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April 13, 2021 

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WILLINGNESS TO PAY: The price or dollar amount that someone is willing to give up or pay to acquire a good or service. Willingness to pay is the source of the demand price of a good. However, unlike demand price, in which buyers are on the spot of actually giving up the payment, willingness to pay does not require an actual payment. This concept is important to benefit-cost analysis, welfare economics, and efficiency criteria, especially Kaldor-Hicks efficiency. A related concept is willingness to accept.

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ACCOUNTING COST: The actual outlays or expenses incurred in production that shows up a firm's accounting statements or records. Accounting costs, while very important to accountants, company CEOs, shareholders, and the Internal Revenue Service, is only minimally important to economists. The reason is that economists are primarily interested in economic cost (also called opportunity cost). That fact is that accounting costs and economic costs aren't always the same. An opportunity or economic cost is the value of foregone production. Some economic costs, actually a lot of economic opportunity costs, never show up as accounting costs. Moreover, some accounting costs, while legal, bonified payments by a firm, are not associated with any sort of opportunity cost.

     See also | production | opportunity cost | economic cost | accounting profit | economic profit | normal profit | profit | Internal Revenue Service | x-inefficiency | economist |


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DEMAND

The willingness and ability to buy a range of quantities of a good at a range of prices, during a given time period. Demand is an inverse relation between price (demand price) and quantity (quantity demanded). Demand is one half of the market exchange process--the other is supply. This demand side of the market draws inspiration from the unlimited wants and needs dimension of the scarcity problem.

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During the American Revolution, the price of corn rose 10,000 percent, the price of wheat 14,000 percent, the price of flour 15,000 percent, and the price of beef 33,000 percent.
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