Total Product Curve
A curve that graphically represents the relation between total production by a firm in the short run and the quantity of a variable input added to a fixed input. When constructing this curve, it is assumed that total product changes from changes in the quantity of a variable input (like labor), while other inputs (like capital) are fixed. This is one of three key product curves used in the analysis of shortrun production. The other two are marginal product curve and average product curve. The total product curve illustrates how total product is related to avariable input. While the standard analysis of shortrun production relates total product to the variable use of labor, a total product curve can be constructed for any variable input. A more general mathematical concept capturing the relation between total product and its assorted inputs, both variable and fixed, can be found in the production function. Total Product Curve

The graph at the right pictorially represents the relation between total product and the variable input. This particular curve is the hourly production of Super Deluxe TexMex Gargantuan Tacos (with sour cream and jalapeno peppers) as Waldo's TexMex Taco World restaurant employs additional workers. The number of workers, measured on the horizontal axis, ranges from 0 to 10 and the total production of Gargantuan Tacos, measured on the vertical axis, ranges from 0 to 125. The most distinctive feature is the shape of this total product curve. The curve emerges steeply from the origin (no workers produce no tacos), then begins to flatten, and eventually drops off. The curve reaches its peak of 125 Gargantuan Tacos at both 7 and 8 workers. To the left of this peak, extra workers increase the production of tacos and to the right extra workers reduce total taco production. While it might not be totally obvious from the diagram, the slope of this curve becomes increasingly steeper for the first two workers, then...
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