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April 25, 2018 

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OPPORTUNITY COST: The highest valued alternative foregone in the pursuit of an activity. This is a hallmark of anything dealing with economics--and life for that matter--because any action that you take prevents you from doing something else. The ultimate source of opportunity cost is the pervasive problem of scarcity (unlimited wants and needs, but limited resources). Whenever limited resources are used to satisfy one want or need, there are an unlimited number of other wants and needs that remain unsatisfied. Herein lies the essence of opportunity cost. Doing one thing prevents doing another.

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U-SHAPED COST CURVES: The family of short-run cost curves consisting of average total cost, average variable cost, and marginal cost, all of which have U-shapes. They are U-shaped because each has high but falling cost at low quantities of output, which then reaches a minimum, then has rising cost at larger quantities of output. Although the average fixed cost curve is not U-shaped, it's occasionally included with the other three just for sake of completeness.

     See also | average total cost | average variable cost | marginal cost | average fixed cost | average total cost curve | average variable cost curve | marginal cost curve | average fixed cost curve | short-run production | stages of production | increasing marginal returns | decreasing marginal returns | law of diminishing marginal returns | total cost | total variable cost | total fixed cost |


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U-SHAPED COST CURVES, AmosWEB GLOSS*arama, http://www.AmosWEB.com, AmosWEB LLC, 2000-2018. [Accessed: April 25, 2018].


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OLIGOPOLY, CONCENTRATION

Oligopoly is a market structure that contains a small number of relatively large firms, meaning oligopoly markets tend to be concentrated. A small number of large firms account for a majority of total output. Concentration unto itself is not necessarily bad, but it often leads to inefficient behavior, such as collusion and nonprice competition. Concentration is measured in three ways--market share, concentration ratio, Herfindahl index.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time surfing the Internet trying to buy either a set of luggage without wheels or a how-to book on wine tasting. Be on the lookout for telephone calls from long-lost relatives.
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In the Middle Ages, pepper was used for bartering, and it was often more valuable and stable in value than gold.
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