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.

BREAKING DOWN 'Lucas Wedge'

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.

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