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March 22, 2019 

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QUASI-PUBLIC GOOD: A good that is easy to keep nonpayers from consuming, but use of the good by one person does not prevent use by others. Also termed a near-public good,the trick with a quasi-public good is that it is easy to keep people away, and thus you can charge them a price for consuming, but there is no real good reason to do so. From an efficiency view, the more people who consume a quasi-public good, the better off society. This mixture of nearly unlimited benefits and the ability to charge a price means that some quasi-public goods are sold through markets and others are provided by government. For efficiency's sake, none should be sold through markets.

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EXCISE TAX: A tax on a specific good. This should be compared with a general sales tax, which is a tax on all (or nearly all) goods sold. The most common excise taxes are on alcohol, tobacco, and gasoline. Excise taxes are used either to discourage consumption of socially undesirable stuff (like alcohol and tobacco) or to raise some easy revenue because the government knows buyers will keep buying regardless of the tax (like alcohol and tobacco).

     See also | tax | sales tax | consumption tax | consumption | luxury tax |


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TOTAL COST

The opportunity cost incurred by all of the factors of production used by a firm to produce a good or service, including wages paid to labor, rent paid for the land, interest paid to capital owners, and a normal profit paid to entrepreneurs. Total cost is most important in the analysis a firm's short-run production decision and is frequently separated into total variable cost and total fixed cost. Two other cost measures directly related to total cost are marginal cost and average total cost. Total cost is half of the information a firm uses to determine profit, the other half is total revenue.

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