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AGGREGATE EXPENDITURE DETERMINANT: A ceteris paribus factor that affects aggregate expenditures, but which is assumed constant when the aggregate expenditure line is constructed. Changes in any of the aggregate expenditures determinants cause the aggregate expenditure line to shift. While a wide variety of specific ceteris paribus factors can cause the aggregate expenditure line to shift, it's usually most convenient to group them into the four, broad expenditure categories -- consumption, investment, government purchases, and net exports. The reason is that changes in these expenditures are the direct cause of shifts in the aggregate expenditure line. If any determinant affects aggregate expenditures it MUST affect one of these four expenditures.

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Lesson Contents
Unit 1: The Basics
  • Opportunity Cost
  • Cost Times Two
  • Profit Times Three
  • Unit 1 Summary
  • Unit 2: Three Totals
  • Fixed And Variable
  • A Table Of Totals
  • Total Curves
  • TP And TVC
  • Unit 2 Summary
  • Unit 3: Four More Measures
  • Three Averages
  • A Table Of Averages
  • Average Curves
  • One Marginal
  • A Marginal Table
  • The Marginal Curve
  • Unit 3 Summary
  • Unit 4: Long-Run Cost
  • Doing The Long Run
  • A Choice Of Plants
  • Planning Curve
  • Scale Economies
  • Unit 4 Summary
  • Unit 5: Previewing Supply
  • Production Stages
  • Marginal Cost
  • Unit 5 Summary
  • Course Home
    Cost

    • The first unit of this lesson, The Basics, begins this our study with a review of the opportunity cost notion and how it relates to business activity.
    • In the second unit, Three Totals, we take a look at the three total cost measures, including total cost, total variable cost, and total fixed cost.
    • The third unit, Four More Measures, then presents four additional cost measures -- average total cost, average variable cost, average fixed cost, and marginal cost.
    • In the fourth unit, Long-Run Cost, we examine how scale economies and diseconomies affect cost in the long run.
    • The fifth and final unit, Previewing Supply, then closes this lesson by previewing the importance of cost, especially marginal cost, to the supply decision by a firm.

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    LAISSEZ FAIRE

    The notion that government should not intervene into production, consumption, and exchange activities and that the private sector (households and businesses) should be free to make allocation decisions. Laissez faire is a French term that roughly translates into "allow to act." It has been the rallying cry for many people (primarily business leaders) who oppose government intervention, regulation, or even taxation since it was popularized in the late 1700s by Adam Smith in The Wealth of Nations.

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    Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time browsing through a long list of dot com websites wanting to buy either a really, really exciting, action-filled video game or a coffee cup commemorating the moon landing. Be on the lookout for rusty deck screws.
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    A scripophilist is one who collects rare stock and bond certificates, usually from extinct companies.
    "Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness."

    -- Martin Luther King, Jr., clergyman

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