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ACCOUNTING PROFIT: The difference between a business's revenue and it's accounting expenses. This is the profit that's listed on a company's balance sheet, appears periodically in the financial sector of the newspaper, and is reported to the Internal Revenue Service for tax purposes. It frequently has little relationship to a company's economic profit because of the difference between accounting expense and the opportunity cost of production. Some accounting expense is not an opportunity cost and some opportunity cost is does not show up as an accounting expenses.

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Lesson 12: Elasticity and Demand | Unit 2: The Continuum Page: 9 of 25

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In this unit, you should have learned about:
  • How a given shift of the supply curve can result in different changes in equilibrium price and quantity based on the price elasticity of demand.
  • That the coefficient of elasticity forms a continuum ranging from 0 to infinity.
  • The five elasticity alternatives identified by segmenting the elasticity continuum -- perfectly elastic, relatively elastic, unit elastic, relatively inelastic, and perfectly inelastic.
  • The different shapes of demand curves with different elasticities.
    • Perfectly inelastic demand is a vertical demand curve.
    • Perfectly elastic demand is a horizontal demand curve.
    • Unit elastic demand is a concave demand curve without constant slope.
  • Why relatively elastic demand curves are "sort of" flat and the relatively inelastic demand curves are "sort of" steep.
  • Why this preceding statement is not technically correct because slope does NOT indicate elasticity.

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MARGINAL RETURNS

The change in the quantity of total product resulting from a unit change in a variable input, holding all other inputs fixed. Marginal returns is an older and more generic term for marginal product. While marginal product has largely replaced marginal returns in most discussions of short-run production, the phrase does persist in a few terms like the law of diminishing marginal returns.

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