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VARIABLE FACTOR OF PRODUCTION: An input whose quantity can be changed in the time period under consideration. This usually goes by the shorter term fixed input and should be immediately compared and contrasted with fixed factor of production, which goes by the shorter term fixed input. The most common example of a variable factor of production is labor. A variable factor of production provides the extra inputs that a firm needs to expand short-run production. In contrast, a fixed factor of production, like capital, provides the capacity constraint in production. As larger quantities of a variable factor of production, like labor, are added to a fixed factor of production like capital, the variable factor of production becomes less productive.

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Lesson Contents
Unit 1: The Macroeconomy
  • An Economy
  • Macroeconomics
  • Unit 1 Summary
  • Unit 2: Macro Problems
  • The Goals
  • Unemployment
  • Inflation
  • Unit 2 Summary
  • Unit 3: Business Cycles
  • Instability
  • Causes
  • Unit 3 Summary
  • Unit 4: Policies
  • Government
  • Viewpoints
  • Unit 4 Summary
  • Unit 5: Issues
  • Policies
  • Theories
  • Unit 5 Summary
  • Course Home
    Macro Basics

    In lesson, we move into the formal study of macroeconomics, laying the groundwork for lessons to come. In particular, this lesson introduces several important macroeconomics concepts and notions. Among the list of more important notions are the role an economy plays in the study of macroeconomics, the two key macroeconomic problems of inflation and unemployment, how these problems are related business-cycle instability, and economic stabilization policies designed to correct these problems.

    • The first unit of this lesson lays the foundation of for the study of macroeconomics, introducing the nature of an economy and providing a little information about the U.S. economy.
    • In the second unit, we examine some of the more notable macroeconomics problems, especially production, unemployment, and inflation.
    • We then take a look at the importance of business cycles in the macroeconomy, including recent trends in business cycle activity and a few potential business cycle causes.
    • The fourth unit then examines the role that economic policies play in the macroeconomy.
    • The firth unit wraps up this lesson with a few thoughts about the connection between political philosophies, economic policies, and economic theories.

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    AVERAGE FACTOR COST

    Total factor cost per unit of factor input employed by a firm in the production of output, found by dividing total factor cost by the quantity of factor input. Average factor cost, abbreviated AFC, is generally equal to the factor price. However, using the longer term average factor cost makes it easier to see the connection to related terms, including total factor cost and marginal factor cost.

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    APLS

    RED AGGRESSERINE
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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 trying to buy either a pair of red and purple designer socks or a T-shirt commemorating Thor Heyerdahl's Pacific crossing aboard the Kon-Tiki. Be on the lookout for small children selling products door-to-door.
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    Only 1% of the U.S. population paid income taxes when the income tax was established in 1914.
    "Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip."

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