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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.

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AVERAGE VARIABLE COST: Total variable cost per unit of output, found by dividing total variable cost by the quantity of output. Average variable cost, abbreviated AVC, decreases with additional production at relatively small quantities of output, then eventually increases with relatively larger quantities of output. This pattern is illustrated by a U-shaped average variable cost curve. The logic behind this decrease-increase U-shaped pattern can be found with a closer examination of the law of diminishing marginal returns, average product, and the average-marginal rule. You should also check out marginal cost.

     See also | total variable cost | short-run production | average variable cost curve | average product | quantity | technology | resource prices | average total cost | marginal cost | average fixed cost | law of diminishing marginal returns | average-marginal rule | U-shaped cost curves | increasing marginal returns | decreasing marginal returns |


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AGGREGATE DEMAND INCREASE, LONG-RUN AGGREGATE MARKET

A shock to the long-run aggregate market caused by an increase in aggregate demand resulting in and illustrated by a rightward shift of the aggregate demand curve. An increase in aggregate demand in the long-run aggregate market results in an increase in the price level but no change in real production. The level of real production resulting from the aggregate demand shock is full-employment real production.

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