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MARGINAL FACTOR COST AND AVERAGE FACTOR COST: The relation between marginal factor cost and average factor cost is comparable to other average-marginal relations found in the study of economics. For a firm that hires factors in a perfectly competitive factor market, marginal factor cost and average factor cost are equal, and equal to the factor market price. All three are represented by a horizontal, or perfectly elastic, curve equal to the factor market price. For a firm that hires factors in an imperfectly competitive factor market, especially monopsony, marginal factor cost is greater than both average factor cost and the factor market price.

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PRIVATE SECTOR: A short-cut term that combines the households and businesses in the economy into a single group. This term should be contrasted directly with public sector, which is a comparable short-cut term for government. The distinction between private sector and public sector reflects the two basic methods of answering the three questions of allocation--markets and government. Markets make use of private ownership and control of resources (hence the term "private" sector) for voluntary allocation decisions.

     See also | household sector | business sector | public sector | government sector | three questions of allocation | ownership and control | liberal | conservative | government functions | market failure | fifth rule of imperfection | public choice | normative economics |


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ENERGY PRICES, AGGREGATE SUPPLY DETERMINANT

One of several specific aggregate supply determinants assumed constant when the aggregate supply curve is constructed, and that shifts the aggregate supply curve when it changes. An increase in the energy prices causes a decrease (leftward shift) of the aggregate supply curve. A decrease in the energy prices causes an increase (rightward shift) of the aggregate supply curve. Other notable aggregate supply determinants include technology, wages, and the capital stock. Energy prices fall under the resource price aggregate supply determinant.

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