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IMPERFECT COMPETITION: Any markets or industries that do not match the criteria for perfect competition. The key characteristics of perfect competition are: (1) a large number of small firms, (2) identical products sold by all firms, (3) freedom of entry into and exit out of the industry, and (4) perfect knowledge of prices and technology. These four characteristics are essentially impossible to match in the real world.

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EMPIRICAL: Based on or relating to real world data or analysis. Empirical should be contrasted with the theoretical. Whereas theoretical refers to abstract representations, empirical is actual real world observations. Empirical observation is critical to the scientific method. Once an hypothesis implied by a theory, empirical observation is key to the verification process.

     See also | data | theory | hypothesis | verification | abstraction | scientific method | principle | economic analysis |


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TOTAL FACTOR COST CURVE

A curve that graphically represents the relation between total factor cost incurred by a firm when using a given factor of production to produce a good or service. The total factor cost curve is most important in factor market analysis for the derivation of the marginal factor cost curve. Two related factor cost curves are average factor cost curve and marginal factor cost curve.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time flipping through mail order catalogs seeking to buy either a wall poster commemorating Thor Heyerdahl's Pacific crossing aboard the Kon-Tiki or decorative garden figurines. Be on the lookout for cardboard boxes.
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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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