March 23, 2018 

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INCREASING MARGINAL RETURNS: In the short-run production of a firm, an increase in the variable input results in an increase in the marginal product of the variable input. Increasing marginal returns typically surface when the first few quantities of a variable input are added to a fixed input. Compare this with decreasing marginal returns. You should also compare this with economies of scale associated with long-run production.

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A curve that graphically illustrates the relation between average revenue product and the quantity of the variable input, holding all other inputs fixed. This curve indicates the per unit revenue at each level of the variable input. The average revenue product curve is one of two related curves often used in the analysis of factor demand. The other, and more important, is marginal revenue product curve.
The average revenue product curve indicates how average revenue product is related to the quantity of a variable input used in production. While the analysis of factor markets tends to focus on labor as the variable input, a average revenue product curve can be constructed for any input.

Average Revenue Product Curve
Average Revenue Product Curve
This diagram graphically represents the relation between average revenue product and the variable input. This particular curve is derived from the hourly production of Super Deluxe TexMex Gargantuan Tacos (with sour cream and jalapeno peppers) as Waldo's TexMex Taco World restaurant employs additional workers. The number of workers, measured on the horizontal axis, ranges from 0 to 10 and the average revenue product, measured on the vertical axis, ranges from $0 to $60.

The shape of this average revenue product curve is most important. For the first two workers of variable input, average revenue product increases. This is reflected in a positive slope of the average revenue product curve. After the third worker, average revenue product declines. This is seen as a negative slope. While average revenue product continues to decline, it never reaches zero nor becomes negative. To do so requires total revenue to become zero and negative, which just does not happen.

The hump-shape of the average revenue product curve is indirectly caused by increasing and decreasing marginal returns. The upward-sloping portion of the average revenue product curve, up to the second worker, is indirectly due to increasing marginal returns. The downward-sloping portion of the average revenue product curve, after the third worker, is indirectly due to decreasing marginal returns. and the law of diminishing marginal returns.


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AVERAGE REVENUE PRODUCT CURVE, AmosWEB Encyclonomic WEB*pedia,, AmosWEB LLC, 2000-2018. [Accessed: March 23, 2018].

Check Out These Related Terms...

     | average revenue product | average physical product | total physical product curve | marginal revenue product | marginal revenue product curve | marginal productivity theory | total physical product | marginal physical product |

Or For A Little Background...

     | factor market analysis | short-run production analysis | average product | average revenue | total product | total revenue | production function | law of diminishing marginal returns | production | production cost | marginal analysis | factors of production | marginal returns |

And For Further Study...

     | derived demand | average factor cost | average factor cost curve | mobility | monopsony | bilateral monopoly | factor demand | factor demand curve | factor demand elasticity |

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