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FIRM OBJECTIVES: The standard economic assumption underlying the analysis of firms is profit maximization. Firms are assumed to make decisions that will increase profit. Generally speaking, profit maximization is the process of obtaining the highest possible level of economic profit through the production and sales of goods and services. For a more thorough discussion of this topic, see the profit maximization entry. Real world firms might pursue other objectives including: (1) sales maximization, (2) pursuit of personal welfare, and (3) pursuit of social welfare. In some cases, these other objectives help a firm pursue profit maximization. In other cases, they prevent a firm from maximizing profit.

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Lesson 11: Elasticity Basics | Unit 2: A Little More Page: 10 of 25

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In this unit, you should have learned about:
  • The two general categories of elasticity -- elastic and inelastic.
    • How elastic means a change in price prompts a relatively larger change in quantity.
    • How elastic means a change in price prompts a relatively smaller change in quantity.
  • How market shocks result in relatively different changes in price and quantity for elastic and inelastic demand and supply.
  • Why elasticity is important when analyzing the impact of taxes on markets.
  • How the two reasons for taxes -- revenue generation and resource allocation -- are achieved for elastic and inelastic goods.
  • Why elasticity is important when analyzing price ceilings and price floors.

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GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT, INS AND OUTS

Gross domestic product is the total market value of all goods and services produced within the political boundaries of an economy during a given period of time, usually one year. Obtaining this value is not a simple task. It requires combining a lot of information from a number of different sources. For the U.S. economy, this includes trillions of dollars worth of production, hundreds of million of consumers, hundreds of thousands of businesses, and a bunch of market transactions each year.

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PURPLE SMARPHIN
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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time calling an endless list of 800 numbers seeking to buy either a T-shirt commemorating the first day of winter or software that won't crash your computer. Be on the lookout for poorly written technical manuals.
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The first "Black Friday" on record, a friday marked by a major financial catastrophe, occurred on September 24, 1869 -- A FRIDAY -- when an attempted cornering of the gold market induced a financial crises and economy-wide depression.
"Carpe diem! Rejoice while you are alive; enjoy the day; live life to the fullest; make the most of what you have. It is later than you think."

-- Horace, Ancient Roman poet

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