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LAW OF DIMINISHING MARGINAL RETURNS: A principle stating that as more and more of a variable input is combined with a fixed input in short-run production, the marginal product of the variable input eventually declines. This is THE economic principle underlying the analysis of short-run production for a firm. Among a host of other things, it offers an explanation for the upward-sloping market supply curve. How does the law of diminishing marginal returns help us understand supply? The law of supply and the upward-sloping supply curve indicate that a firm needs to receive higher prices to produce and sell larger quantities. Why do they need higher prices?

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Lesson Contents
Unit 1: Basic Flow
  • Overview
  • Four Sectors
  • Three Markets
  • The Physical Flow
  • The Payment Flow
  • Unit 1 Summary
  • Unit 2: Financial Markets
  • The Paper Economy
  • Saving
  • Investment
  • Unit 2 Summary
  • Unit 3: Government
  • What It Does
  • Taxes
  • Government Purchases
  • Government Borrowing
  • Unit 3 Summary
  • Unit 4: Foreign
  • Foreign Trade
  • Exports and Imports
  • Unit 4 Summary
  • Unit 5: Real World
  • Expenditures
  • Production And Income
  • Investment
  • Government Spending
  • Saving
  • Unit 5 Summary
  • Course Home
    Circular Flow

    This lesson introduces the circular flow model of the macroeconomy. The circular flow is a simple model based on the buying and selling relation between the household and business sectors which occurs through the product and factor markets. As a bonus, we complicate the simply circular flow model, by including the government and foreign sectors, and the financial markets. This lesson introduces several important macroeconomic concept, but more importantly, provides a useful model for interpreting macroeconomic activity.

    • In the first unit, we get an introduction to the simplest circular flow model that includes the household and business sectors and the product and factor markets.
    • The second unit builds on the simple model by introducing the financial markets, which highlights the importance of household saving and business investment.
    • The circular flow is expanding further in the third unit, with the introduction of the government sector, which highlights how taxes are diverted away from the household sector.
    • The fourth unit adds one more sector to the circular flow model, the foreign sector, which illustrates the roles played exports and imports.
    • The fifth unit wraps up this lesson by showing how several key measures of production and income revealed in the analysis of gross domestic production related to the circular flow.

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    NATIONAL INCOME AND NET DOMESTIC PRODUCT

    National income (NI) is the total income earned by the citizens of the national economy resulting from their ownership of resources used in the production of final goods and services during a given period of time, usually one year. Net domestic product (NDP) is the total market value of all final goods and services produced within the political boundaries of an economy during a given period of time, usually a year, after adjusting for the depreciation of capital. Although national income is generated by the production of net domestic product, the value of production does not entirely result in earned income. In other words, national income can be derived from net domestic product after a few adjustments.

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    ORANGE REBELOON
    [What's This?]

    Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time waiting for visits from door-to-door solicitors looking to buy either a turbo-powered vacuum cleaner or a battery-powered, rechargeable vacuum cleaner. Be on the lookout for the happiest person in the room.
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    It's estimated that the U.S. economy has about $20 million of counterfeit currency in circulation, less than 0.001 perecent of the total legal currency.
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    -- Winston Churchill, Statesman

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