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MARGINAL REVENUE CURVE, PERFECT COMPETITION: A curve that graphically represents the relation between the marginal revenue received by a perfectly competitive firm for selling its output and the quantity of output sold. Because a perfectly competitive firm is a price taker and faces a horizontal demand curve, its marginal revenue curve is also horizontal and coincides with its average revenue (and demand) curve. A perfectly competitive firm maximizes profit by producing the quantity of output found at the intersection of the marginal revenue curve and marginal cost curve.

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LAFFER CURVE: The graphical inverted-U relation between tax rates and total tax collections by government. Developed by economist Arthur Laffer, the Laffer curve formed a key theoretical foundation for supply-side economics of President Reagan during the 1980s. It is based on the notion that government collects zero revenue if the tax rate is 0% and if the tax rate is 100%. At a 100% tax rate no one has the incentive to work, produce, and earn income, so there is no income to tax. As such, the optimum tax rate, in which government revenue is maximized, lies somewhere between 0% and 100%. This generates a curve shaped like and inverted U, rising from zero to a peak, then falling back to zero. If the economy is operating to the right of the peak, then government revenue can be increased by decreasing the tax rate. This was used to justify supply-side economic policies during the Reagan Administration, especially the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981 (Kemp-Roth Act).

     See also | taxes | supply-side economics | Kemp-Roth Act | income tax | conservative |


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PRICE CHANGE, UTILITY ANALYSIS

A disruption of consumer equilibrium identified with utility analysis caused by changes in the price of a good, which likely results in a change in the quantities of the goods consumed. The change in the price alters the marginal utility-price ratio and forces a reevaluation of the rule of consumer equilibrium.

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