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RISK: The possibility of gain or loss. Risk the calculated probability of different events happening, is usually contrasted with uncertainty the possibility that any number of things could happen. For example, uncertainty is the possibility that you could win or lose $100 on the flip of a coin. You don't know which will happen, it could go either way. Risk, in contrast, is the 50 percent chance of winning $100 and the 50 percent chance of losing $100 on the flip of the coin. You know (or think you know) that your probability of winning or losing is 50 percent because the coin has a 50 percent chance of coming up either heads or tails.

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PRODUCTION COST: The opportunity cost of using labor, capital, land, and entrepreneurship in the production of goods and services. Production cost is important to supply. The price received by a seller must be great enough to cover production cost. Note that production cost includes what you probably think of as the traditional "cost of doing business," but it includes other less obvious costs, as well. While labor, capital, and land typically involve an explicit cost--an actual money payment--the cost of entrepreneurship is often an implicit cost. In particular, the cost of entrepreneurship is termed normal profit.

     See also | opportunity cost | labor | capital | land | entrepreneurship | production | good | service | supply | resource prices | wage | interest | rent | profit | aggregate supply | short-run aggregate supply |


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AVERAGE TOTAL COST

Total cost per unit of output, found by dividing total cost by the quantity of output. When compared with price (per unit revenue), average total cost (ATC) indicates the per unit profitability of a profit-maximizing firm. Average total cost is one of three average cost concepts important to short-run production analysis. The other two are average fixed cost and average variable cost. A related concept is marginal cost.

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