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September 22, 2018 

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LONG-RUN AVERAGE COST CURVE: A curve depicting the per unit cost of producing a good or service in the long run when all inputs are variable. The long-run average cost curve (usually abbreviated LRAC) can be derived in two ways. On is to plot long-run average cost, which is, long-run total cost divided by the quantity of output produced. at different output levels. The more common method, however, is as an envelope of an infinite number of short-run average total cost curves. Such an envelope is base on identifying the point on each short-run average total cost curve that provides the lowest possible average cost for each quantity of output. The long-run average cost curve is U-shaped, reflecting economies of scale (or increasing returns to scale) when negatively-sloped and diseconomies of scale (or decreasing returns to scale) when positively sloped. The minimum point (or range) on the LRAC curve is the minimum efficient scale.

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COST MINIMIZATION: The process or goal of incurring the least possible opportunity cost in the pursuit of a given activity. Cost minimization is comparable to other objectives, including utility maximization and profit maximization. This goal, however, is generally used when circumstances constrain a decision. For example, a government agency has been assigned the task of building a bridge. It must now do so at the lowest cost possible.

     See also | opportunity cost | utility maximization | profit maximization | efficiency | economize | technical efficiency |


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SHUTDOWN RULE

A rule stating that a firm minimizes economic loss by producing no output in the short run if price is less than average variable cost. This is one of three short-run production alternatives facing a firm. The other two are profit maximization (if price exceeds average total cost) and loss minimization (if price is less than average total cost but greater than average variable cost).

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