indivisibility

Definitions

Economics

  • noun the minimum level at which any factor of production can operate. If a firm adds a machine which outputs 2000 items when it actually needs a machine which outputs only 500, then such a machine is cannot be split, and so is underproductive; only by increasing output to 2000 units can the machine become effective.

Health Economics

  • (written as Indivisibility)
    An input in a production process that cannot be physically subdivided into smaller parts. Given sufficient time, it may be possible to acquire smaller versions of an indivisible input (say, an ambulance) but they, in turn, cannot be physically subdivided without changing their character (as when they are disassembled and become 'spare parts'). When indivisibility presents a problem it may sometimes be avoided by including an explicit time dimension: 'an hour/day/week/year/etc. of a building's use' instead of 'a building'.
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