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TOTAL VARIABLE COST: Cost of production that changes with changes in the quantity of output produced by a firm in the short run. Total variable cost is one part of total cost. The other is total fixed cost. Variable cost depends on the level of output. If a firm produces more output, then variable cost is greater. If a firm produces no output, then variable cost is zero. A cost measure directly related to total variable cost is average variable cost.

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Lesson 11: Elasticity Basics | Unit 1: The Concept Page: 3 of 25

Topic: Quantity Changes <=PAGE BACK | PAGE NEXT=>

  • While the elasticity concept can be applied to several different areas, when applied to the market, elasticity captures the relation between price and quantity.

  • The force activating the change is price and the variable that's being stretched is quantity.

  • The importance of elasticity for market analysis comes into play in the following way:

    • First, market shocks triggered by determinant-induced shifts of the demand and supply curves create shortages and surpluses.
    • Second, governments are fond of placing taxes or price controls on markets.

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INFLATIONARY GAP

The difference between the equilibrium real production achieved in the short-run aggregate market and full-employment real production that occurs when short-run equilibrium real production is more than full-employment real production. An inflationary gap, also termed an expansionary gap, is associated with a business-cycle expansion, especially the latter stages of an expansion. This is one of two alternative output gaps that can occur when short-run equilibrium generates production that differs from full employment. The other is a recessionary gap.

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