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MARGINAL COST AND DIMINISHING MARGINAL RETURNS: Decreasing then increasing marginal cost that gives rise to a U-shaped marginal cost curve reflects increasing then decreasing marginal returns. In particular the decreasing marginal returns is caused by the law of diminishing marginal returns. As such, the law of diminishing marginal returns affects not only the short-run production of a firm but also the cost of production in the short run.

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Lesson 1: Economic Basics | Unit 3: The Economy Page: 7 of 18

Topic: An Economy <=PAGE BACK | PAGE NEXT=>

Because of the scarcity problem, we need a way to divide up what we have. This is accomplished by an economy.

An economy is a system of production, distribution, and consumption of resources, goods, and services that addresses the basic economic problem of scarcity and answers the three questions of allocation: What? How? For Whom?

Economies rely on markets and government to perform the allocation task.

The allocation processes involves the institutions of:

  • Markets allocate resources through voluntary choices made by people--buyers and sellers.
  • Government allocates resources through involuntary taxes, laws, restrictions, and regulations imposed on these people.
Both are important methods of allocation.

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AVERAGE COST

The opportunity cost incurred per unit of good produced. This is calculated by dividing the cost of production by the quantity of output produced. While average cost is a general term relating cost and the quantity of output, three specific average cost terms are average total cost, average variable cost, and average fixed cost. A related cost term is marginal cost.

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YELLOW CHIPPEROON
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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time strolling around a discount warehouse buying club hoping to buy either a genuine down-filled pillow or one of those "hang in there" kitty cat posters. Be on the lookout for slightly overweight pizza delivery guys.
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In the late 1800s and early 1900s, almost 2 million children were employed as factory workers.
"The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure."

-- Sven Goran Eriksson, writer

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Marginal Utility
A PEDestrian's Guide
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