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January 20, 2018 

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MARGINAL-COST PRICING: A pricing scheme in which the price received by a firm is set equal to the marginal cost of production. This is not only the efficient outcome achieved by competitive markets, it is commonly used for comparison of other regulatory policies, such as average-cost pricing, that are used for public utilities (especially those that are natural monopolies). The bad thing about marginal-cost pricing for natural monopolies is that a normal profit is not guaranteed. The good thing about marginal-cost pricing is that marginal cost is equal to price, and the public utility is operating according to the price equals marginal cost (P = MC) rule of efficiency.

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SALES MAXIMIZATION: The notion that business firms (especially those operating in the real world) are primarily motivated by the desire to achieve the greatest possible level of sales, rather than profit maximization. On a day-to-day basis, most real world firms probably do try to maximize sales rather than profit. For firms operating in relatively competitive markets, facing relative fixed prices, and relatively constant average cost, then increasing sales is bound to increase profits, too. Moreover, according to the notion of natural selection, even firms that seek to maximize sales, those that also maximize profit will remain in business.

     See also | firm objectives | profit maximization | utility maximization | natural selection |


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PERFECTLY ELASTIC

An elasticity alternative in which infinitesimally small changes in one variable (usually price) cause infinitely large changes in another variable (usually quantity). Quantity is infinitely responsive to price. Any change in price, no matter how small, triggers an infinite change in quantity. This characterization of elasticity is most important for the price elasticity of demand and the price elasticity of supply. Perfectly elastic is one of five elasticity alternatives. The other four are perfectly inelastic, relatively elastic, relatively inelastic, and unit elastic.

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