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DOMINANT FIRM: A term employed in industrial organization to describe a firm that is a price maker and faces little competition from smaller price taking firms, called fringe firms. A firm can become a dominant firm because it has lower costs than fringe firms, because they have a superior differentiated product in the market or because a group of firms collectively act as a single firm. A dominant firm usually has a large market share.

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MARGINAL COST: The change in total cost (or total variable cost) resulting from a change in the quantity of output produced by a firm in the short run. Marginal cost indicates how much total cost changes for a give change in the quantity of output. Because changes in total cost are matched by changes in total variable cost in the short run (remember total fixed cost is fixed), marginal cost is the change in either total cost or total variable cost. Marginal cost, usually abbreviated MC, is found by dividing the change in total cost (or total variable cost) by the change in output.

     See also | total cost | total variable cost | marginal cost curve | quantity | law of diminishing marginal returns | technology | resource prices | increasing marginal returns | decreasing marginal returns | U-shaped cost curves | average total cost | average variable cost | average fixed cost | total cost |


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AVERAGE FACTOR COST

Total factor cost per unit of factor input employed by a firm in the production of output, found by dividing total factor cost by the quantity of factor input. Average factor cost, abbreviated AFC, is generally equal to the factor price. However, using the longer term average factor cost makes it easier to see the connection to related terms, including total factor cost and marginal factor cost.

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