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AFC: The abbreviation for average fixed cost, which is fixed cost per unit of output, found by dividing total fixed cost by the quantity of output. Average fixed cost is one of three related cost averages. The other two are average variable cost and avarage total cost. Average fixed cost decreases with larger quantities of output. Because fixed cost is FIXED and does not change with the quantity of output, a given cost is spread more thinly per unit as quantity increases. A thousand dollars of fixed cost averages out to $10 per unit if only 100 units are produced. But if 10,000 units are produced, then the average shrinks to a mere 10 cents per unit.

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VARIABLES:

Quantities, usually represented as symbols, that can take on one of a set of values. A variable is "variable" because its value can "vary." A primary goal of economic analysis is to determine the specific value that a variable takes on under specific circumstances.
Variables are allowed to vary, to take on different values. Models combine variables in a systematic manner (based on the underlying theory). The basic purpose of a model is then to identify different, specific values for the variables.

For example, the two key variables in a market model are price and quantity. Analysis of the market model then identifies specific values for price and quantity.

Endogenous and Exogenous

In the analysis of a model, variables generally take one of two forms -- endogenous (or dependent) and exogenous (or independent).
  • Endogenous: The values of endogenous or dependent variables are identified within the workings of the model. For example, price and quantity are endogenous variables for the market model. Endogenous variables are, in essence, the "output" of the model. Their identification is what the model is all about.

  • Exogenous: The values of exogenous or independent variables are established outside the workings of the model. For example, income or the cost of a productive resource are common exogenous variables for the market model. Exogenous variables are the "input" of the model. They are pre-determined or "given" to the model.

Interaction

The interaction among endogenous and exogenous variables is key to the analysis of a model. Endogenous variables in a model are identified based on the pre-determined values of exogenous variables. Should these exogenous variables take on different values, then the endogenous variables also generally take on different values.

For example, endogenous price and quantity variables identified in a market model are, in part, based on the exogenous variable--the income of the buyers. Should buyers have more or less income, then their demand is likely to change and so too are price and quantity.

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Recommended Citation:

VARIABLES, AmosWEB Encyclonomic WEB*pedia, http://www.AmosWEB.com, AmosWEB LLC, 2000-2019. [Accessed: August 17, 2019].


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