October 23, 2016 

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SCARCE RESOURCE: A resource with an available quantity less than its desired use. Scarce resources are also called factors of production. Scarce goods are also termed economic goods. Scarce resources are used to produce scarce goods. Like the more general society-wide condition of scarcity, a given resource is scarce because it has a limited availability in combination with a greater (potentially unlimited) productive use. It's both of these that make it scarce. In other words, even though an item is quite limited it will not be a scarce resource if it has few if any uses (think pocket lint and free good).

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MARGINAL PROPENSITY TO CONSUME: The proportion of each additional dollar of household income that is used for consumption expenditures. Or alternatively, this is the change in consumption expenditures due to a change in disposable income. Abbreviated MPC, the marginal propensity to consume is the slope of the consumption or propensity-to-consume line that forms the foundation for Keynesian economics. As such, it also takes center stage for the slope of the aggregate expenditure line and the multiplier effect. The sum of the marginal propensity to consume and the related concept, the marginal propensity to save, is equal to one.

     See also | consumption expenditures | disposable income | consumption line | Keynesian economics | multiplier | aggregate expenditures line | marginal propensity to save | marginal propensity to import | marginal propensity to invest |

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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 (MC) indicates how much total cost changes for a given change in the quantity of output. Because changes in total cost are matched by changes in total variable cost in the short run (total fixed cost is fixed), marginal cost is the change in either total cost or total variable cost. It is found by dividing the change in total cost (or total variable cost) by the change in output. Marginal cost is one of four cost concepts used in short-run production analysis. The other three are average total cost, average fixed cost, and average variable cost.

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