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HOTELLING'S RULE: The notion that efficiency and competitive market forces will lead to an increase of scarcity rent of a finite, exhaustible resource that is equal to the interest rate. The logic behind Hotelling's Rule is that as a finite fossil fuel is depleted, less is available in the future, causing scarcity rent, and thus the resource price, to increase. An increase in the resource price reduces the quantity demanded and conserves more for future consumption. When finite, exhaustible resource markets are competitive, this process generates an efficient allocation over time.

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Lesson Contents
Unit 1: The Method
  • Overview
  • Components
  • A Process
  • Unit 1 Summary
  • Unit 2: Theory
  • Concept
  • Abstraction
  • Economic Theories
  • Unit 2 Summary
  • Unit 3: Verification
  • Overview & Data
  • Evaluation
  • Evaluation:Don't Agree
  • Unit 3 Summary
  • Unit 4: Science and Practice
  • Set Up
  • Theory
  • Verification
  • Unit 4 Summary
  • Unit 5: Cause and Effect
  • Purpose
  • An Example
  • Analysis
  • Unit 5 Summary
  • Course Home
    Economic Science

    In this lesson you'll see why and how the scientific method is a process of discovery. You'll see that it's a process of building theories to explain the workings of the world (the economy) by proposing then testing hypotheses. The five units making up this lesson will guide you through the basics of the scientific method and how it's used in the study of economics.

    • The first unit, The Method, introduces the scientific method, especially its' four key components -- theories, principles, hypothesis, and data.
    • The second unit, Theory, then takes a closer look at theories, including the central role played by abstraction.
    • In the third unit, Verification, we focus on the process of verification -- how and why hypothesized relationships about the workings of the economy are compared with actual data.
    • We then turn out attention in the fourth unit, Science and Practice, to a simple example of how the scientific method is used to test a hypothesized relation between course grades and where students are seated in a classroom.
    • The fifth and final unit in this lesson, Cause and Effect, examines the role that cause and effect plays in the scientific method and economic science.

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    AVERAGE REVENUE CURVE, PERFECT COMPETITION

    A curve that graphically represents the relation between average revenue received by a perfectly competitive firm for selling its output and the quantity of output sold. Because average revenue is essentially the price of a good, the average revenue curve is also the demand curve for a perfectly competitive firm's output.

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    Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time watching infomercials seeking to buy either a T-shirt commemorating Thor Heyerdahl's Pacific crossing aboard the Kon-Tiki or a wall poster commemorating the 2000 Olympics. Be on the lookout for slightly overweight pizza delivery guys.
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