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INCREASING MARGINAL RETURNS: In the short-run production of a firm, an increase in the variable input results in an increase in the marginal product of the variable input. Increasing marginal returns typically surface when the first few quantities of a variable input are added to a fixed input. Compare this with decreasing marginal returns. You should also compare this with economies of scale associated with long-run production.

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INFLATION: A persistent increase in the average price level in the economy. Inflation occurs when the AVERAGE price level (that is, prices IN GENERAL) increases over time. This does NOT mean that ALL prices increase the same, nor that ALL prices necessarily increase. Some prices might increase a lot, others a little, and still other prices decrease or remain unchanged. Inflation results when the AVERAGE of these assorted prices follows an upward trend. Inflation is the most common phenomenon associated with the price level.

     See also | price level | business cycle | unemployment | Consumer Price Index | GDP price deflator | deflation | disinflation | inflation causes | cost-push inflation | demand-pull inflation | money | inflation problems | inflation rate | inflationary gap |


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MARGINAL FACTOR COST

The change in total factor cost resulting from a change in the quantity of factor input employed by a firm. Marginal factor cost, abbreviated MFC, indicates how total factor cost changes with the employment of one more input. It is found by dividing the change in total factor cost by the change in the quantity of input used. Marginal factor cost is compared with marginal revenue product to identify the profit-maximizing quantity of input to hire.

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