# Total Product | Microeconomics | Summary and Q&A

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December 12, 2018
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Total Product | Microeconomics

## TL;DR

Firms produce output based on a combination of resources, and the total product curve shows how output changes with the addition of labor. However, there is a point where adding more labor leads to diminishing marginal returns.

## Key Insights

• 🔠 Total product represents the quantity of output produced for a given combination of resources or inputs.
• ☠️ The total product curve typically starts at the origin and increases at an increasing rate as labor (or another variable input) is added.
• 🥺 Division of labor and specialization can lead to increased efficiency and output.
• 🔬 However, as more workers are hired, the scope for further division of labor decreases, and the total product curve flattens.
• 🙊 Eventually, the total product curve may even peak and start decreasing due to diminishing marginal returns.
• 🥺 Diminishing marginal returns occur when adding more units of a variable input leads to smaller productivity gains.
• ☠️ The concept of diminishing marginal returns is often described as the total output curve increasing at a decreasing rate.

## Transcript

firms use a variety of resources to produce products to sell in a market for any given combination of these resources the firm will produce a corresponding level of output economists refer to a firm's total product as the total quantity of output produced for a given amount of inputs total product influences the short-run considerations made by a f... Read More

### Q: What is total product in economics?

Total product refers to the total quantity of output produced by a firm for a given amount of inputs, such as labor. It shows how output changes as more resources are utilized.

### Q: Why does the total product curve start at the origin?

The total product curve starts at the origin because if the firm uses no labor (or other variable input), it won't be able to produce any products. Thus, with no labor, the total output is zero.

### Q: What is the significance of division of labor in total product?

Division of labor involves assigning different tasks to different workers to improve efficiency. Without division of labor, workers waste time switching between tasks. As more workers are hired, there is more potential for specialization and increased efficiency.

### Q: What is the concept of diminishing marginal returns?

Diminishing marginal returns refers to the decrease in marginal product (additional output) as more units of an input, such as labor, are added. It means that the productivity gains from each additional unit of input become smaller.

## Summary & Key Takeaways

• Firms use resources to produce products for sale, and the total product represents the quantity of output produced for a given amount of inputs.

• As labor is added, output typically increases at an increasing rate, but eventually, the total product curve flattens and may even decrease due to diminishing marginal returns.

• Division of labor and specialization can improve efficiency, but there is a limit to the scope for further division as more workers are hired.