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SELF-CORRECTION, INFLATIONARY GAP: The automatic process through which the aggregate market achieves long-run equilibrium by eliminating an inflationary gap created by short-run equilibrium. With an inflationary gap short-run equilibrium real production is greater than full-employment real production, meaning resource markets have shortages, and in particular labor is overemployed. Self-correction is the process in which these temporary imbalances are eliminated through flexible prices as the aggregate market achieves long-run equilibrium. The key to this process is shifts of the short-run aggregate supply curve caused by changes in wages and other resource prices. The long-run result is lower wages and a decrease in short-run aggregate supply.

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MARGINAL FACTOR COST: The change in total factor cost resulting from a change in the quantity of factor input, found by dividing the change in total factor cost by the change in quantity of factor input. Marginal factor cost, abbreviated MFC, indicates how a firm's total factor cost is affected by hiring one more or one fewer worker. Two related concepts are total factor cost and average factor cost.

     See also | marginal cost | marginal factor cost curve | input | factors of production | total factor cost | factor markets | average factor cost | marginal revenue product | perfect competition | factor markets | perfectly elastic | factor price | imperfect competition | monopsony | factor supply curve |


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RETURNS TO SCALE

Changes in production the occur when all resources are proportionately changed in the long run. Returns to scale come in three forms--increasing, decreasing, or constant based on whether the changes in production are proportionally more than, less than, or equal to the proportional changes in inputs. Returns to scale are the guiding principle for long-run production, playing a similar role that the law of diminishing marginal returns plays for short-run production.

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