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SHORT-RUN SUPPLY CURVE: For a perfectly competitive firm, the marginal cost curve that lies above the average variable cost curve. This segment of the marginal cost guides a perfectly competitive firm's profit maximizing production as it equates price to marginal cost. Because the marginal cost curve is positively sloped (due to the law of diminishing marginal returns), each firm's supply curve and the market supply curve are also positively sloped. The law of diminishing marginal returns thus provides an explanation for the law of supply. However, this only works for firms with NO market control. Monopoly, monopolistic competition, and oligopoly, with market control, do not achieve the same result.

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Lesson 10: Gross Domestic Product | Unit 5: Issues Page: 24 of 25

Topic: What It Doesn't Do <=PAGE BACK | PAGE NEXT=>

GDP and related measures are not perfect.
  • GDP is only an indicator of economic activity. Because it requires interpretation and analysis it is subject to misinterpretation and misanalysis.
  • GDP is an aggregate measure for the economy. It measures total production, but it does not indicate who receives the production, the distribution of production.
  • GDP does not measure the satisfaction of wants and needs. GDP can increase even though welfare does not increase, or even decreases. GDP might even decrease even though welfare is greater.

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COMPARATIVE ADVANTAGE

The ability to produce one good at a relatively lower opportunity cost than other goods, especially compared to production in another country. Every person or country has a comparative advantage in production of at least one good or service, even with relatively limited production technology. A related, but contrasting concept is absolute advantage. Both terms are perhaps most important to the study of international trade, but also provide insight into other exchanges.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time watching infomercials trying to buy either decorative picture frames or storage boxes for your income tax returns. Be on the lookout for cardboard boxes.
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One of the largest markets for gold in the United States is the manufacturing of class rings.
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