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September 19, 2018 

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U-SHAPED COST CURVES: The family of short-run cost curves consisting of average total cost, average variable cost, and marginal cost, all of which have U-shapes. They are U-shaped because each has high but falling cost at low quantities of output, which then reaches a minimum, then has rising cost at larger quantities of output. Although the average fixed cost curve is not U-shaped, it's occasionally included with the other three just for sake of completeness.

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Lesson Contents
Unit 1: Getting Started
  • Overview
  • Assumptions
  • Limitations
  • Unit 1 Summary
  • Unit 2: The Schedule
  • Set Up
  • Opportunity Cost
  • Changing Cost
  • Unit 2 Summary
  • Unit 3: The Curve
  • Plot
  • Connecting Points
  • Slope and Cost
  • Shape
  • Unit 3 Summary
  • Unit 4: Analysis
  • Full Employment
  • Unemployment
  • Growth
  • Resource Quantity and Quality
  • Unit 4 Summary
  • Unit 5: Investment
  • Overview
  • Bundle Choices: A
  • Bundle Choices: E
  • Bundle Choices: I
  • Scarcity
  • Unit 5 Summary
  • Course Home
    Production Possibilities

    In this lesson we'll take a trip through production possibilities. Production possibilities is a handy little analysis that lets us consider what the economy is capable of doing, production-wise. We'll see have a production possibilities curve, the cornerstone of this analysis, is derived and how it can be used to understand several important concepts, including opportunity cost, unemployment, investment, and economic growth.

    • The first unit begins this lesson by laying the foundations for production possibilities analysis, especially assumptions and limitations.
    • We turn out attention in the second unit to the production possibilities schedule, a simple table that gives us a first shot on this analysis.
    • The production possibilities curve is then derived from the production possibilities schedule in the third unit, with particular emphasis on the importance of opportunity cost
    • In the fourth unit, we make use of the production possibilities analysis for an understanding of three important concepts: full employment, unemployment, and economic growth.
    • And lastly, the fifth unit uses production possibilities to analyze investment in capital goods as a means of achieving economic growth.

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    VALUE IN EXCHANGE

    The ability to trade an item or asset, especially money, for other goods and services that can then be used to satisfy wants and needs. Value in exchange means that value (that is, satisfaction) is obtained indirectly through the acquisition of something else. For an item to have value in exchange it need NOT have value in use, value obtained directly from the consumption of a good or service.

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    PURPLE SMARPHIN
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    Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time at a flea market looking to buy either a package of 4 by 6 index cards, the ones with lines or a 50 foot extension cord. Be on the lookout for the last item on a shelf.
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    This isn't me! What am I?

    In the Middle Ages, pepper was used for bartering, and it was often more valuable and stable in value than gold.
    "When you play, play hard; when you work, don't play at all. "

    -- Theodore Roosevelt, 26th US president

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