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PPF: The abbreviation for production possibilities frontier, which is a curve that illustrates the production possibilities for the economy. A production possibilities frontier represents the boundary or frontier of the economy's production capabilities. That's why it's termed a production possibilities frontier (or PPF). As a frontier, it is the maximum production possible given existing (fixed) resources and technology. Producing on the curve means resources are fully employed, while producing inside the curve means resources are unemployed. The law of increasing opportunity cost is what gives the curve its distinctive convex shape.

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PRICE LEVEL: The average of the prices of goods and services produced in the aggregate economy. In a theoretical sense, the price level is the price of aggregate production. In a practical sense, the price level is measured by either of two price indexes, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) or the GDP price deflator. The CPI is the price index widely publicized in the media and used by the general public. The GDP price deflator, in contrast, is less well-known, but is usually the price index of choice among economists. The inflation rate is calculated as the percentage change in the price level.

     See also | inflation | aggregate market | Consumer Price Index | GDP price deflator | unemployment | real production | Keynesian economics |


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TOTAL PRODUCT CURVE

A curve that graphically represents the relation between total production by a firm in the short run and the quantity of a variable input added to a fixed input. When constructing this curve, it is assumed that total product changes from changes in the quantity of a variable input (like labor), while other inputs (like capital) are fixed. This is one of three key product curves used in the analysis of short-run production. The other two are marginal product curve and average product curve.

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