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1 of 40 Economic Efficiency, Government Price Setting, and Taxes CHAPTER 4 Chapter Outline and Learning Objectives 4.1Consumer Surplus and Producer Surplus.

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Presentation on theme: "1 of 40 Economic Efficiency, Government Price Setting, and Taxes CHAPTER 4 Chapter Outline and Learning Objectives 4.1Consumer Surplus and Producer Surplus."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 of 40 Economic Efficiency, Government Price Setting, and Taxes CHAPTER 4 Chapter Outline and Learning Objectives 4.1Consumer Surplus and Producer Surplus 4.2The Efficiency of Competitive Markets 4.3Government Intervention in the Market: Price Floors and Price Ceilings 4.4The Economic Impact of Taxes APPENDIX: Quantitative Demand and Supply Analysis

2 2 of 40 Rent control puts a legal limit on the rent that landlords can charge for an apartment. Since rent-controlled rents are usually far below market rents, it seems clear that this doesnt make landlords better off. Does it make tenants better off? Should the Government Control Apartment Rents?

3 3 of 40 Distinguish between the concepts of consumer surplus and producer surplus. 4.1 LEARNING OBJECTIVE Consumer Surplus and Producer Surplus

4 4 of 40 Surplus (noun): Something that remains above what is used or needed Economists use the idea of surplus to refer to the benefit that people derive from engaging in market transactions. Consumer surplus refers to the dollar benefit consumers receive from buying goods or services in a particular market. Producer surplus refers to the dollar benefit firms receive from buying goods or services in a particular market. Consumer and producer surplus

5 5 of 40 Suppose four people are each interested in buying a cup of chai tea. We can characterize them by the highest price they are willing to pay. At prices above $6, no chai tea will be sold. At $6, one cup will be sold, etc. Figure 4.1 Deriving the demand curve for chai tea

6 6 of 40 How much benefit do the potential tea consumers derive from this market? That depends on the price. If the price is low, many of the consumers benefit. If the price is high, few (if any) of the consumers benefit. Figure 4.1 Thinking about the benefit derived by consumers

7 7 of 40 If the price of tea is $3.50 per cup, Theresa, Tom, and Terri will buy a cup. Theresa was willing to pay $6.00; a cup of chai tea is worth $6.00 to her. She got it for $3.50, so she derives a net benefit of $6.00 – $3.50 = $2.50. Area A represents this net benefit, and is known as Theresas consumer surplus in the chai tea market. Figure 4.2 Consumer surplus at a price of $3.50

8 8 of 40 Tom and Terri also obtain consumer surplus, equal to $1.50 (area B) and $0.50 (area C). The sum of the areas of rectangles A, B, and C is called the consumer surplus in the chai tea market. This area can be described as the area below the demand curve, above the price that consumers pay. Figure 4.2 Consumer surplus at a price of $3.50

9 9 of 40 Figure 4.2 Consumer surplus at a price of $3.00 If the price falls to $3.00, Theresa, Tom, and Terri each gain an additional $0.50 of consumer surplus. Tim is indifferent between buying the cup and not; his well- being is the same either way. The overall consumer surplus remains the area below the demand curve, above the (new) price.

10 10 of 40 The market for chai tea is larger than just our four consumers. With many consumers, the market demand curve looks like normal: a straight line. Consumer surplus in this market is defined in just the same way: the area below the demand curve, above price. The graph shows consumer surplus if price is $2.00. Figure 4.3 Total consumer surplus in the market for chai tea

11 11 of 40 Having access to a broadband internet connection is beneficial for consumers. We can measure just how beneficial it is by estimating the consumer surplus derived in the market. What would we need to know in order to do this? The demand curve for broadband internet service The price of broadband internet service The Consumer Surplus from Broadband Internet Service Making the Connection

12 12 of 40 In 2006, the average price for broadband internet service was $36 per month. Economists Shane Greenstein and Ryan McDevitt estimated the demand curve for broadband internet service, shown on the right. The Consumer Surplus from Broadband Internet Service Making the Connection CS = Area of shaded triangle = ½ (47 – 0) ($73.89 – $36) = $890.4 million per month

13 13 of 40 Producer surplus in the chai tea latte market Producer surplus can be thought of in much the same way as consumer surplus. It is the difference between the lowest price a firm would accept for a good or service and the price it actually receives. What is the lowest price a firm would accept for a good or service? The marginal cost of producing that good or service. Marginal cost: the additional cost to a firm of producing one more unit of a good or service.

14 14 of 40 Heavenly Tea is a (very small) producer of chai tea. When the market price of tea is $2.00, Heavenly Tea receives producer surplus of $0.75 on the first cup (the area of rectangle A), $0.50 on the second cup (rectangle B), and $0.25 on the third cup (rectangle C). Figure 4.4a Measuring producer surplus (single firm)

15 15 of 40 The total amount of producer surplus tea sellers receive from selling chai tea can be calculated by adding up for the entire market the producer surplus received on each cup sold. Total producer surplus is equal to the area above the supply curve and below the market price of $2.00. Figure 4.4b Measuring producer surplus (entire market)

16 16 of 40 Consumer surplus measures the net benefit to consumers from participating in a market rather than the total benefit. Consumer surplus in a market is equal to the total benefit received by consumers minus the total amount they must pay to buy the good or service. Similarly, producer surplus measures the net benefit received by producers from participating in a market. Producer surplus in a market is equal to the total amount firms receive from consumers minus the cost of producing the good or service. What Consumer Surplus and Producer Surplus Measure What do consumer and producer surplus measure?

17 17 of 40 Understand the concept of economic efficiency. 4.2 LEARNING OBJECTIVE The Efficiency of Competitive Markets

18 18 of 40 We can think about efficiency in a market in two ways: 1.A market is efficient if all trades take place where the marginal benefit exceeds the marginal cost, and no other trades take place. 2.A market is efficient if it maximizes the sum of consumer and producer surplus (i.e. the total net benefit to consumers and firms), known as the economic surplus. Marginal benefit: The additional benefit to a consumer from consuming one more unit of a good or service. Marginal cost: The additional cost to a firm of producing one more unit of a good or service. What Consumer Surplus and Producer Surplus Measure How much output is efficient?

19 19 of 40 Every cup produced is sold at a price higher than its marginal cost. Every cup is bought at a price lower than its marginal benefit. There are no more additional cups that could be traded for which the above two statements are true. Only at a quantity of can all of these criteria be satisfied. In the competitive equilibrium, price and quantity are determined by supply and demand. The equilibrium quantity is economically efficient: Figure 4.5 The efficiency of competitive equilibrium

20 20 of 40 The figure shows the economic surplus (the sum of consumer and producer surplus) in the market for chai tea. At the competitive equilibrium quantity, the economic surplus is maximized. Figure 4.6 Our two concepts of economic efficiency are identical! The efficiency of competitive equilibrium – surplus version

21 21 of 40 Figure 4.7 When the price of chai tea is $2.20 instead of $2.00, consumer surplus declines from an amount equal to the sum of areas A, B, and C to just area A. Producer surplus increases from the sum of areas D and E to the sum of areas B and D. Economic surplus decreases by the sum of areas C and E. Economic surplus, if the market is not in equilibrium

22 22 of 40 Figure 4.7 The reduction in economic surplus resulting from a market not being in competitive equilibrium is known as deadweight loss. Deadweight loss can be thought of as the amount of inefficiency in a market. In competitive equilibrium, deadweight loss is zero. Economic surplus, if the market is not in equilibrium

23 23 of 40 Explain the economic effect of government-imposed price floors and price ceilings. 4.3 LEARNING OBJECTIVE Government Intervention in the Market: Price Floors and Price Ceilings

24 24 of 40 One option a government has for affecting a market is the imposition of a price ceiling or a price floor. Price ceiling: A legally determined maximum price that sellers can charge. Price floor: A legally determined minimum price that sellers may receive. Price ceilings and floors in the USA are uncommon, but include: Minimum wages Rent controls Agricultural price controls What Consumer Surplus and Producer Surplus Measure Price ceilings and floors

25 25 of 40 Figure 4.8 The equilibrium price in the market for wheat is $3.00 per bushel; 2.0 billion bushels are traded at this price. If wheat farmers convince the government to impose a price floor of $3.50 per bushel, quantity traded falls to 1.8 billion. Area A is the surplus transferred from consumers to producers. Economic surplus is reduced by area B + C, the deadweight loss. Price floors: agricultural price supports

26 26 of 40 Figure 4.8 Unfortunately, the situation may be even worse. If farmers do not realize they will not be able to sell all of their wheat, they will produce 2.2 billion bushels. This results in a surplus, or excess supply, of 400 million bushels of wheat. Price floors: agricultural price supports

27 27 of 40 Price Floors in Labor Markets: The Debate over Minimum Wage Policy Making the Connection Supporters of the minimum wage see it as a way of raising the incomes of low- skilled workers. Opponents argue that it results in fewer jobs and imposes large costs on small businesses. Assuming the minimum wage does decrease employment, it must result in a deadweight loss for society.

28 28 of 40 Figure 4.9 Without rent control, the equilibrium rent is $1,500 per month. At that price, 2,000,000 apartments would be rented. If the government imposes a rent ceiling of $1,000, the quantity of apartments supplied falls to 1,900,000, and the quantity of apartments demanded increases to 2,100,000, resulting in a shortage of 200,000 apartments. Price ceilings: rent control

29 29 of 40 Producer surplus equal to the area of the blue rectangle A is transferred from landlords to renters. There is a deadweight loss equal to the areas of yellow triangles B and C. This deadweight loss corresponds to the surplus that would have been derived from apartments that are no longer rented. The economic effect of rent controls Figure 4.9

30 30 of 40 The shortage of apartments may lead to a black market – a market in which buying and selling take place at prices that violate government price regulations. The existence of a black market may alleviate some of the deadweight loss by allowing additional apartments to be rented; but buyers and sellers lose valuable legal protections. Additionally, landlords may not have strong incentives to maintain rent-controlled apartments, so the apartments may fall into disrepair. Over time, landlords may even abandon some apartment buildings. What Consumer Surplus and Producer Surplus Measure Unintended effects of rent controls

31 31 of 40 It is clear that when a government imposes price controls, Some people are made better off Some people are made worse off The economy generally suffers, as deadweight loss will generally occur Economists seldom recommend price controls, with the possible exception of minimum wage laws. Why minimum wage laws? Price controls might be justified if there are strong equity effects to override the efficiency loss. The people benefitting from minimum wage laws are generally poor. The results of government price controls

32 32 of 40 Analyze the economic impact of taxes. 4.4 LEARNING OBJECTIVE The Economic Impact of Taxes

33 33 of 40 Taxes are the most important method by which governments fund their activities. We will concentrate on per-unit taxes: taxes assessed as a particular dollar amount on the sale of a good or service, as opposed to a percentage tax. Example: The US Federal government imposes a 18.4 cents per gallon tax on gasoline sales, as of source: What Consumer Surplus and Producer Surplus Measure Taxes

34 34 of 40 Without the tax, market equilibrium occurs at point A. The equilibrium price of cigarettes is $4.00 per pack, and 4 billion packs of cigarettes are sold per year. A $1.00-per-pack tax on cigarettes will cause the supply curve for cigarettes to shift up by $1.00, from S 1 to S 2. The effect of a tax on cigarettes The new equilibrium occurs at point B. The price of cigarettes will increase by $0.90, to $4.90 per pack, and the quantity sold will fall to 3.7 billion packs. Figure 4.10

35 35 of 40 The Effect of Taxes on Economic Efficiency The supply curve shifted up by $1.00, the amount of the tax. If firms were willing to sell 4 billion packs at a price of $4.00 before the tax, the price needs to be exactly $1.00 higher in order to convince them to still sell 4 billion packs. This is because firms costs effectively increased by $1.00 per unit. What just happened with the supply curve? Figure 4.10

36 36 of 40 Cigarette tax revenue and deadweight loss Figure 4.10 The tax increases the price paid by consumers to $4.90 per pack. Producers receive a price of $4.90 per pack (point B), but after paying the $1.00 tax, they are left with $3.90 (point C). The government will receive tax revenue equal to the green shaded box. Some consumer surplus and some producer surplus will become tax revenue for the government, and some will become deadweight loss, shown by the yellow-shaded area.

37 37 of 40 Figure 4.11 With no tax on gasoline, the price would be $3.00 per gallon, and 144 billion gallons of gasoline would be sold each year. A 10-cents-per-gallon excise tax shifts up the supply curve from S 1 to S 2. The price consumers pay rises from $3.00 to $3.08. The price sellers receive falls from $3.00 to $2.98. Determining tax incidence on a demand and supply graph Therefore, consumers pay 8 cents of the 10-cents-per-gallon tax on gasoline, and sellers pay 2 cents.

38 38 of 40 In the market for gasoline, the buyers effectively paid 80% of the 10-cents-per-gallon tax, and sellers paid 20%. This is referred to as the tax incidence: the actual division of the burden of a tax between buyers and sellers in a market. What determines this tax incidence? As we will see on the next slide, the answer is not whoever has the legal obligation to pay the tax… What Consumer Surplus and Producer Surplus Measure Tax incidence: who actually pays a tax?

39 39 of 40 This is the same result we saw when producers were responsible for paying the tax! Figure 4.12 With no tax on gasoline, the demand curve is D 1. If a 10-cents-per- gallon tax imposed on consumers, the demand curve shifts down by the amount of the tax, from D 1 to D 2. In the new equilibrium, consumers pay a price of $3.08 per gallon, including the tax. Producers receive $2.98 per gallon. What if the buyers were legally obligated to pay the tax?

40 40 of 40 The incidence of the tax is determined by the relative slopes of the demand and supply curves. A steep demand curve means that buyers do not change how much they buy when the price changes; this results in them taking on much of the burden of the tax. If the demand curve were shallower, buyers would change how much they bought a lot in response to a price change. Then they could not be forced to accept as much of the burden of the tax. Similar analysis applies for sellers. What Consumer Surplus and Producer Surplus Measure What determines the tax incidence?

41 41 of 40 Is the Burden of the Social Security Tax Really Shared Equally between Workers and Firms? Making the Connection The Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax is 15.3% of wages, and funds Social Security and Medicare. By law, employers pay half (7.65%), as do workers. Who really ends up with most of the burden of this tax? The answer depends on who is less sensitive to changes in wages: employers (buyers of labor) or workers (sellers of labor). It turns out that workers are relatively insensitive to their wages; that is, they dont change their hours-of-work decision much when their wages change. So workers end up with most of the burden of this tax.

42 42 of 40 Comparative Advantage and the Gains from International Trade CHAPTER 7 Chapter Outline and Learning Objectives 7.1The United States in the International Economy 7.2Comparative Advantage in International Trade 7.3How Countries Gain from International Trade 7.4Government Policies That Restrict International Trade 7.5The Arguments over Trade Policies and Globalization

43 43 of 40 Discuss the role of international trade in the U.S. economy. 7.1 LEARNING OBJECTIVE The United States in the International Economy

44 44 of 40 The United States and international trade International trade has grown more and more important to the world economy over the past 50 years. Falling shipping and transportation costs have made international trade more profitable and desirable. Traditionally, countries imposed high tariffs on imports, believing that such measured made their own firms and consumers better off. But that meant their exports were similarly taxed. Tariff: A tax imposed by a government on imports Imports: Goods and services bought domestically but produced in other countries. Exports: Goods and services produced domestically but sold in other countries.

45 45 of 40 Figure 7.1 Since 1970, both imports and exports have been steadily rising as a fraction of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP). International trade has been becoming a more and more important part of the American economy. The United States and international trade

46 46 of 40 Figure 7.2 The Eight Leading Exporting Countries, 2010 Because of the size of its economy, America exports more than any other country9.7% of world exports. Comparing the U.S. and other countries trade

47 47 of 40 Figure 7.3 International Trade as a Percentage of GDP Relative to other countries, international trade constitutes a relatively small part of the U.S. economy. This is due mostly to Americas size. Comparing the U.S. and other countries trade

48 48 of 40 Caterpillar has become increasingly dependent on foreign markets, with its firms exports rising from just over half of total sales in 2004 to more than two-thirds in How Caterpillar Depends on International Trade Making the Connection

49 49 of 40 Understand the difference between comparative advantage and absolute advantage in international trade. 7.2 LEARNING OBJECTIVE Comparative Advantage in International Trade

50 50 of 40 Comparative advantage in international trade In Chapter 2 we introduced the concept of comparative advantage: being able to produce something at a lower opportunity cost than someone else. In the table, Japan has an absolute advantage in producing both cell phones and tablet computers: it can produce each with fewer resources (hours of work) than can the U.S.. But comparative advantage means that trade can still be advantageous for both nations. Table 7.1 Output per Hour of Work Cell PhonesTablet Computers Japan126 United States24

51 51 of 40 Table 7.2 Opportunity Costs Cell PhonesTablet Computers Japan 0.5 tablet computer2 cell phones United States 2 tablet computers0.5 cell phone Comparative advantage in international trade This table shows what has to be given up to create each good: the opportunity cost. If the nations were in autarky, a situation in which they did not trade with other countries, these would also be the relative prices in each country: a cell phone would trade for half the price of a tablet computer in Japan, and double the price of a tablet computer in America. Japan would like to trade its cell phones for American tablets, and vice versa.

52 52 of 40 Why dont we see complete specialization? In the real world, products are not generally produced by only one nation. Reasons include: Not all goods and services can be traded internationally (medical services, for example). Production of many goods involves increasing opportunity costs (so small amounts of production are likely to take place in several countries) Tastes for products differ (cars, for example); countries might have comparative advantages in different sub-types of products.

53 53 of 40 Whats the bad news about international trade? So far, we have made it appear that international trade is going to be good for everybody. But this is true only on a national level. Some individual firms and consumers will lose out due to international trade. These groups would likely ask their governments to implement protectionist measures like tariffs and quotas, in order to protect them from foreign competition. Quota: A numerical limit a government imposes on the quantity of a good that can be imported into that country.

54 54 of 40 Where does comparative advantage come from? Comparative advantage can derive from a variety of natural and man-made sources: Climate and natural resources Some nations are better-suited to particular types of production; particularly important for agricultural goods. Relative abundance of labor and/or capital Some nations have lots of high- or low-skilled workers, or relatively much or little infrastructure. Technological differences Technologies may not diffuse quickly or uniformly. External economies Reductions in a firms costs may result from an increase in the (local) size of that industry; think Silicon Valley, Hollywood, or Wall Street.

55 55 of 40 In the early 19 th century, New York City benefited from the Erie Canal bringing commerce from upstate New York to the city. Consequently, many financial firms (banks, traders, etc.) located in Manhattan. Leave New York City? Risky for Financial Firms Making the Connection Now there is no particular natural advantage for financial firms to locate in Manhattan. But proximity to similar firms generates external economies for those firms. If a financial firm chooses to locate out of Manhattan, it experiences higher costs of doing business with other firms located in Manhattan.

56 56 of 40 Comparative advantage over timeU.S. electronics For several decades, the U.S. had a comparative advantage in producing consumer electronics (TVs, radios, etc.), due to having modern factories and a skilled and experienced work force. Over time, other countries like Japan developed superior process technologies, allowing them to streamline production of these goods, and produce them cheaper than U.S. firms. Rising Asian wages are starting to drive the production of consumer electronic devices back to America, along with the high computer and software design requirements of many current consumer electronic devices.

57 57 of 40 Analyze the economic effects of government policies that restrict international trade. 7.4 LEARNING OBJECTIVE Government Policies That Restrict International Trade

58 58 of 40 Figure 7.4 If trade is not allowed in the U.S. market for ethanol, all domestic consumption will be met by domestic production. Consumers who are willing to pay at least $2.00 per gallon purchase ethanol, and obtain consumer surplus. Surplus when trade is not allowed Domestic producers with costs lower than $2.00 per gallon sell their ethanol, and obtain producer surplus.

59 59 of 40 Joining the world ethanol market Now suppose the American government decides to open up imports and/or exports of ethanol. Assume that the world price of gasoline is $1.00 per gallon: American will import ethanol. American consumers will benefit from cheaper ethanol. American ethanol producers will suffer, with a lower price. How can we decide whether allowing free trade makes Americans better off overall? By comparing the economic surplus in the market with and without free trade. Free trade: Trade between countries that is without government restrictions.

60 60 of 40 Figure 7.5 When imports are allowed, price falls to $1.00 per gallon. U.S. production falls to 3.0 billion; U.S. consumption rises to 9.0 billion. Hence 6.0 million gallons are imported. Consumer surplus rises to A+B+C+D. Producer surplus falls to E. Overall, economic surplus rises; the gains to consumers outweigh the losses to producers. Change in economic surplus due to free trade

61 61 of 40 Government policies in restriction of trade Firms that face competition from imported goods lose out when trade is allowed. These firms appear to deserve sympathy, especially when their workers start to lose their jobs. Consequently, they can often convince governments to restrict trade; usually with one of the following: Tariffs: Taxes imposed by a government on goods imported into a country. Voluntary Export Restraints (VERs): Agreements negotiated between countries placing numerical limits on the quantity of a good exported from one country to another.

62 62 of 40 Figure 7.6 Effect of a tariff on economic surplus We return to the market for ethanol. If the government imposes a $0.50 per gallon tariff, price rises to $1.50. U.S. production rises, and U.S. consumption falls. Producer surplus rises by A. The government gains tariff revenues (T). But consumer surplus falls by A+C+T+D. Overall, economic surplus falls by C+D: deadweight loss.

63 63 of 40 Product Number of Jobs Saved Cost to Consumers per Year for Each Job Saved Benzenoid chemicals Luggage Softwood lumber Dairy products Frozen orange juice Ball bearings Machine tools Women's handbags Canned tuna , , $1,376,435 1,285,078 1,044, , , , , , ,640 Table 7.5 Preserving U.S. jobs with tariffs and quotas is expensive… The cost to American consumers of maintaining import restrictions and tariffs is very high.

64 64 of 40 Table 7.6 Product Cost to Consumers per Year for Each Job Saved Rice Natural gas Gasoline Paper Beef, pork, and poultry Cosmetics Radio and television sets $51,233,000 27,987,000 6,329,000 3,813,000 1,933,000 1,778, ,000 … and the same is true in Japan! Japanese consumers also pay high prices to maintain Japanese jobs through import restrictions and tariffs.

65 65 of 40 Save Jobs Making Hangers... and Lose Jobs in Dry Cleaning Making the Connection A tariff on hangers increased the cost of doing business for U.S. dry cleaners. U.S. wire hanger manufacturers lobbied the government for tariffs on hangers imported from China. The tariffs saved about 300 jobs in the U.S. wire hanger industry. But the tariffs increased the cost of hangers, costing dry cleaners on average $4,000 per year. With about 30,000 dry cleaning stores in America, this increased costs by $120 million per year, or $400,000 for every job saved.

66 66 of 40 Shouldnt the U.S. and Japan drop their tariffs? Some politicians argue that we should drop our tariffs and quotas, but only if the Japanese (and other countries) agree to do the same. This makes it easier to gain political support for actions that will genuinely cause economic pain, albeit to a limited number of people. But our analysis showed that there is sufficient reason for America to unilaterally remove its restrictions. The U.S. economy would gain from the elimination of tariffs and quotas even if other countries did not reduce their tariffs and quotas!

67 67 of 40 Would eliminating child labor, such as stitching soccer balls, improve the quality of childrens lives? The Unintended Consequences of Banning Goods Made with Child Labor Making the Connection In rich nations, our reaction to child labor is one of horror: shouldnt those children be in schools, getting education? Often, this is not the reality: the alternative to work for those children is worse, like begging or prostitution. This was the reality for Pakistani children when Baden Sports was forced by public pressure to move its production of soccer balls from Pakistan to China.

68 68 of 40 Common misconceptions to avoid Comparative advantage is the basis for trade; a nation may have an absolute advantage in nothing or in everything, and still benefit from trade. Tariffs are effectively taxes imposed on imports; they do not ban imports in any way. Trade creates winners and losers; to claim otherwise is dishonest. Whether free trade is good or not is a normative (value) judgment. But economics can inform those value judgments. Some parts of free trade are surely good; we must determine which parts are good, and which are not. Its not all or nothing.

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