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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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THIRD ESTATE: In past centuries, this included the peasants, serfs, or slaves who performed the dirty deeds for the ruling elite. In modern times, this is the workers, taxpayers, and consumers who have limited ownership of and control over resources usually nothing more than their own labor. The third estate, which forms the backbone of any modern economy, is usually at odds with the business leaders of the second estate. Help may come from the government leaders of the first estate or the journalist of the fourth estate--but don't count on it.

     See also | consumers | labor | second estate | third estate | fourth estate |


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DETERMINANT

This has one of two somewhat related meanings. First, it refers to a ceteris paribus factor that is held constant when a curve or graphical relation between two other variables is constructed. Second, it refers to a known directional change in a variable resulting from the disruption of an equilibrium that is identified using comparative statics.

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The portion of aggregate output U.S. citizens pay in taxes (30%) is less than the other six leading industrialized nations -- Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, or Japan.
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