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LONG RUN, MICROECONOMICS: In terms of the microeconomic analysis of production and supply, a period of time in which all inputs in the production process are variable. The long run is primarily used to analyze production decisions for a firm and is also referred to as the planning horizon. The long run is a period of time in which a business can change the quantities of ALL resource inputs--labor, capital, land, and entrepreneurship. Nothing is fixed. If your factory is to small, well then, build a bigger one. The long-run analysis of production is used to better understand economies of scale, diseconomies of scale, and long-run market supply.

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Lesson 3: Scarcity | Unit 3: Opportunity Cost Page: 11 of 17

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  • The basic concept of opportunity cost as the highest valued alternative foregone in the pursuit of an activity.
  • How the fact that limited resources have alternative uses intertwines the notion of opportunity cost and the basic problem of scarcity.
  • Why economic cost is synonymous with opportunity cost.
  • Why opportunity cost need not be measured in money terms.
  • The difference between explicit and implicit opportunity cost.

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AUTONOMOUS INVESTMENT

Business investment expenditures that do not depend on income or production (especially national income or even gross domestic product). That is, changes in income do not generate changes in investment. Autonomous investment is best thought of as investment that the business sector undertakes regardless of the state of the economy. It is measured by the intercept term of the investment line. The alternative to autonomous investment is induced investment, which does depend on income.

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