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VARIABLE FACTOR OF PRODUCTION: An input whose quantity can be changed in the time period under consideration. This usually goes by the shorter term fixed input and should be immediately compared and contrasted with fixed factor of production, which goes by the shorter term fixed input. The most common example of a variable factor of production is labor. A variable factor of production provides the extra inputs that a firm needs to expand short-run production. In contrast, a fixed factor of production, like capital, provides the capacity constraint in production. As larger quantities of a variable factor of production, like labor, are added to a fixed factor of production like capital, the variable factor of production becomes less productive.

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HECKSCHER-OHLIN MODEL: A model of international trade developed by Eli Heckscher and Bertil Ohlin, with significant contributions by Paul Samuelson, that relies on the notion that comparative advantage is based on relative natural resource endowments. A nation with large oil reserves will, for example, have a comparative advantage in oil production over another nation with fertile soil, which will have a comparative advantage in agricultural production.

     See also | comparative advantage | international trade | foreign trade | specialization | exports | imports |


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STAR TREK SCARCITY

A science-fiction phenomenon that emerged in the second half of the 20th century, which not only entertained millions of fans worldwide for decades, but also can be used to illustrate important economic concepts such as scarcity.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time flipping through mail order catalogs looking to buy either a pair of red and purple designer socks or a T-shirt commemorating Thor Heyerdahl's Pacific crossing aboard the Kon-Tiki. Be on the lookout for slightly overweight pizza delivery guys.
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The 22.6% decline in stock prices on October 19, 1987 was larger than the infamous 12.8% decline on October 29, 1929.
"Time is the scarcest resource, and unless it is managed nothing else can be managed."

-- Peter F. Drucker

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