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March 21, 2019 

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LOSS MINIMIZATION RULE: A rule stating that firm minimizes economic loss by producing output in the short run that equates marginal revenue and marginal cost if price is less than average total cost but greater than average variable cost. In the short run, a firm incurs total fixed cost whether or not it produces any output. As such, if the market price is falls below average total cost, it must decide if the economic loss from producing the quantity of output that equates marginal revenue and marginal cost is more or less than the economic loss incurred with shutting down production in the short run (which is equal to total fixed cost).

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PUBLIC GOOD: A good that's difficult to keep nonpayers from consuming (excludability), and use of the good by one person doesn't prevent use by others (rival consumption). Examples include national defense, a clean environment, and any fourth of July fireworks display. Public goods are invariably provided by government because there's no way a private business can profitably produce them. Private businesses can't sell public goods in markets, because they can't charge a price and keep nonpaying people away. Moreover, businesses shouldn't charge a price, because there's no opportunity cost for extra consumers. For efficiency, government needs to pay for public goods through taxes.

     See also | good types | excludability | rival consumption | efficiency | market | exchange | market failure | common-property good | near-public good | private good | free-rider problem |


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SOCIAL SCIENCE

The scientific study of society--of human behavior and of social interactions. Economics is one of several social sciences. Others are sociology, political science, and anthropology. Economics is considered a social science because it seeks to explain how society deals with the scarcity problem.

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APLS

WHITE GULLIBON
[What's This?]

Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time going from convenience store to convenience store trying to buy either a set of tires or a birthday gift for your grandfather. Be on the lookout for telephone calls from former employers.
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This isn't me! What am I?

Woodrow Wilson's portrait adorned the $100,000 bill that was removed from circulation in 1929. Woodrow Wilson was removed from circulation in 1924.
"When the solution is simple, God is answering."

-- Albert Einstein

JEH
Journal of Economic History
A PEDestrian's Guide
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