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April 17, 2024 

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ABSOLUTE POVERTY: The amount of income a person or family needs to purchase an absolute amount of the basic necessities of life. These basic necessities are identified in terms of calories of food, BTUs of energy, square feet of living space, etc. The problem with the absolute poverty level is that there really are no absolutes when in comes to consuming goods. You can consume a given poverty level of calories eating relatively expensive steak, relatively inexpensive pasta, or garbage from a restaurant dumpster. The income needed to acquire each of these calorie "minimums" vary greatly. That's why some prefer relative poverty.

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LAW OF DIMINISHING MARGINAL RETURNS: A principle stating that as more and more of a variable input is combined with a fixed input in short-run production, the marginal product of the variable input eventually declines. This is THE economic principle underlying the analysis of short-run production for a firm. Among a host of other things, it offers an explanation for the upward-sloping market supply curve. How does the law of diminishing marginal returns help us understand supply? The law of supply and the upward-sloping supply curve indicate that a firm needs to receive higher prices to produce and sell larger quantities. Why do they need higher prices?

     See also | increasing marginal returns | decreasing marginal returns | marginal product | marginal cost | short-run production | supply curve | fixed input | variable input |


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LAW OF DIMINISHING MARGINAL RETURNS, AmosWEB GLOSS*arama, http://www.AmosWEB.com, AmosWEB LLC, 2000-2024. [Accessed: April 17, 2024].


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FREE-RIDER PROBLEM

A problem underlying the provision of public goods that occurs when a person consumes or benefits from a good without making payment. The free-rider problem is the primary reason that public goods are produced by governments. Because public goods are characterized by the inability to exclude nonpayers, once a public good is produced anyone, everyone, can consume without making payment, that is, get a "free ride." Voluntary payments like those occurring in markets will not provide enough revenue to pay production costs. The only way to finance public goods is to force free-riders, and everyone else, to pay through government taxes. The free-rider problem also applies to common-property goods.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time visiting every yard sale in a 30-mile radius hoping to buy either a brown leather attache case or car battery jumper cables. Be on the lookout for strangers with large satchels of used undergarments.
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Okun's Law posits that the unemployment rate increases by 1% for every 2% gap between real GDP and full-employment real GDP.
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