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December 6, 2022 

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TOTAL VARIABLE COST AND TOTAL PRODUCT: Because variable cost is largely associated with the cost of employing a variable input in the short run, it's possible to derive the total variable cost curve from the total product curve. This admittedly simplistic connection between total product and total variable cost is designed to illustrate the fundamental role that the law of diminishing marginal returns plays in the slope and shape of the total variable cost curve. Because he slope of the total variable cost curve, which is also the slope of the total cost curve, is marginal cost, this analysis also indicates how the law of diminishing marginal returns relates to marginal cost.

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IN-KIND PAYMENTS:

A payment, usually in exchange for the productive efforts of resources, that takes the form of goods and services produced by the resource buyer rather than the economy's standard monetary unit (that is, dollars). In other words, resource owners are compensated with a portion of the output that they help to produce. The standard method of compensation, which is illustrated by the circular flow model, is for a firm to pay resource owners using money revenue received from selling its production. Hence most factor payments are monetary payments. However, in some circumstances firms and resource owners find it more convenient to use actual production for compensation, eliminating the sell-production-for-money step.
In-kind payments are noteworthy when the topic turns to measuring gross domestic product. The number crunchers responsible for measuring gross domestic product at the Bureau of Economic Analysis make a special effort to include ALL production--the vast majority sold in markets, as well as the smaller portion used to compensate resource owners as in-kind payments.

In Lieu of Money

In-kind payments are common in a wide assortment of industries. Farming and agricultural production are perhaps the most notable. Farmers often find it easy to pay their workers with crops produced. Come harvest time, the farmhands might receive a portion of the bounty. Service industries are also prone to in-kind payments. A dentist, for example, might provide employees with dental care. An accountant might prepare income tax returns for employees. Retail stores also use in-kind payments in lieu of higher monetary wages. Restaurants often provide meals to their employees. Clothing stores let employees purchase goods at reduced prices.

Edgar Loves Tacos

To illustrate how in-kind payment is used as compensation for productive activity, consider the circumstance of Edgar Millbottom, a dedicated employee of Waldo's TexMex Taco World. The primary output of Waldo's TexMex Taco World is, of course, the highly popular Super Deluxe TexMex Gargantuan Taco (with sour cream and jalapenos). The standard operating procedure for Waldo's TexMex Taco World is to sell Super Deluxe TexMex Gargantuan Tacos to taco-hungry customers, then use the revenue collected from taco sales (about $2 each) to compensate owners of the resources used to fabricate Gargantuan Tacos, including the star of this story, Edgar Millbottom.

However, Edgar is not only an employee, he is also a Gargantuan Taco lover. Even before his employment at Waldo's TexMex Taco World, Edgar was known to consume large numbers of Gargantuan Tacos morning, noon, and night for months on end. As such, when Edgar was hired by Waldo's TexMex Taco World he agreed to less monetary compensation (that is, a lower hourly wage) with the difference made up in Gargantuan Tacos. Edgar is happy. And Waldo's TexMex Taco World is indifferent. They do not care if they sell tacos, collect revenue, then pay Edgar a monetary wage, or directly use the tacos to pay Edgar. The bottom line for them is the same in either case.

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Recommended Citation:

IN-KIND PAYMENTS, AmosWEB Encyclonomic WEB*pedia, http://www.AmosWEB.com, AmosWEB LLC, 2000-2022. [Accessed: December 6, 2022].


Check Out These Related Terms...

     | final goods | intermediate goods | double counting | value added | current production | underground economy |


Or For A Little Background...

     | gross domestic product | gross domestic product, ins and outs | production | production cost | National Income and Product Accounts |


And For Further Study...

     | gross domestic product, welfare | gross domestic product, expenditures | gross domestic product, income | net domestic product | national income | personal income | disposable income | gross national product | real gross domestic product | circular flow | business cycles | Bureau of Economic Analysis |


Related Websites (Will Open in New Window)...

     | Bureau of Economic Analysis |


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