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January 22, 2018 

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BUSINESS CYCLE: The recurring expansions and contractions of the national economy (usually measured by real gross domestic product). A complete cycle typically lasts from three to five years, but could last ten years or more. It is divided into four phases -- expansion, peak, contraction, and trough. Unemployment inevitably rises during contractions and inflation tends to worsen during expansions. To avoid the inflation and unemployment problems of business cycles, the federal government frequently undertakes various fiscal and monetary policies.

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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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TAX WEDGE

The difference between demand price and supply price that is created when a tax is imposed on a market. Placing a tax on a market disrupts what otherwise would be an equilibrium equality between demand price and supply price. A tax wedge results because the tax is included in the demand price paid by buyers but not in the supply price received by sellers. With standard demand (negative slope) and supply (positive slope) curves, the incidence of the tax (who pays) is divided between buyers and sellers.

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The 1909 Lincoln penny was the first U.S. coin with the likeness of a U.S. President.
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Non-Accelerating Inflation Rate of Unemployment
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