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GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION: Actions on the part of government that affect economic activity, resource allocation, and especially the voluntary decisions made through normal market exchanges. Government, by its very nature, is designed to intervene in voluntary market activity. Some of the more common types of government intervention includes taxes, price controls, assorted regulations, and control over government spending. The general justification for government intervention is that voluntary decisions by consumers and businesses fail to achieve efficiency or other goals deemed important by society.

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INSTITUTION: An established method or way of doing something that's widely accepted throughout society. Common institutions include marriage, markets, high school football in the fall, government, and Christmas gift-giving. Institutions provide the rules and guidelines needed to carry out the day-to-day activities of our lives. Institutions provide the crucial structure of a society and the framework within which economic activity takes place. Without institution structure, anarchy would prevail. With the rules, though, come rigidities that can prevent resources from being allocated efficiently.

     See also | market | government | allocation | resources | efficiency | union | government functions | business | corporation | private property | money |


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INCREASING MARGINAL RETURNS

In the short-run production by 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. This is one of two alternatives for marginal returns. The other is decreasing marginal returns. A related phenomenon for long-run production is increasing returns to scale.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time browsing through a long list of dot com websites wanting to buy either blue cotton balls or a genuine down-filled pillow. Be on the lookout for gnomes hiding in cypress trees.
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North Carolina supplied all the domestic gold coined for currency by the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia until 1828.
"Carpe diem! Rejoice while you are alive; enjoy the day; live life to the fullest; make the most of what you have. It is later than you think."

-- Horace, Ancient Roman poet

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