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DECREASING MARGINAL RETURNS: In the short-run production of a firm, an increase in the variable input results in a decrease in the marginal product of the variable input. Decreasing marginal returns typically surface after the first few quantities of a variable input are added to a fixed input. Compare this with increasing marginal returns. You should also compare this with diseconomies of scale associated with long-run production.

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Lesson 16: Aggregate Shocks | Unit 2: Extension Page: 4 of 21

Topic: Instability <=PAGE BACK | PAGE NEXT=>

Before getting to the graphs, here are four specific real-world-type issues to illustrate the direction that we're headed with our analysis of instability:
  • Increases in physical wealth, especially consumer durable goods and capital investment, which affect aggregate demand.
  • Changes in monetary policy that affect interest rates, which affect aggregate demand expenditures on durable goods and capital.
  • Technological advances that improve long-run and short-run aggregate supply.
  • Changes in wages and production costs that affect short-run aggregate supply.

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AVERAGE PRODUCT

The quantity of total output produced per unit of a variable input, holding all other inputs fixed. Average product, usually abbreviated AP, is found by dividing total product by the quantity of the variable input. Average product, which occasionally goes by the alias average physical product (APP), is one of two measures derived from total product. The other is marginal product.

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Potato chips were invented in 1853 by a irritated chef repeatedly seeking to appease the hard to please Cornelius Vanderbilt who demanded french fried potatoes that were thinner and crisper than normal.
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