a) Find out the definition for the short run (in Economics it has a specific definition).

Use google and the define: prefix.



Image: Some rights reserved by °Florian

b) A practical activity in the classroom.


1) A wall in the classroom – you can not move away from the wall, you must always stay right next to the wall. Physical land is fixed.

2) At one end of the wall a desk with a pile of raw-material-paper (or text books).

3) At the other end of the wall a desk. This is where the paper is manufactured into end-of-wall paper once it has been transferred from the other side to this desk.

4) Only one piece of paper can be carried by a worker at a time.

5) We will add more and more workers, but since no-one can move away from the wall, they can not pass each other.

6) Each production cycle (period of time) lasts one minute only.

7) All workers recognise the profit-maximising incentive of working to full ability, and behave accordingly. (No slacking …)

6) First volunteer up. Results will be recorded on a Google Spreadsheet. Access the one below and make a copy of it in your Google Account.

Direct link (make a copy in your own google account): Opengecko Product Exemplified – Carrying Books Exercise

c) Make sure you have thoroughly discussed the graphs – what is happening? Why do they have these shapes?

d) Research (text book and / or web) the definitions of, behaviour of and relationship between the following as the one factor of production (labour) is increased:

  • total output [total product]
  • average output [average product]
  • marginal output [marginal product]

Key phrase: diminishing returns (define and be precise about the full phrase)

Your ultimate aim is to be able to identify the 3 curves below and explain them:

total marginal average output JAPE0001

e) Review your understanding of the above with the following videos: