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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 5: Demand | Unit 1: Buying Basics Page: 1 of 20

Topic: The Concept <=PAGE BACK | PAGE NEXT=>

The concept of demand is fundamental to the study of the market and economics. It is the first of two sides of the market that we'll study.

A definition:

Demand is the willingness and ability to buy a range of quantities of a good at a range of prices, during a given time.

Three points:

  • Willingness and ability.
  • Range of quantities and prices.
  • A given time period.

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MONOPOLISTIC COMPETITION

A market structure characterized by a large number of small firms, similar but not identical products sold by all firms, relative freedom of entry into and exit out of the industry, and extensive knowledge of prices and technology. This is one of four basic market structures. The other three are perfect competition, monopoly, and oligopoly. Monopolistic competition approximates most of the characteristics of perfect competition, but falls short of reaching the ideal benchmark that IS perfect competition. It is the best approximation of perfect competition that the real world offers.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time visiting every yard sale in a 30-mile radius looking to buy either a T-shirt commemorating yesterday or a pair of handcrafted oven mitts. Be on the lookout for cardboard boxes.
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A scripophilist is one who collects rare stock and bond certificates, usually from extinct companies.
"Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires...courage."

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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