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December 9, 2019 

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PERFECT COMPETITION, LONG-RUN PRODUCTION ANALYSIS: In the long run, a perfectly competitive firm adjusts plant size, or the quantity of capital, to maximize long-run profit. In addition, the entry and exit of firms into and out of a perfectly competitive market guarantees that each perfectly competitive firm earns nothing more or less than a normal profit. As a perfectly competitive industry reacts to changes in demand, it traces out positive, negative, or horizontal long-run supply curve due to increasing, decreasing, or constant cost.

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SWITCHING POINT: The price/time at which the economy switches from the use of one (usually finite) natural resource to a substitute resource. The switching point is reached because increases in scarcity rent and marginal extraction cost cause a gradual depletion of a finite natural resource. As the price rises, buyers search for less expensive substitutes. Eventually the price of a finite resource is equal to the price of a substitute resource. This is the switching point. For example, we are not likely to awaken one day to discover the world's oil supply is gone. Before such time occurs, we will have switched to substitute products like oil shale, gasohol, geothermal, or solar.

     See also | price | natural resources | scarcity rent | backstop resource | materials balance | recycling |


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LAW OF COMPARATIVE ADVANTAGE

A principle that states that every nation, worker, or production entity has a production activity that incurs a lower opportunity cost than that of another nation, worker, or production entity, which means that trade between the two can be beneficial to both if each specializes in the production of a good with lower relative opportunity cost. This law is most often studied in the confines of international trade, but it also applies to labor and other types of production.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time looking for the new strip mall out on the highway trying to buy either a birthday greeting card for your father or a T-shirt commemorating the first day of spring. Be on the lookout for poorly written technical manuals.
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