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BUDGET PROPORTION: One of three elasticity determinants (time period and substitute availability are the other two) stating that the elasticity of a good tends to be greater when the proportion of the budget devoting to the good is greater. In other words, the price elasticity of demand for housing (which takes up a sizeable portion of most budgets) is greater than that for a pair of socks (which does not take up much of most budgets). Even small percentage changes in goods that constitute a sizeable share of income can be quite large in absolute terms. As such, buyers tend to more sensitive to price changes in big-budget expenditures. This elasticity determinant works primarily for the price elasticity of demand.

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CAPACITY UTILIZATION RATE: The ratio of actual production by business sector factories and other productive establishments in the economy to the potential production of these establishments. This rate indicates if our economy's factories are being used as effectively and as fully as possible. Like the unemployment rate, the capacity utilization rate measures how close our economy is to full employment. And like unemployment, this rate moves up and down over the course of a business cycle. During expansions, the rate is near 85 percent (considered full employment), and during contractions, it tends to be in the 70 percent range. In addition to an overall rate, there are also separate rates for manufacturing, mining, and utility industries.

     See also | production | business sector | economy | employment | unemployment | unemployment rate | full employment | expansion | contraction | factory |


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VARIABLE COST

In general, cost that changes with changes in the quantity of output produced. More specifically, variable cost is combined with the adjectives "total" and "average" to indicate the overall level of variable cost or the per unit variable cost. Variable cost depends on the amount produced. If there is no production, then there is no variable cost.

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