
  5. Zero-Sum Game

    A situation in which one person’s gain is equivalent to another’s loss, so that the net change in wealth or benefit is zero. ...
  6. Capitalization Rate

    The rate of return on a real estate investment property based on the income that the property is expected to generate.
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!