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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 1: Economic Basics | Unit 3: The Economy Page: 9 of 18

Topic: A Mixed Economy: The Mix <=PAGE BACK | PAGE NEXT=>

A pure market economy and a pure command economy are two theoretical extremes in the allocation of resources.
  • Real world economies form a continuum bounded by these two extremes. They are mixed economies:
  • A mixed economy is one that relies on both markets and government to allocate resources.
  • Market-oriented economies, also called capitalism, are mixed economies that lean heavily to the market end.
  • Socialism and communism are mixed economies that lean more (a lot more) toward government control.

The mixed U.S. economy leans heavily to the market end of the market-government continuum.

Three indicators of government involvement:
  • Taxes: Government controls about 1/3 of the revenue generated in the economy each year.
  • Spending: Government buys 20% of the goods produced each year.
  • Regulations: Government influences many allocation decisions through laws, rules, and other restrictions.

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AUTONOMOUS NET EXPORTS

Net exports by the foreign sector that do not depend on income or production (especially national income or gross domestic product). That is, changes in income do not generate changes in net exports. Autonomous net exports are best thought of as net exports that the foreign sector undertakes independent of income. They are measured by the intercept term of the net exports line. The alternative to autonomous net exports is induced net exports, which do depend on income.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time touring the new suburban shopping complex hoping to buy either clothing for your pet dog or an ink cartridge for your printer. Be on the lookout for broken fingernail clippers.
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In the late 1800s and early 1900s, almost 2 million children were employed as factory workers.
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