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April 26, 2019 

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ADB: An abbreviation that stands for either the African Development Bank the Asian Development Bank. The African Development Bank is a regional multilateral development institution engaged in promoting the economic development and social progress of its member countries in Africa. The Bank, established in 1964, started functioning in 1966 with its Headquarters in Abidjan, Cote d' lvoire. The Bank borrows funds from the international money and capital markets. Its shareholders are the 53 countries in Africa as well as 24 countries in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. The Asian Development Bank is a multilateral development finance institution dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific that engages in mostly public sector lending for development purposes in its developing member countries. They pursue this goal by helping to improve the quality of people's lives providing loans and technical assistance for a broad range of development activities. ADB raises fund through bond issues on the world's capital markets but they also rely on members' contributions. The ADB was established in 1966 and has its headquarters in Manila, Philippines. As of September of 2003, the ADB had 58 member countries.

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BREAKEVEN OUTPUT:

The quantity of output in which the total revenue is equal to total cost such that a firm earns exactly a normal profit, but no economic profit. Breakeven output can be identified by the intersection of the total revenue and total cost curves, or by the intersection of the average total cost and average revenue curves. The most straightforward way of noting breakeven output, however, is with the profit curve. For a perfectly competitive firm breakeven output occurs where price is equal to average total cost.
Breakeven Output
Profit Curve
Profit Curve
Total Curves
Total Curves
Average Curves
Average Curves
Breakeven output is a production level that achieves zero economic profit. In other words, a firm is just "breaking even." The total revenue received by a firm at the breakeven output just matches the total cost incurred. However, because total cost includes a normal profit, only economic profit is zero. A firm generally reports a positive accounting profit at the breakeven level of production.

Breakeven output can be identified in one of three ways. This exhibit illustrates how breakeven output can be identified for a perfectly competitive firm, such as that operated by Phil the zucchini growing gardener. Phil sells zucchinis in a market with gadzillions of other zucchini growers and thus faces a going market price of $4 for each pound of zucchinis sold.

Comparable to any firm, whether perfectly competitive or one with greater market control, Phil encounters a breakeven output level if total revenue is equal to total cost, average revenue is equal to average total cost, and profit is zero.

In all three panels, Phil achieves breakeven output when producing about 3.5 pounds of zucchinis and when producing just over 9 pounds of zucchinis.

The top panel presents the profit curve. The middle panel presents total revenue and total cost curves. The bottom panel presents average revenue and average total cost curves.

  • Profit: First, breakeven output can be illustrated with a direct evaluation of profit. If profit is zero, then breakeven output is achieved. In the top panel, the profit curve intersects the horizontal axis, meaning economic profit is zero, at these two output levels. At other output levels profit is either positive or negative.

  • Total Revenue and Total Cost: Second, breakeven output can be identified by a comparison of total revenue and total cost. If the two are equal, then profit is zero and breakeven output is achieved. In the middle panel, the total revenue and total cost curves intersect at both production levels. At relatively low or relatively high output levels, the total cost curve is above the total revenue curve and economic profit is negative. At output levels in the middle of the chart, economic profit is positive as the total revenue curve lies above the total cost curve.

  • Price and Average Cost: Third, breakeven output can be identified by a comparison of price (which is average revenue for a perfectly competitive firm) and average total cost. If per unit revenue is equal to per unit cost, then per unit profit is zero, overall profit is zero, and breakeven output is achieved. In the bottom panel, the average revenue and average total cost curves also intersect at both breakeven output levels. At relatively low or relatively high output levels, the average total cost curve is above the average revenue curve and economic profit is negative. At output levels in the middle of the graph, economic profit is positive as the average revenue curve lies above the average total cost curve.
While this discussion has been presented for a perfectly competitive firm, the story is essentially the same for firms operating in other market structures. The only difference is the shape and slope of the total revenue and average revenue curves. A monopoly, for example, faces a negatively-sloped demand curve. As such, the total revenue curve in the middle panel is a "hump-shaped" curve rather than a straight line and the average revenue curve in the bottom panel is negatively sloped.

However, the breakeven points are identified in the same manner. They occur at the intersections of the total revenue and total cost curves and the intersections of the average revenue and average total cost curves.

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Recommended Citation:

BREAKEVEN OUTPUT, AmosWEB Encyclonomic WEB*pedia, http://www.AmosWEB.com, AmosWEB LLC, 2000-2019. [Accessed: April 26, 2019].


Check Out These Related Terms...

     | perfect competition, profit maximization | perfect competition, loss minimization | perfect competition, short-run supply curve | short-run production alternatives |


Or For A Little Background...

     | total revenue curve | total cost curve | profit | average total cost curve | average revenue curve | profit curve | economic profit | perfect competition | perfect competition, characteristics | production | U-shaped cost curves | profit maximization | normal profit | accounting profit |


And For Further Study...

     | perfect competition, demand | long run industry supply curve | perfect competition, short-run production analysis | perfect competition, long-run production analysis | perfect competition, efficiency | perfect competition, total analysis | perfect competition, marginal analysis | perfect competition, profit analysis |


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