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MARGINAL COST CURVE: A curve that graphically represents the relation between marginal cost incurred by a firm in the short-run product of a good or service and the quantity of output produced. This curve is constructed to capture the relation between marginal cost and the level of output, holding other variables, like technology and resource prices, constant. The marginal cost curve is U-shaped. Marginal cost is relatively high at small quantities of output, then as production increases, declines, reaches a minimum value, then rises. This shape of the marginal cost curve is directly attributable to increasing, then decreasing marginal returns (and the law of diminishing marginal returns).

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ECONOMIC COST: Another term for opportunity cost (the highest valued alternative foregone in the pursuit of an activity) that is used in the study of economics to indicate the fundamental role opportunity cost plays in economics. The value expressed in terms of satisfaction of the foregone activity is your opportunity cost. Because there are usually several alternatives that aren't pursued, opportunity cost is the highest-valued one. An opportunity cost is sometimes compensated with some form of payment, like a wage. However, the existence of an opportunity cost is independent of any actual cash outlay.

     See also | cost | opportunity cost | economics | accounting cost | value | satisfaction |


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INJECTIONS-LEAKAGES MODEL

A macroeconomic model that balances non-consumption expenditures on production (injections) and non-consumption uses of income (leakages) that is used to identify the equilibrium level of, and analyze disruptions to, aggregate production and income. The injections-leakages model is based on the principles of Keynesian economics and provides an alternative to the standard aggregate expenditures (Keynesian cross) analysis. The three injections included in the model are investment expenditures, government purchases, and exports. The three leakages included in the model are saving, taxes, and imports. Three variations are the two-sector injections-leakages model (or saving-investment model), three-sector injections-leakages model, and four-sector injections-leakages model.

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