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PERFECT COMPETITION, TOTAL ANALYSIS: A perfectly competitive firm produces the profit-maximizing quantity of output that generates the greatest difference between total revenue and total cost. This total approach is one of three methods that used to determine the profit-maximizing quantity of output. The other two methods involve the direct analysis of economic profit or a comparison of marginal revenue and marginal cost.

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AVERAGE TOTAL COST: Total cost per unit of output, found by dividing total cost by the quantity of output. Average total cost, usually abbreviated ATC, can be found in two ways. Because average total cost is total cost per unit of output, it can be found by dividing total cost by the quantity of output. Alternatively, because total cost is the sum of total variable cost and total fixed cost, average total cost can be derived by summing average variable cost and average fixed cost.

     See also | total cost | quantity | average total cost curve | total variable cost | total fixed cost | average variable cost | average fixed cost |


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AVERAGE FACTOR COST, PERFECT COMPETITION

Total factor cost per unit of factor input employed by a perfectly competitive firm in the production of output, found by dividing total factor cost by the quantity of factor input. Average factor cost, abbreviated AFC, is generally equal to the factor price. However, using the longer term average factor cost makes it easier to see the connection to related terms, including total factor cost and marginal factor cost.

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The portion of aggregate output U.S. citizens pay in taxes (30%) is less than the other six leading industrialized nations -- Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, or Japan.
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