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June 23, 2018 

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NATURAL MONOPOLY: A special type of monopoly that's able to lower its price when it produces and sells a larger quantity. This somewhat remarkable ability results because a natural monopoly uses a great deal of capital. In that capital carries an up front cost that must be paid regardless of production, a natural monopoly can spread these costs over larger quantity--if it produces more. The larger the quantity sold, the lower the cost for each unit. A single natural monopoly is thus able to produce and supply a good at a lower cost, and price, than two or more firms. In other words, if two or more firms try to supply the same good, the market will "naturally" end up with just one.

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HERFINDAHL INDEX: A measure of concentration of the production in an industry that's calculated as the sum of the squares of market shares for each firm. This is an alternative method of summarizing the degree to which an industry is oligopolistic and the relative concentration of market power held by the largest firms in the industry. The Herfindahl index gives a better indication of the relative market control of the largest firms than can be found with the four-firm and eight-firm concentration ratios.

     See also | market share | oligopoly | concentration ratio | market control | antitrust laws |


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REFERENCE WEEK, CURRENT POPULATION SURVEY

The calendar week (Sunday through Saturday) containing the 12th day of the month, which is used in the Current Population Survey (CPS) as the time period for documenting the employment and labor force status of respondents. The estimation of the unemployment rate and other employment information generated by the CPS are based on activities of survey respondents during this week. The actual survey is conducted by interviewers working for the Bureau of the Census during the calendar week containing the 19th day, which is termed the survey week.

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