Visualizing Long-Run Average Cost with an Interactive Excel Module

Thomas Mitchell

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The Excel Module

The Interface

The Option Button Controls
Option, or radio, buttons The "option buttons," or "radio buttons" as they are sometimes called, occur in side-by-side pairs, one pair for each of the nine short-run average cost curves and one for the long-run average cost curve. Click on a particular "Show" button and the associated short-run average cost curve (or the long-run average cost curve) is shown in the chart; click on the "Hide" button and the associated short-run average cost curve (or the long-run average cost curve) is taken out of the chart.

Option buttons are associated in groupings such that only one button in a grouping can be "on" or "checked" at any one time. Pressing one button "down" pops "up" all the other buttons in the grouping. (In this particular application of option buttons, each grouping is merely a pair.)

In the main screen capture of the Excel module, shown again below, all nine of the short-run average cost curves and the long-run average cost curve are shown.

Screen capture showing all ten of the average cost curves


Hiding curves

In the screen capture below, four of the short-run average cost curves (k = 4, 6, 7, 9) and the long-run average cost curve are now "hidden." Note that the legend for the chart indicates which curves have been hidden.

Screen capture showing five curves and hiding five curves

Given nine short-run average cost curves to "Show" or "Hide," there are 29 = 512 different combinations for showing or hiding the short-run average cost curves in the chart.

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