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January 18, 2022 

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HERFINDAHL-HIRSHMAN INDEX: A measure of concentration of the production in an industry that's calculated as the sum of the squares of market shares for each firm. This is an alternative method of summarizing the degree to which an industry is oligopolistic and the relative concentration of market power held by the largest firms in the industry. The Herfindahl index gives a better indication of the relative market control of the largest firms than can be found with the four-firm and eight-firm concentration ratios.

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CAPITALISM: A type of economy based on -- (1) private ownership of most resources, goods, and other stuff (private property); (2) freedom to generally use the privately-owned resources, goods, and other stuff to get the most wages, rent, interest, and profit possible; and (3) a system of relatively competitive markets. While government establishes the legal "rules of the game" for capitalism and provides assorted public goods, like national defense, education, and infrastructure, most production, consumption, and resource allocation decisions are left up to individual businesses and consumers. The term capitalism is derived from the notion that capital goods are under private, rather than government, ownership (compare communism, socialism.

     See also | market | capital | competition | private sector | public sector | free market | laissez faire | efficiency | allocation | government | resources | public good | production | consumption | incentive | equity | income distribution | distribution standards | second estate |


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AVERAGE FIXED COST CURVE

A curve that graphically represents the relation between average fixed cost incurred by a firm in the short-run product of a good or service and the quantity produced. This curve is constructed to capture the relation between average fixed cost and the level of output, holding other variables, like technology and resource prices, constant. The average fixed cost curve is one of three average curves. The other two are average total cost curve and average variable cost curve. A related curve is the marginal cost curve.

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