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November 17, 2019 

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LORENZ CURVE: In general, a diagram illustrating the degree of inequality and concentration for a group. This is accomplished by plotting the cumulative percentage of a total amount obtained by cumulative percentages of the group. A common use of the Lorenz curve is the distribution of income, in which the cumulative percentage of income is measured on the vertical axis and the cumulative percentage of the population is measured on the horizontal axis. Perfect equality is indicated by a 45-degree line (that is, 10% of the population has 10% of the income, 20% of the population has 20% of the income, etc.). The actual Lorenz curve inevitably lies below the 45-degree line. The extent that the Lorenz curve differs from the 45-degree line indicates the extent of inequality.

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PERFECT COMPETITION, PROFIT ANALYSIS: A perfectly competitive firm produces the profit-maximizing quantity of output that generates the highest level of profit. This profit approach is one of three methods that used to determine the profit-maximizing quantity of output. The other two methods involve a comparison of total revenue and total cost or a comparison of marginal revenue and marginal cost.

     See also | perfect competition, short-run production analysis | perfect competition, marginal analysis | perfect competition, total analysis | perfect competition, breakeven output | short-run production alternatives | perfect competition, profit maximization | perfect competition, loss minimization |


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DECREASING MARGINAL RETURNS

In the short-run production of a firm, an increase in the variable input results in a decrease in the marginal product of the variable input. Decreasing marginal returns typically surface after the first few quantities of a variable input are added to a fixed input. This is one of two types of marginal returns. The other is increasing marginal returns. A related phenomenon is diseconomies of scale associated with long-run production.

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