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 ?
Using data on patents granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), we examine whether invention exhibits diminishing returns.
Even if that happens, however, the benefits will be limited by diminishing returns.
While the law of diminishing returns influences all markets there are four levels of saturation within the maturity stage (see Chart 2).
As the software has been embraced by the community, I am noticing an unpleasant trend--managers who want to "grow the team" and heavily finance development to the point of diminishing returns.
Has scored 50 first-class centuries in just 250 matches, and though he has produced diminishing returns since his great debut year in county cricket (in 1999) he remains one of the best front foot players in the country.
Though not in favour of less regulation, Barton says there must be a "thorough evaluation" on whether the guidelines are working, and whether they are being overlapped to diminishing returns.
As for restricting the number of participants, she said she didn't expect that it was likely in the near term, but "there may be some point of diminishing returns for both CBP and the trade.
Recyclers of industrial and commercial streams, who think as business owners first and foremost, would be quick to explain the law of diminishing returns when chasing secondary commodities: Don't expend a lot of energy and time for a quantity of material that doesn't justify the expense.
These options may abate the problems in the short term, but only offer diminishing returns because they only address the symptoms, while databases continue to grow.
A fact recognized in the health and medical sciences is that, regardless of the apparent capability of a screening method, diminishing returns will appear when screening is applied to relatively rare hazards.
Several aspects of NIH research contribute to the diminishing returns of budget increases:
No, but we have found that by maintaining the proper degree of intensity in the workload we can achieve the objectives we have established without hitting the point of diminishing returns.
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.