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VARIABLE INPUT: An input whose quantity can be changed in the time period under consideration. This should be immediately compared and contrasted with fixed input. The most common example of a variable input is labor. A variable input provides the extra inputs that a firm needs to expand short-run production. In contrast, a fixed input, like capital, provides the capacity constraint in production. As larger quantities of a variable input, like labor, are added to a fixed input like capital, the variable input becomes less productive. This is, by the way, the law of diminishing marginal returns.

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OPEN MARKET OPERATIONS: The Federal Reserve System's buying and selling of government securities in an effort to alter bank reserves and subsequently the nation's money supply. These actions, under the direction of the Federal Open Market Committee, are the Fed's number one, most effective, most often used tool of monetary policy. If, for example, the Fed wants to increase the money supply (termed easy money) it buy's government securities. If the Fed chooses to reduce the money supply (called tight money) it sells some government securities.

     See also | Federal Reserve System | Federal Open Market Committee | money | money supply | open market | bank reserves | excess reserves | monetary policy | tight money | easy money | discount rate | reserve requirements | government securities | banking | money creation | federal funds rate |


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INELASTIC SUPPLY

The general elasticity relation in which relatively large changes in price cause relatively small changes in quantity supplied. Large changes in price cause relatively small changes in quantity supplied or the percentage change in quantity supplied is smaller than the percentage change in price. This characterization of elasticity is most important for the price elasticity of supply. Inelastic supply is one of two general elasticity relations for supply. The other is elastic supply.

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During the American Revolution, the price of corn rose 10,000 percent, the price of wheat 14,000 percent, the price of flour 15,000 percent, and the price of beef 33,000 percent.
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