March 23, 2018 

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TRADE BARRIER: A restriction, invariably by government, that prevents free trade among countries. The more popular trade restrictions are tariffs, import quotas, and assorted nontariff barriers. An occasional embargo will be even thrown into this mix. The primary use of trade barriers is to restrict imports from entering in country. By restring imports, domestic producers of the restricted goods are protected from competition and are even subsidized through higher prices. Consumers, though, get the short end of this stick with higher prices and a limited choice of goods. In that producers tend to have more political clout than consumers, it's pretty obvious why trade barriers are a "natural" state of affairs.

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TOTAL COST CURVE: A curve that graphically represents the relation between total cost incurred by a firm in the short-run production of a good or service and the quantity produced. The total cost curve is a cornerstone upon which the analysis of a firm's short-run production is built. It combines all of a firm's opportunity costs into a single curve, which can then be used with the firm's total revenue curve to determine profit.

     See also | total cost | curve | short-run production | quantity | opportunity cost | total revenue | economic profit | total variable cost | total fixed cost | marginal cost | total cost and marginal cost | technology | resource prices |

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The branch of economics that studies the entire economy, especially such topics as aggregate production, unemployment, inflation, and business cycles. It can be thought of as the study of the economic forest, as compared to microeconomics, which is study of the economic trees.

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