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SCARCE RESOURCE: A resource with an available quantity less than its desired use. Scarce resources are also called factors of production. Scarce goods are also termed economic goods. Scarce resources are used to produce scarce goods. Like the more general society-wide condition of scarcity, a given resource is scarce because it has a limited availability in combination with a greater (potentially unlimited) productive use. It's both of these that make it scarce. In other words, even though an item is quite limited it will not be a scarce resource if it has few if any uses (think pocket lint and free good).

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Lesson 16: Perfect Competition | Unit 4: Long-Run Equilibrium Page: 24 of 28

Topic: Unit Review <=PAGE BACK | PAGE NEXT=>

In this unit, you should have learned about:
  • Long-run marginal cost and the long-run marginal cost curve, which capture the changes in total cost when ALL inputs are variable in the long run.
  • How a perfectly competitive firm adjusts output and plant size in the long run to maximize profit by equating price to short-run and long-run marginal cost.
  • How a perfectly competitive industry adjusts the number of firms in the industry in the long run to ensure that economic profit is zero and all firms receive a normal profit.
  • That the long-run equilibrium for a perfectly competitive industry at the minimum efficient scale means that firms efficiently allocating resources and producing output at the lowest possible cost.
  • The six long-run equilibrium conditions: perfect competition, profit maximization, normal profit, technical efficiency, minimum efficient scale, and economic efficiency.
  • The three alternative long-run industry supply curves that reflect increasing cost, decreasing cost, and constant cost.


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MARGINAL PRODUCT CURVE

A curve that graphically illustrates the relation between marginal product and the quantity of the variable input, holding all other inputs fixed. This curve indicates the incremental change in output at each level of a variable input. The marginal product curve is one of three related curves used in the analysis of the short-run production of a firm. The other two are total product curve and average product curve. The marginal product curve plays in key role in the economic analysis of short-run production by a firm.

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The 22.6% decline in stock prices on October 19, 1987 was larger than the infamous 12.8% decline on October 29, 1929.
"And while the law of competition may be sometimes hard for the individual, it is best for the race, because it ensures the survival of the fittest in every department. "

-- Andrew Carnegie, entrepreneur

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