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RATIONAL BEHAVIOR: The notion that people make decisions based on the desire to obtain the greatest amount of satisfaction. Rational behavior essential means that people prefer more to less. The presumption of rational behavior underlies most economic analyses, especially those applied to consumer demand theory.

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CETERIS PARIBUS: A Latin term meaning that all other factors are held unchanged. The ceteris paribus assumption is used to isolate the effect one economic factor has on another. Without this assumption, it would be difficult to determine cause and effect in the economy. Relaxing the ceteris paribus assumption is the primary analytical technique used in the study of economics, especially when analyzing the market. Much like a chemist adds one chemical at a time to a mixture to determine the resulting reaction, an economist relaxes one ceteris paribus assumption at a time to observe the results.

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MARGINAL REVENUE PRODUCT CURVE

A curve that graphically illustrates the relation between marginal revenue product and the quantity of the variable input, holding all other inputs fixed. This curve indicates the incremental change in total revenue for incremental changes in the variable input. The marginal revenue product curve plays a key role in marginal productivity theory and the economic analysis of factor markets.

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