14.2 Short-Run Production

MyEconLab Concept Video

To increase the output of a fixed plant, a firm must increase the quantity of labor it employs. We describe the relationship between output and the quantity of labor employed by using three related concepts:

  • Total product

  • Marginal product

  • Average product

Total Product

Total product (TP) is the total quantity of a good produced in a given period. Total product is an output rate—the number of units produced per unit of time (for example, per hour, day, or week). Total product changes as the quantity of labor employed increases and we illustrate this relationship as a total product schedule and total product curve like those in Figure 14.2. The total product schedule (the table below the graph) ...

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