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SHORT-RUN PRODUCTION ALTERNATIVES: A firm faces three production options in the short run based on a comparison between price, average total cost, and average variable cost. If price is greater than average total cost, a firm earns an economic profit by producing the quantity that equates marginal revenue with marginal cost. If price is less than average total cost but greater than average variable cost, a firm incurs an economic loss, but produces the quantity that equates marginal revenue with marginal cost. If price is less than average variable cost, a firm shuts down production in the short run, incurring an economic loss equal to total fixed cost.

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Lesson 4: Production Possibilities | Unit 1: Getting Started Page: 3 of 24

Topic: Limitations <=PAGE BACK | PAGE NEXT=>

The production possibilities analysis has two main limitations:
  • First, Preferences: This analysis says nothing about which goods people want and which provide the most satisfaction. It only indicates the available options.
  • Second, Economic Efficiency: This analysis does not ensure we have economic efficiency-the combination that would generate the most satisfaction from the resources.

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MARGINAL REVENUE CURVE, MONOPOLISTIC COMPETITION

A curve that graphically represents the relation between the marginal revenue received by a monopolistically competitive firm for selling its output and the quantity of output sold. Because a monopolistically competitive firm is a price maker and faces a negatively-sloped demand curve, its marginal revenue curve is also negatively sloped and lies below its average revenue (and demand) curve. A monopolistically competitive firm maximizes profit by producing the quantity of output found at the intersection of the marginal revenue curve and marginal cost curve.

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