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May 27, 2024 

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LAW OF DIMINISHING MARGINAL RETURNS: A principle stating that as more and more of a variable input is combined with a fixed input in short-run production, the marginal product of the variable input eventually declines. This is THE economic principle underlying the analysis of short-run production for a firm. Among a host of other things, it offers an explanation for the upward-sloping market supply curve. How does the law of diminishing marginal returns help us understand supply? The law of supply and the upward-sloping supply curve indicate that a firm needs to receive higher prices to produce and sell larger quantities. Why do they need higher prices?

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PERFECT COMPETITION: An ideal market structure characterized by a large number of small firms, identical products sold by all firms, freedom of entry into and exit out of the industry, and perfect knowledge of prices and technology. This is one of four basic market structures. The other three are monopoly, oligopoly, and monopolistic competition. Perfect competition is an idealized market structure that's not observed in the real world. While unrealistic, it does provide an excellent benchmark that can be used to analyze real world market structures. In particular, perfect competition efficiently allocates resources.

     See also | market structure | firm | monopoly | oligopoly | monopolistic competition | perfect competition and demand | perfect competition and efficiency | perfect competition characteristics | perfect competition and short-run supply curve | monopoly and perfect competition |


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MARGINAL REVENUE CURVE, MONOPOLY

A curve that graphically represents the relation between the marginal revenue received by a monopoly for selling its output and the quantity of output sold. Because a monopoly is a price maker and faces a negatively-sloped demand curve, its marginal revenue curve is also negatively sloped and lies below its average revenue (and demand) curve. A monopoly maximizes profit by producing the quantity of output found at the intersection of the marginal revenue curve and marginal cost curve.

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