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February 4, 2023 

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VOLUNTARY EXCHANGE: The process of willingly trading one item for another. The emphasis here is on "willingly." Voluntary exchanges are the heart and soul of market transactions, and should be contrasted with the "involuntary" exchanges mandated by government taxes, laws, and regulations. While involuntary government-forced exchanges play an important role in a mixed economy, economists really, really like voluntary market exchanges because they promote economic efficiency.

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OPPORTUNITY COST: The highest valued alternative foregone in the pursuit of an activity. This is a hallmark of anything dealing with economics--and life for that matter--because any action that you take prevents you from doing something else. The ultimate source of opportunity cost is the pervasive problem of scarcity (unlimited wants and needs, but limited resources). Whenever limited resources are used to satisfy one want or need, there are an unlimited number of other wants and needs that remain unsatisfied. Herein lies the essence of opportunity cost. Doing one thing prevents doing another.

     See also | economics | scarcity | unlimited wants and needs | limited resources | resources | scarce resource | free resources | production possibilities | production possibilities frontier | law of increasing opportunity cost | value | satisfaction | consumption | production | economic cost | accounting cost | total cost |


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OPPORTUNITY COST, AmosWEB GLOSS*arama, http://www.AmosWEB.com, AmosWEB LLC, 2000-2023. [Accessed: February 4, 2023].


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MARGINAL COST CURVE

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

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