The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary







Exogenous (or exogeneous) (from the Greek words "exo" and "gen", meaning "outside" and "production") refers to an action or object coming from outside a system. It is the opposite of endogenous, something generated from within the system.

  • In an economic model, an exogenous change is one that comes from outside the model and is unexplained by the model. For example, in the simple supply and demand model, a change in consumer tastes or preferences is unexplained by the model and also leads to endogenous changes in demand that lead to changes in the equilibrium price. Put another way, an exogenous change involves an alteration of a variable that is autonomous, i.e., unaffected by the workings of the model.
  • In biology, "exogenous" refers to an action or object coming from the outside of a system. For example, an exogenous contrast agent in medical imaging refers to a liquid injected IV in the patient that enhances visibility of a pathology, such as a tumor.
  • In biology, an exogenous factor is any material that is present and active in an individual organism or living cell but that originated outside of that organism, as opposed to an endogenous factor.
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