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February 7, 2023 

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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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CURVE: A line with a non-constant, or changing, slope. In technical circles, the word "line" is often used if the slope is constant and the word "curve" is used to mean the slope is not constant. However, economics often uses the terms line and curve interchangeably, as in "demand line" or "demand curve." Unless your course is taught be an economist with a really strong mathematical inclination, you too can safely use both terms interchangeably.

     See also | slope | graph |


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CAPTURE THEORY OF REGULATION

The notion that a government agency established to regulate an industry for the benefit of society acts instead for the benefit of the industry. In effect, the government agency is "captured" by the industry it is regulating. The capture theory of regulation indicates that government regulator acts as the decision-making "head" of a now monopolized industry. This is achieved by a "rotating door" between the government agency and the industry, with members of the regulating agency being former and future employees of the industry. Rather than promoting efficiency, the regulating agency creates an inefficient allocation of resources.

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Okun's Law posits that the unemployment rate increases by 1% for every 2% gap between real GDP and full-employment real GDP.
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