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MARGINAL COST AND MARGINAL PRODUCT: Because variable cost is largely associated with the cost of employing a variable input in the short run, it's possible to identify a connection between the marginal cost curve and the marginal product curve. In particular, the quantity of output in which marginal cost is at a minimum, is the same quantity of output produced by the variable input when the marginal product of the variable input is at a maximum. In addition, over the range of production in which the variable input experiences increasing marginal returns and marginal product increases, the marginal cost curve declines. And over the range of production in which the variable input experiences decreasing marginal returns brought on by the law of diminishing marginal returns and marginal product increases, the marginal cost curve is rising.

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PRODUCTION POSSIBILITIES: The alternative combinations of goods produced if the economy fully uses all available resources. Production possibilities of an economy are limited because resources used to produce goods and services are limited. The basic presentation of production possibilities often takes the form of a production possibilities schedule, which is a table of numbers illustrating a discrete number of production bundles. A slightly more advanced presentation is through a production possibilities curve (or frontier), which is a graph of the alternative production bundles.

     See also | production | economy | resources | production possibilities curve | production possibilities frontier | production possibilities schedule |


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AGGREGATE DEMAND

The total real expenditures on final goods and services produced in the domestic economy that buyers are willing and able to undertake at different price levels, during a given time period (usually a year). Aggregate demand, usually abbreviated AD, is an inverse relation between price level and aggregate expenditures. This is one half of the AS-AD (aggregate market) analysis. The other half is aggregate supply. Aggregate demand consists of four aggregate expenditures--consumption expenditures, investment expenditures, government purchases, and net exports--made by the four macroeconomic sectors--household, business, government, and foreign.

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