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FIRM OBJECTIVES: The standard economic assumption underlying the analysis of firms is profit maximization. Firms are assumed to make decisions that will increase profit. Generally speaking, profit maximization is the process of obtaining the highest possible level of economic profit through the production and sales of goods and services. For a more thorough discussion of this topic, see the profit maximization entry. Real world firms might pursue other objectives including: (1) sales maximization, (2) pursuit of personal welfare, and (3) pursuit of social welfare. In some cases, these other objectives help a firm pursue profit maximization. In other cases, they prevent a firm from maximizing profit.

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JUST PRICE: A somewhat archaic term developed by St. Thomas Aquinas that the price of a good should equal the worth generally agreed to by society. This is based on a notion of justice and fairness that goods should only be exchange for something of equal value or worth. For example, if ice cream readily sells for a dollar a scoop throughout the city, but one vendor charges two dollars, then this higher price would not be considered a just price. This view of a just price is relies on the view that each good has an intrinsic value which is inconsistent with modern views of markets, prices, and subjective values.

     See also | price | second rule of subjectivity | market | demand price | supply price |


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MARGINAL PROPENSITY TO CONSUME

The proportion of each additional dollar of household income that is used for consumption expenditures. The marginal propensity to consume (abbreviated MPC) is another term for the slope of the consumption line and is calculated as the change in consumption divided by the change in income. The MPC plays a central role in Keynesian economics. It quantifies the consumption-income relation and the fundamental psychological law. It is also a foundation for the slope of the aggregate expenditures line and is critical to the multiplier process. A related consumption measure is the average propensity to consume.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time lost in your local discount super center hoping to buy either a box of multi-colored, plastic paper clips or several orange mixing bowls. Be on the lookout for malfunctioning pocket calculators.
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