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October 22, 2020 

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PERFECT COMPETITION, LOSS MINIMIZATION: A perfectly competitive firm is presumed to produce the quantity of output that minimizes economic losses, if price is greater than average variable cost but less than average total cost. This is one of three short-run production alternatives facing a firm. The other two are profit maximization (if price exceeds average total cost) and shutdown (if price is less than average variable cost).

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FLEXIBLE PRICES: The proposition that prices adjust in the long run in response to market shortages or surpluses. This condition is most important for long-run macroeconomic activity and long-run aggregate market analysis. In particular, flexible prices are the key reason for the vertical slope of the long-run aggregate supply curve. This proposition is also central to original classical theory of macroeconomics and to modern variations, including rational expectations, new classical theory, and supply-side economics.

     See also | price | market | short run, macroeconomics | long run, macroeconomics | shortage | surplus | macroeconomics | long-run aggregate market | short-run aggregate market | long-run aggregate supply curve | short-run aggregate supply curve | full-employment production | resource prices | wage | real production |


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ASSUMPTIONS, CLASSICAL ECONOMICS

Classical economics, especially as directed toward macroeconomics, relies on three key assumptions--flexible prices, Say's law, and saving-investment equality. Flexible prices ensure that markets adjust to equilibrium and eliminate shortages and surpluses. Say's law states that supply creates its own demand and means that enough income is generated by production to purchase the resulting production. The saving-investment equality ensures that any income leaked from consumption into saving is replaced by an equal amount of investment. Although of questionable realism, these three assumptions imply that the economy would operate at full employment.

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