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LONG-RUN AVERAGE COST CURVE: A curve depicting the per unit cost of producing a good or service in the long run when all inputs are variable. The long-run average cost curve (usually abbreviated LRAC) can be derived in two ways. On is to plot long-run average cost, which is, long-run total cost divided by the quantity of output produced. at different output levels. The more common method, however, is as an envelope of an infinite number of short-run average total cost curves. Such an envelope is base on identifying the point on each short-run average total cost curve that provides the lowest possible average cost for each quantity of output. The long-run average cost curve is U-shaped, reflecting economies of scale (or increasing returns to scale) when negatively-sloped and diseconomies of scale (or decreasing returns to scale) when positively sloped. The minimum point (or range) on the LRAC curve is the minimum efficient scale.

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Lesson Contents
Unit 1: The Concept
  • What It Is
  • Price Level
  • Unit 1 Summary
  • Unit 2: Two Options
  • Time Periods
  • Long Run
  • Short Run
  • Unit 2 Summary
  • Unit 3: The Curves
  • Long Run
  • Short Run
  • Market Supply
  • Unit 3 Summary
  • Unit 4: Determinants
  • Stability
  • Long-Run Supply
  • Quantity of Resources
  • Quality of Resources
  • Short-Run Supply
  • Unit 4 Summary
  • Unit 5: Connections
  • Self Correction
  • Policies
  • Unit 5 Summary
  • Course Home
    Aggregate Supply

    In much the same way that the market supply lesson parallels the market demand lesson, this lesson on aggregate supply parallels the aggregate demand lesson. Aggregate supply however, is somewhat more involved that market supply, in particular, because aggregate supply is separated into two relations -- on for the short run and one for the long run. This lesson examines the relation between the price level and real production and the determinants that cause a change in aggregate supply, with a close eye on the differences between aggregate supply in the short run and the long run.

    • This lesson begins with an introduction to the aggregate supply half of the aggregate market in the first unit.
    • The second unit then explores the different aggregate supply relations that exist between the price level and real production in the short run and the long run.
    • The third unit introduces the short run aggregate supply curve and the long run aggregate supply curve which capture these two alternative relations.
    • We think pick up the keep curve shifting determinants of aggregate supply in the fourth unit, especially the resource quantity, resource quality, and resource prices.
    • The fifth unit wraps up this lesson with a discussion of the self-correction mechanism that relies on changes in the aggregate supply and how this relates to business cycle stabilization.

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    RELATIVELY INELASTIC

    An elasticity alternative in which relatively large changes in one variable (usually price) cause relatively small changes in another variable (usually quantity). In other words, quantity is not very responsive to price. Quantity does change, but not much, in response to large changes in price. This characterization of elasticity is most important for the price elasticity of demand and the price elasticity of supply. Relatively inelastic is one of five elasticity alternatives. The other four are perfectly elastic, perfectly inelastic, relatively elastic, and unit elastic.

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    ORANGE REBELOON
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    Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time looking for the new strip mall out on the highway looking to buy either a T-shirt commemorating the second moon landing or a coffee cup commemorating Thor Heyerdahl's Pacific crossing aboard the Kon-Tiki. Be on the lookout for the happiest person in the room.
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