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VARIABLE INPUT: An input whose quantity can be changed in the time period under consideration. This should be immediately compared and contrasted with fixed input. The most common example of a variable input is labor. A variable input provides the extra inputs that a firm needs to expand short-run production. In contrast, a fixed input, like capital, provides the capacity constraint in production. As larger quantities of a variable input, like labor, are added to a fixed input like capital, the variable input becomes less productive. This is, by the way, the law of diminishing marginal returns.

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CONTRACTION: A phase of the business cycle characterized by a general period of declining economic activity. A contraction is one of two basic business cycle phases. The other is expansion. The transition from contraction to expansion is termed a trough and the transition from expansion to contraction is termed a peak. The popular term for contraction, one that frequent shows up in the media, is recession. Should you check out the entry recession, you will see information that is essentially identical to that presented here, because they are two terms for the same phenomenon.

     See also | business cycle | recession | expansion | peak | trough | recovery | real gross domestic product | unemployment rate | unemployment | full employment | inflation | aggregate expenditures | National Income and Product Accounts | Great Depression |


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CONTRACTION, AmosWEB GLOSS*arama, http://www.AmosWEB.com, AmosWEB LLC, 2000-2022. [Accessed: January 24, 2022].


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AVERAGE PRODUCT CURVE

A curve that graphically illustrates the relation between average product and the quantity of the variable input, holding all other inputs fixed. This curve indicates the per unit output at each level of the variable input. The average product curve is one of three related curves used in the analysis of the short-run production of a firm. The other two are total product curve and marginal product curve.

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