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September 21, 2017 

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ACCOUNTING COST: The actual outlays or expenses incurred in production that shows up a firm's accounting statements or records. Accounting costs, while very important to accountants, company CEOs, shareholders, and the Internal Revenue Service, is only minimally important to economists. The reason is that economists are primarily interested in economic cost (also called opportunity cost). That fact is that accounting costs and economic costs aren't always the same. An opportunity or economic cost is the value of foregone production. Some economic costs, actually a lot of economic opportunity costs, never show up as accounting costs. Moreover, some accounting costs, while legal, bonified payments by a firm, are not associated with any sort of opportunity cost.

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SCARCITY: A pervasive condition of human existence that exists because society has unlimited wants and needs, but limited resources used for their satisfaction. In other words, while we all want a bunch of stuff, we can't have everything that we want. In slightly different words, this scarcity problem means: (1) that there's never enough resources to produce everything that everyone would like produced; (2) that some people will have to do without some of the stuff that they want or need; (3) that doing one thing, producing one good, performing one activity, forces society to give up something else; and (4) that the same resources can not be used to produce two different goods at the same time. We live in a big, bad world of scarcity. This big, bad world of scarcity is what the study of economics is all about. That's why we usually subtitle scarcity: THE ECONOMIC PROBLEM.

     See also | first rule of scarcity | unlimited wants and needs | limited resources | satisfaction | resources | wants | needs | production | consumption | economics | opportunity cost | scarce resource |


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AUTONOMOUS CONSUMPTION

Household consumption expenditures that do not depend on income or production (especially disposable income, national income, or even gross domestic product). That is, changes in income do not generate changes in consumption. Autonomous consumption is best thought of as a baseline or minimum level of consumption that the household sector undertakes in the unlikely event that income falls to zero. It is measured by the intercept term of the consumption function or the consumption line. The alternative to autonomous consumption is induced consumption, which does depend on income.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time searching for a specialty store hoping to buy either a rotisserie oven that can also toast bread or a flower arrangement in a coffee cup for your father. Be on the lookout for the last item on a shelf.
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Ragnar Frisch and Jan Tinbergen were the 1st Nobel Prize winners in Economics in 1969.
"Man is born to live, not to prepare for life. "

-- Boris Pasternak, writer

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Marginal Physical Product
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