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MARGINAL ANALYSIS: A basic technique used in the economics that analyzes small, incremental changes in key variables. The economic obsession with marginal changes exists for at least two reasons. One reason is that many economic decisions made in the real world are made "at the margin." A second reason for using marginal analysis can best be termed analytical sophistication.

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FARM PROBLEM: The short-run situation in which weather variability creates large fluctuations in farm prices, combined with the long-run situation in which technological advances increase production capabilities even though the demand for agricultural production declines relative to the growth of the overall economy. Taken together these two situations lead to highly unstable farm incomes that tend to decline over time. The solution to this problem has been significant government intervention in the agricultural industry, especially through assorted subsidies and price floors.

     See also | production | income elasticity of demand | subsidy | economic growth | technology |


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PRODUCT INNOVATION

An innovation of a new product, technology, or idea that generates a beneficial improvement in society and the economy; one that is fundamentally different from existing products, technologies, or ideas. The contrast is with a process innovation, which is an improvement in an existing product, technology, or idea.

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