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AFC: The abbreviation for average fixed cost, which is fixed cost per unit of output, found by dividing total fixed cost by the quantity of output. Average fixed cost is one of three related cost averages. The other two are average variable cost and avarage total cost. Average fixed cost decreases with larger quantities of output. Because fixed cost is FIXED and does not change with the quantity of output, a given cost is spread more thinly per unit as quantity increases. A thousand dollars of fixed cost averages out to $10 per unit if only 100 units are produced. But if 10,000 units are produced, then the average shrinks to a mere 10 cents per unit.

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MONOPOLISTIC COMPETITION: A market structure characterized by a large number of small firms, similar but not identical products sold by all firms, relative freedom of entry into and exit out of the industry, and extensive knowledge of prices and technology. This is one of four basic market structures. The other three are perfect competition, monopoly, and oligopoly. Monopolistic competition approximates most of the characteristics of perfect competition, but falls short of reaching the ideal benchmark that is perfect competition. In fact, the best way to think of monopolistic competition is our imperfect real world's best approximation of perfect competition. It aspires to perfect competition, but doesn't quite make it.

     See also | market structure | perfect competition | oligopoly | monopoly | market control | price maker | marginal cost | demand curve | market failure | monopolistic competition characteristics | monopolistic competition and demand | monopolistic competition and efficiency | inefficiency | product differentiation | competition among the many |


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AGGREGATE DEMAND

The total real expenditures on final goods and services produced in the domestic economy that buyers are willing and able to undertake at different price levels, during a given time period (usually a year). Aggregate demand, usually abbreviated AD, is an inverse relation between price level and aggregate expenditures. This is one half of the AS-AD (aggregate market) analysis. The other half is aggregate supply. Aggregate demand consists of four aggregate expenditures--consumption expenditures, investment expenditures, government purchases, and net exports--made by the four macroeconomic sectors--household, business, government, and foreign.

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