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INPUT: The resources or factors of production used in the production of a firm's output. This term is most frequently associated with the analysis of short-run production, and is often modified by the terms fixed and variable, as in fixed input and variable input. In the short run, the quantity of a fixed input can not be changed, meaning it can not be used to expand output. In contrast, a variable input can be changed, making it THE means of expanding output in the short run.

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Lesson Contents
Unit 1: Intro
  • Definition
  • A Few Examples
  • Market Control
  • Competition
  • Unit 1 Summary
  • Unit 2: Four Types
  • A Continuum
  • Perfect Competition
  • Monopoly
  • Monopolistic Competition
  • Oligopoly
  • Other Structurres
  • Unit 2 Summary
  • Unit 3: Getting Control
  • Profit Motivation
  • Entry Barriers
  • Product Differentiation
  • Unit 3 Summary
  • Unit 4: Using Control
  • Takes And Makers
  • Demand Curves
  • Practices
  • Unit 4 Summary
  • Unit 5: Government
  • Efficiency
  • Regulation
  • Unit 5 Summary
  • Course Home
    Market Structures

    Our investigation into market structures lays the foundation for a closer examination of monopoly, monopolistic competition, and oligopoly. This lesson takes a look at how markets are structured based on their competitiveness, the degree of market control held by firms, the acquisition of this market control, and the use market control.

    • The first unit of this lesson, Competition And Control, begins this lesson with a look at competition and market control.
    • In the second unit, Four Types, we examine the four basic types of market structures -- perfect competition, monopoly, monopolistic competition, and oligopoly.
    • The third unit, Getting Control, then looks at two key ways that firms are able to acquire or increase their market control -- product differentiation and entry barriers.
    • In the fourth unit, Using Control, we investigate what firms do when they have market control.
    • The fifth and final unit, Government, then closes this lesson by considering the role government plays in regulating market control.

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    SHORT RUN, MICROECONOMICS

    In terms of the microeconomic analysis of production and supply, a period of time in which at least one input under the control of a firm used in the production process is variable and at least one input is fixed. In the short run, the variable input is usually labor and the fixed input is capital. The short-run analysis of production reveals the law of diminishing marginal returns and provides an understanding of the upward-sloping supply curve and the law of supply. This is one of four production time periods used in the study of microeconomics. The other three are long run, very long run, and very short run (or market period). The short run is also a time period designation used in the macroeconomic analysis of business cycles.

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    The portion of aggregate output U.S. citizens pay in taxes (30%) is less than the other six leading industrialized nations -- Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, or Japan.
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