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BLACK MARKET: An illegal market in which the price of the goods sold is above a legally set maximum price. A black market invariable results whenever the government imposes a price ceiling on a good. A common example of a price ceiling is rent controls on apartments in many large cities. Although landlords cannot "legally" rent apartments for more than the specified maximum, they often do so "illegally" by charging "finders fees" and "tenant association dues." In so doing, they have entered into the realm of black markets.

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DECREASING MARGINAL RETURNS: In the short-run production of a firm, an increase in the variable input results in a decrease in the marginal product of the variable input. Decreasing marginal returns typically surface after the first few quantities of a variable input are added to a fixed input. Compare this with increasing marginal returns. You should also compare this with diseconomies of scale associated with long-run production.

     See also | short-run production | law of diminishing marginal returns | fixed input | variable input | marginal product | average product | total product | short-run production | long-run production |


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AVERAGE FACTOR COST CURVE, MONOPSONY

A curve that graphically represents the relation between average factor cost incurred by a firm for employing an input and the quantity of input used. Because average factor cost is essentially the price of the input, the average factor cost curve is also the supply curve for the input. The average factor cost curve for a firm with no market control is horizontal. The average factor cost curve for a firm with market control is positively sloped.

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