diminishing returns


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diminishing returns

1. In economics, a yield rate (i.e., of profits, production, benefits, etc.) that fails to grow in proportion to the amount of investment, skill, time, or effort that is added. The restaurant, to combat high volumes of customers, hired a large surplus of wait staff and cooks. This led to diminishing returns, however, as the overcrowded staff was far less efficient and eventually cost the restaurant more in wages than it was earning.
2. By extension, any output or results (e.g., of a product, project, organization, etc.) that fail to increase proportionally to additional time, money, skill, or effort. Unfortunately, the show's charm has not lasted, and the infusion of zanier plots has created diminishing returns in terms of quality.
See also: diminish, return
References in periodicals archive ?
Siegal provides free tools to help people cheat the Law of Diminishing Returns and lose weight at a fast, predictable, and consistent pace, even when they reach the hurdle of the last ten pounds.
The third level of saturation is even more difficult than the second level for technical reasons, while the fourth level of saturation is the "final frontier" and the space where the true law of diminishing returns in fact applies--the economic cost-effectiveness level.
There comes a point of diminishing returns where the cost to provide optimal production-level access and performance outweighs the actual business value derived from the data.
This occurs because of the diminishing returns achieved in pursuing the illusion of "zero risk," a pursuit that others have critiqued for various related and differing reasons (Cross 1996; Graham and Wiener 1995).
Although the country's overall fishery resources are underexploited, the natural prawn fishery now faces diminishing returns.
It may be Donald Rumsfeld's latest hobby, but drumming up a war with Syria may not be such a hot idea--at least judging from the diminishing returns of recent Bush-led wars in the Middle East.
The Real Options Solution explores how changes in total value are driven by three major factors: risk, diminishing returns and innovation.
In standard transistors, electricity travels horizontally, so shortening the path requires that the transistor be made thinner -- an increasingly difficult task with diminishing returns using today's chip manufacturing techniques.
Although they originally reflect growth, over time these constructions act as constraints on change even as they bring diminishing returns.
I think it was only seventy intermissionless, unremitting minutes, but rarely can that law of diminishing returns have seemed so diminishing or the returns themselves so diminished.
Hoenselaars, "'Under the dent of the English pen': the language of Italy in English Renaissance drama"; Manfred Pfister, "Shakespeare and Italy, or, the law of diminishing returns.
Such a narrowing of the market will result in vendors putting together virtually indentikit servers, thus diminishing returns, Reger conceded - pushing Siemens to concentrate on the high-end of the sector.
Indeed, there may no longer be a realistic alternative to sampling because of the escalating costs and diminishing returns of conducting a conventional enumeration.