3Price CeilingsA price ceiling is a regulation that makes it illegal to charge a price higher than a specified level.When a price ceiling is applied to housing markets, it is called a rent ceiling.
4The effect of a price ceiling A price ceiling set above the equilibrium price has no effect because the price ceiling does not constrain the market forces.A price ceiling set below the equilibrium price has powerful effects on a market. A price ceiling attempts to prevent the price from regulating the quantities demanded and supplied.
5Housing Markets and Rent Ceilings $24=maximum black market rentEquilibrium rent is $20 a unitRent ceiling is $16 a unitShortage = 56,000 units of housing
6Consequences of rent ceilings Wasteful search activity: frustrated would-be renters scan the newspapers, not only for housing ads but also for death notices!A black market: frustrated renters and landlords constantly seek ways to increase rents (for example, an exorbitant price for new locks and keys – called “key money”).
7Rent Ceiling Pros A rent ceiling prevents the rent from increasing ConsThe quantity supplied remains constantThere is a housing shortageWasteful searchBlack markets
8Price FloorsA price floor is a regulation that makes it illegal to charge a price below a specified level.If the price floor is set below the equilibrium price, the price floor has no effect. If the price floor is set above the equilibrium price, the price floor is in conflict with the market forces and does have effects on the market.
9Agricultural MarketsFarm output fluctuates a great deal because of fluctuations in the weather.The demand for most agricultural products is inelastic, therefore, a bumper harvest (an increase in supply) decreases the price and decreases farm revenue, and a poor harvest (a decrease in supply) increases the price and increases farm revenue.
10Farm Price Stabilization Policy Government agencies act to stabilize farm prices and revenues.The most extensive interventions occur in the European Union. But they also occur in the US, where they are designed to stabilize the prices of many agricultural products, such as grains, milk, eggs, tobacco, rice, peanuts, and cotton.
11Farm Price Stabilization Policy Governments intervene in agricultural markets. They:set price floors,set production limits (quotas),subsidize,hold inventories.
12Price FloorWith no intervention, the total farm revenue is $3*16=$48 mln
13Price FloorWith a price floor of $4 a ton, the total revenue is $4*14=$56 mlnBut a surplus is 18-14=4 mln tons
14Price Floor Someone must buy this surplus production If farmers (illegally) offer it for sale, the price will fall to $2!
15The government’s price stabilization agency must buy the persistent surpluses. If the price is persistently greater than the equilibrium price, the government agency buys more than it sells and ends up with large inventory.The cost of buying and storing the inventory falls on taxpayers.
16Price floors in agri markets Proslimit price fluctuations in agricultural marketslimit farm revenue fluctuationsConsusually create surpluses of food productsend up with large inventorythe cost of buying and storing the inventory falls on taxpayers
17Labor marketsNew labor-saving technologies become available every year. As a result,the demand for some types of labor,usually the least skilled types, decreases;the wage rate falls;the quantity of labor employed decreases (some people go to school to train and to obtain more skills, but some people leave the labor force for good).
18Minimum wagesA labor market may be regulated with a minimum wage, that is, the lowest legal wage that can be paid.The minimum wage in the US is set by the federal government’s Fair Labor Standards Act. Some state governments have passed minimum wage laws that exceed the federal minimum.
19Labor markets and minimum wages Minimum wage is above the eqm wageUnemploy-ment arisesNo mechanism for ending unemploy-ment
20The minimum wage Cons Pros increases the quantity of labor supplied. Some young people even quit school before completing high schoolcreates unemploymentincreases the amount of time people spent searching for a jobProshelps maintain employment and income for low-skilled labor