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TOTAL COST AND MARGINAL COST: A mathematical connection between marginal cost and total cost stating that marginal cost IS the slope of the total cost curve. If the total cost curve has a positive slope (that is, is upward sloping), then marginal cost is positive. Moreover, if the total cost curve has a positive and increasingly steeper slope, then the marginal cost is positive and rising. If the total cost curve has a positive and decreasingly steeper slope, then the marginal cost is positive but falling.

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Lesson 11: Elasticity Basics | Unit 4: A Continuum Page: 18 of 25

Topic: Relative Elastic <=PAGE BACK | PAGE NEXT=>

  • A large section of the elasticity continuum is comprise of relatively elastic:

    Relatively elastic is an elasticity alternative in which relatively small changes in one variable (price) cause relatively large changes in another variable (quantity).

  • Once again, this range holds for both the price elasticity of demand and the price elasticity of supply, because the negative value of the price elasticity of demand is ignored.

  • Relatively elastic demand and supply are represented by relatively flat, but not perfectly horizontal, demand and supply curves.

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PERFECTLY ELASTIC

An elasticity alternative in which infinitesimally small changes in one variable (usually price) cause infinitely large changes in another variable (usually quantity). Quantity is infinitely responsive to price. Any change in price, no matter how small, triggers an infinite change in quantity. This characterization of elasticity is most important for the price elasticity of demand and the price elasticity of supply. Perfectly elastic is one of five elasticity alternatives. The other four are perfectly inelastic, relatively elastic, relatively inelastic, and unit elastic.

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