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January 23, 2020 

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INSURANCE: Transferring risk to others. The need for insurance occurs because people tend to be risk averse in many circumstances. As such, most of us are willing to pay for certainty. Those who satisfy this need for insurance, insurance companies for example, do so because they can pool risk. If insurance companies know the chance of some loss (an accident, illness, or whatever) and its cost, then they can divide this cost among a large group of risk averse types. The insurance company agrees to pay the cost of the loss and each of the risk averse types pay a risk premium, but get the peace of mind that goes with certainty.

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HOMOGENEOUS OF DEGREE N: A property of an equation the exists if independent variables are increased by a constant value, then the dependent variable is increased by the value raised to the power of n. The value of n can be greater than, less than, or equal to one. This property often surfaces in the analysis of production functions. If n = 1, then a doubling independent variables results in a doubling of the dependent variable and the production function has constant returns to scale. If n > 1, then a doubling independent variables results in more than a doubling of the dependent variable and the production function has increasing returns to scale. If n < 1, then a doubling independent variables results in less than a doubling of the dependent variable and the production function has decreasing returns to scale.

     See also | homogeneous | production function | independent variable | dependent variable | constant returns to scale | increasing returns to scale | decreasing returns to scale | homogeneous of degree one | homogeneous of degree zero | economies of scale |


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PERFECT COMPETITION, EFFICIENCY

Perfect competition is an idealized market structure that achieves an efficient allocation of resources. This efficiency is achieved because the profit-maximizing quantity of output produced by a perfectly competitive firm results in the equality between price and marginal cost. In the short run, this involves the equality between price and short-run marginal cost. In the long run, this is seen with the equality between price and long-run marginal cost at the minimum efficient scale of production.

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