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SHORT-RUN PRODUCTION: An analysis of the production decision made by a firm in the short run, with the ultimate goal of explaining the law of supply and the upward-sloping supply curve. The central feature of this short-run analysis is the law of diminishing marginal returns, which results in the short run when larger amounts of a variable input, like labor, are added to a fixed input, like capital. This analysis of short-run production is but the first step in a brisk walk toward a better understanding of supply. Further steps include the cost of short-run production, especially marginal cost, and the market structure in which a firm operates, such as perfect competition or monopoly.

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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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    MARKET CLEARING

    A condition of the market in which the quantity demanded is equal to the quantity supplied, such that the market is "clear" of any shortage or surplus. Market clearing is a common, non-technical term for equilibrium. In a market graph, the market clearing is found at the intersection of the demand curve and the supply curve.

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    Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time at an auction trying to buy either a package of 3 by 5 index cards, the ones without lines or a blue mechanical pencil. Be on the lookout for mail order catalogs with hidden messages.
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    In the late 1800s and early 1900s, almost 2 million children were employed as factory workers.
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