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Unit III Price Ceilings and Floors (Chapter 5). In this chapter, look for the answers to these questions: eWhat are price ceilings and price floors? What.

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Presentation on theme: "Unit III Price Ceilings and Floors (Chapter 5). In this chapter, look for the answers to these questions: eWhat are price ceilings and price floors? What."— Presentation transcript:

1 Unit III Price Ceilings and Floors (Chapter 5)

2 In this chapter, look for the answers to these questions: eWhat are price ceilings and price floors? What are some examples of each? eHow do price ceilings and price floors affect market outcomes? eHow do taxes affect market outcomes? How does the outcome depend on whether the tax is imposed on buyers or sellers? eWhat is the incidence of a tax? What determines the incidence?

3 Market Disruptions How do we ration goods and services? –Prices –Queues –Lotteries Prices ration available resources most efficiently

4 Market Disruptions When a drought occurs in the United States, what is the best means of rationing water? –California vs. Puerto Rico

5 Market Disruptions When a drought occurs in the United States, what is the best means of rationing water? –California vs. Puerto Rico

6 Government Policies That Alter the Private Market Outcome Price controls –Price ceiling: a legal maximum on the price of a good or service. Example: rent control. –Price floor: a legal minimum on the price of a good or service. Example: minimum wage. We will use the supply/demand model to see how each policy affects the market outcome (the price buyers pay, the price sellers receive, and eqm quantity).

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9 Black Markets Market for illegal g/s Market in which g/s trade at prices above their legal maximum prices –Tickets to sporting events –Rent in some cities Stacia Bekemeyer

10 What do you think the housing market might look like in Amsterdam?

11 Questions 1.Why do we call a price that is lower than the equilibrium a price ceiling? 2.What would be the long-run effects of a price ceiling policy? 3.Isn t it true that lower prices are a good thing for consumers?

12 Rent Control placement of price ceilings on rents in particular cities –Over 200 American cities operate under some kind of rent control Example: –New York City, Santa Monica, CA, Berkeley, CA

13 Two Functions of Rental Prices 1)promote efficient maintenance of existing housing / stimulate construction of new housing –Rent controls discourage the construction of new rental units. Why? –Rent -- most important long-term determinant of profitability / rent controls artificially depress them Examples: –Dallas, Texas (16% vacancy) no rent control built 11,000 new rental units. –San Francisco (1.6 % vacancy) with rent control built 2000 new rental units

14 Two Functions of Rental Prices 2)allocate existing scarce housing among competing claimants What happens to the current supply of housing? –When rental rates are held below the market equilibrium levels, property owners cannot recover the cost of maintenance, repairs, and capital improvements through higher rents. –In extreme situations, fixed costs exceed the rental returns. The result is abandoned buildings Example: New York City and its numerous abandoned buildings.

15 Rent Control Who loses in rent control? –landlords –low income individuals looking for first apartment Who gains in rent control? –Upper-income professionals Important:Effective rent controls discourage new rental unit construction, decrease spending on existing rental units and leads to a Housing gridlock

16 EXAMPLE 1: The Market for Apartments Eqm w/o price controls P Q D S Rental price of apts $ Quantity of apartments

17 How Price Ceilings Affect Market Outcomes A price ceiling above the eqm price is not binding – it has no effect on the market outcome. P Q D S $ Price ceiling $1000

18 How Price Ceilings Affect Market Outcomes The eqm price ($800) is above the ceiling and therefore illegal. The ceiling is a binding constraint on the price, and causes a shortage. P Q D S $800 Price ceiling $ shortage

19 How Price Ceilings Affect Market Outcomes In the long run, supply and demand are more price-elastic. So, the shortage is larger. P Q D S $ Price ceiling $ shortage

20 Alternative Market Outcomes Alternative: Section 8 Grants P Q D S $ Price ceiling $ shortage

21 Shortages and Rationing With a shortage, sellers must ration the goods among buyers. Some rationing mechanisms: (1) long lines (2) discrimination according to sellers biases These mechanisms are often unfair, and inefficient: the goods dont necessarily go to the buyers who value them most highly. In contrast, when prices are not controlled, the rationing mechanism is efficient (the goods go to the buyers that value them most highly) and impersonal (and thus fair???).

22 Price Floors in the Labor Market Minimum Wage –wage floor, legislated by the government, setting the lowest hourly wage rate that firms may legally pay workers Proponents: –ensure low-income workers a decent standard of living Opponents: –causes increased unemployment Note: Economists estimate that a 10% increase in the real minimum wage decreases total employment of those affected by 1 to 2%.

23 EXAMPLE 2: The Market for Unskilled Labor Eqm w/o price controls W L D S Wage paid to unskilled workers $4 500 Quantity of unskilled workers

24 How Price Floors Affect Market Outcomes W L D S $4 500 Price floor $3 A price floor below the eqm price is not binding – it has no effect on the market outcome.

25 How Price Floors Affect Market Outcomes W L D S $4 Price floor $5 The eqm wage ($4) is below the floor and therefore illegal. The floor is a binding constraint on the wage, and causes a surplus (i.e.,unemployment) labor surplus

26 Min wage laws do not affect highly skilled workers. They do affect teen workers. The Minimum Wage W L D S $4 Min. wage $ unemp- loyment

27 Earned Income Tax Credit refundable tax credit primarily for individuals and couples with qualifying children Theory -- Minimum wage laws are a undue burden on small business

28 Price Floors in Agriculture Historical note:1933 Federal government placed price floors on agriculture How it works: 1.Government sets a support price for ag product / acts to ensure that price never falls below support price 2.excess quantity supplied or surplus is purchased by government 3.program run on a per bushel basis / larger farms better off Note: 1996 these supports were supposed to be eliminated except for tobacco and peanuts

29 Ag. Price supports create surplus Ag product in the market. Ag Price Floor P Q D S $4 Ag. Surplus $ surplus

30 A C T I V E L E A R N I N G 1 : Price floors & ceilings 29 Q P S 0 The market for hotel rooms D Determine effects of: A. $90 price ceiling B. $90 price floor C. $120 price floor

31 Q P S 0 The market for hotel rooms D A C T I V E L E A R N I N G 1 : A. $90 price ceiling 30 The price falls to $90. Buyers demand 120 rooms, sellers supply 90, leaving a shortage. shortage = 30 Price ceiling

32 Q P S 0 The market for hotel rooms D A C T I V E L E A R N I N G 1 : B. $90 price floor 31 Eqm price is above the floor, so floor is not binding. P = $100, Q = 100 rooms. Price floor

33 Q P S 0 The market for hotel rooms D A C T I V E L E A R N I N G 1 : C. $120 price floor 32 The price rises to $120. Buyers demand 60 rooms, sellers supply 120, causing a surplus. surplus = 60 Price floor

34 Evaluating Price Controls Markets are usually a good way to organize economic activity. Prices are the signals that guide the allocation of societys resources. This allocation is altered when policymakers restrict prices. Price controls are often intended to help the poor, but they often hurt more than help them: The min. wage can cause job losses. Rent control can reduce the quantity and quality of affordable housing.

35 CHAPTER SUMMARY eA price ceiling is a legal maximum on the price of a good. An example is rent control. If the price ceiling is below the eqm price, it is binding and causes a shortage. eA price floor is a legal minimum on the price of a good. An example is the minimum wage. If the price floor is above the eqm price, it is binding and causes a surplus. The labor surplus caused by the minimum wage is unemployment.


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