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TOTAL-MARGINAL RULE: A mathematical connection between a marginal value is the slope of a curve of the corresponding total value stating that the marginal IS the slope of the total curve. If the total curve has a positive slope (that is, is upward sloping), then marginal is positive. If the total product has a negative slope (downward sloping), then marginal is negative. If the total curve has a zero slope (horizontal), then marginal is zero. Moreover, if the total curve has an increasing slope (becoming steeper), then the marginal is rising. If the total curve has a decreasing slope (becoming flatter), then the marginal is falling.

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Lesson 1: Economic Basics | Unit 3: The Economy Page: 8 of 18

Topic: A Mixed Economy: Markets and Government <=PAGE BACK | PAGE NEXT=>

Markets do an effective (and efficient) job of answering the three questions of allocation--most of the time.
  • Markets are the VOLUNTARY exchange of goods and services.
  • A pure market economy is an economy that uses nothing but markets to allocate resources.
  • A pure market economy is a useful theoretical benchmark.
Market responses to the allocation questions:
  • What? Resources are used to produce goods with the highest prices.
  • How? Goods are produced using the combination of resource with the lowest prices.
  • For Whom? People with more income buy more goods.

Government also helps answer the three questions of allocation.
  • Government allocation is INVOLUNTARY. It sets the laws and rules.
  • A pure command economy is an economy that uses nothing but government to allocate resources.
  • A pure command economy is another useful theoretical benchmark.
Government responses to the allocation questions:
  • What? When government spends taxes, it dictates what goods will be produced.
  • How? Government has laws and rules that specify how resources will be used to produce goods.
  • For Whom? Government collects taxes from some people and distributes them among other people.

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LONG-RUN AGGREGATE MARKET

A macroeconomic model relating the price level and real production under the assumption that ALL prices are flexible. This is one of two aggregate market submodels used to analyze business cycles, gross production, unemployment, inflation, stabilization policies, and related macroeconomic phenomena. The other is the short-run aggregate market. The long-run aggregate market isolates the interaction between aggregate demand and long-run aggregate supply. The key assumption of this model is that ALL prices, especially resource prices, are flexible. The primary result of this model is that the economy achieves long-run equilibrium at full-employment real production.

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