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April 21, 2018 

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PERFECT COMPETITION, LOSS MINIMIZATION: A perfectly competitive firm is presumed to produce the quantity of output that minimizes economic losses, if price is greater than average variable cost but less than average total cost. This is one of three short-run production alternatives facing a firm. The other two are profit maximization (if price exceeds average total cost) and shutdown (if price is less than average variable cost).

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UTILITY MEASUREMENT: A quantification of the satisfaction of wants and needs achieved through the consumption of goods and services. In principle, utility measurement can take one of two forms: (1) cardinal, which is based on numerical values (1, 2, 3, etc.) and (2) ordinal which is based on rankings (first, second, third, etc.). While the hypothetical instructional analysis of utility relies on cardinal utility, ordinal utility is a more realistic way to measure satisfaction.

     See also | util | cardinal utility | ordinal utility | utility | consumer demand theory | utility analysis | total utility | marginal utility | satisfaction | market demand | third rule of subjectivity | utilitarianism | marginal utility-price ratio | utility maximization | constrained utility maximization | consumer equilibrium | rule of consumer equilibrium | marginal utility and demand | marginal utility-price ratio | law of diminishing marginal utility | income change, utility analysis | price change, utility analysis | preferences change, utility analysis |


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MARGINAL FACTOR COST CURVE, PERFECT COMPETITION

A curve that graphically represents the relation between marginal factor cost incurred by a perfectly competitive firm for hiring an input and the quantity of input employed. A profit-maximizing perfectly competitive firm hires the quantity of input found at the intersection of the marginal factor cost curve and marginal revenue product curve. The marginal factor cost curve for a perfectly competitive firm with no market control is horizontal.

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