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January 22, 2018 

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LONG-RUN ADJUSTMENT: The combined adjustment of an industry and of each firm in the industry to an equilibrium condition that based on (1) profit maximization when all inputs are variable and (2) the entry and exit of firms. The complete adjustment is undertaken by both perfect competition and monopolistic competition. There are two parts of this adjustment process. One is the adjustment of each firm to the appropriate factory size that maximizes long-run profit. The other is the entry of firms into the industry or exit of firms out of the industry, to eliminated economic profits or economic losses. The end result of this long-run adjustment is different for the two market structures based on the fact that perfect competition has equality between price and marginal revenue, while monopolistic competition does not.

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PERFECT COMPETITION, LOSS MINIMIZATION: A perfectly competitive firm is presumed to produce the quantity of output that minimizes economic losses, if price is greater than average variable cost but less than average total cost. This is one of three short-run production alternatives facing a firm. The other two are profit maximization (if price exceeds average total cost) and shutdown (if price is less than average variable cost).

     See also | perfect competition, profit maximization | perfect competition, shutdown | perfect competition, short-run supply curve | short-run production alternatives | breakeven output |


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MARGINAL PRODUCT CURVE

A curve that graphically illustrates the relation between marginal product and the quantity of the variable input, holding all other inputs fixed. This curve indicates the incremental change in output at each level of a variable input. The marginal product curve is one of three related curves used in the analysis of the short-run production of a firm. The other two are total product curve and average product curve. The marginal product curve plays in key role in the economic analysis of short-run production by a firm.

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