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RETURNS TO SCALE: Changes in production the occurs when all resources are proportionately increased in the long run. Returns to scale answers the question: If labor, capital, and ALL other inputs increase by 10%, does output increase by more than 10%, less than 10%, or exactly 10%? These answers indicate that returns to scale can take one of three forms: increasing returns to scale, decreasing returns to scale, and constant returns to scale.

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SUBSTITUTION EFFECT: One of two reasons for law of demand and the negative slope of the market demand curve (the other is the income effect). The substitution effect occurs because a change in the price of a good makes it relatively higher or lower than the prices of other goods that might act as substitutes. A higher price means that a good is more expensive relative to other goods, while a lower price means it's less expensive.

     See also | demand | demand curve | law of demand | slope | quantity demanded | income effect | demand price | substitute |


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MARGINAL COST AND LAW OF DIMINISHING MARGINAL RETURNS

Decreasing then increasing marginal cost, reflected by a U-shaped marginal cost curve, is the result of increasing then decreasing marginal returns. In particular the decreasing marginal returns is caused by the law of diminishing marginal returns. As such, the law of diminishing marginal returns affects not only the short-run production of a firm but also the cost of short-run production. This translates into a positively-sloped supply curve for profit-maximizing competitive firms.

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