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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).

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AVERAGE TOTAL COST: Total cost per unit of output, found by dividing total cost by the quantity of output. Average total cost, usually abbreviated ATC, can be found in two ways. Because average total cost is total cost per unit of output, it can be found by dividing total cost by the quantity of output. Alternatively, because total cost is the sum of total variable cost and total fixed cost, average total cost can be derived by summing average variable cost and average fixed cost.

     See also | total cost | quantity | average total cost curve | total variable cost | total fixed cost | average variable cost | average fixed cost |


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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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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time at a flea market wanting 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 broken fingernail clippers.
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In 1914, Ford paid workers who were age 22 or older $5 per day -- double the average wage offered by other car factories.
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