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Slide 1 AGEC 640 – Agricultural Policy Market Equilibrium and Social Welfare Sept. 17 – 19, 2013 Today: Market equilibrium with trade & policy (slides.

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Presentation on theme: "Slide 1 AGEC 640 – Agricultural Policy Market Equilibrium and Social Welfare Sept. 17 – 19, 2013 Today: Market equilibrium with trade & policy (slides."— Presentation transcript:

1 Slide 1 AGEC 640 – Agricultural Policy Market Equilibrium and Social Welfare Sept. 17 – 19, 2013 Today: Market equilibrium with trade & policy (slides 1-22) Thursday: Policy incidence and social welfare (slides 23-41) Assignment #2 due Next week: no class meetings – work on final project

2 Slide 2 Market equilibrium with trade & policy The story so far… Up to now weve taken prices as given, asking how households respond with substitution in production: Qty. of corn (bu/acre) Qty. of labor (hours/acre) Qty. of corn (bu/acre) Qty. of beans (bushels/acre) Pl/Pc Pb/Pc more corn, more input use more corn, less other outputs Each price change affects the households production choices, input use and income

3 Slide 3 …and on the consumption side: Qty. of corn Qty. of all other goods The households total income and expenditure at Po/Pc Each price change affects the households production choices, input use and income Households respond to price changes with both income and substitution effects: income effect substitution effect

4 Slide 4 Adding up production decisions across households gives us an aggregate supply curve: Price ($/lb) Quantity Produced (thousands of tons/yr) each producers production is added horizontally each price is every participating households marginal cost of production, in terms of other goods …but remember at each price some households are not trading!

5 Slide 5 …and adding up households consumption decisions gives us an aggregate demand curve: Price ($/lb) Quantity Consumed (thousands of tons/yr) each consumers demand is added horizontally each price is every participating households willingness and ability to pay …but again at each price some households are not trading!

6 Slide 6 …so the aggregate of all households production costs and willingness-to-pay is: P($/lb) Q(tons) MC WTP So, what price are we likely to observe in the market? …almost all interesting cases have something else wed need to draw!

7 What price would we observe if these people can trade with the rest of the world? P($/lb) Q(tons) MC WTP Slide 7

8 We need to draw a similar diagram for them, and for the trade between us and them P($/lb) Us (e.g. the U.S.) P($/lb) The Rest of the World (RoW) Q(tons) Trade between us & them Slide 8

9 Starting with foreign supply and demand: P($/lb) The United States P($/lb) The Rest of the World Q(tons) Trade between US and world Note weve drawn the same price axis for the US and RoW (ignoring exchange rates) Slide 9

10 Then we can draw the U.S.s willingness to trade with the RoW: P($/lb) The United States P($/lb) The Rest of the World Q(tons) Trade between US and RoW Q(tons) The U.S. excess demand curve in trade, i.e. the amount demanded at any price that cannot be met by domestic supply. ED Slide 10

11 and RoWs willingness to trade… P($/lb) The United States P($/lb) The Rest of the World Q(tons) Trade between US and ROW Q(tons) ES Q(thou. tons) ED The excess supply curve in trade shows the amount supplied by the world at any price that exceeds the world price. Slide 11

12 World Price Clearing… P($/lb) The United States P($/lb) The Rest of the World Q(tons) Trade between US and ROW Q(tons) Because total quantity in the RoW is large, the excess supply curve is almost flat when graphed on the same axis as the U.S. curves. International markets clear when ED=ED ES Q(1000 tons) ED Slide 12

13 Slide 13 The large size of the rest of the world allows us to simplify the diagram P($/lb) The United States P($/lb) The Rest of the World Q(tons) Trade between us and them Q(tons) ES Q(thou. tons) ED the simplifying assumption that this line is horizontal is called the small country assumption.

14 Slide 14 The small-country assumption allows a single diagram to represent both the US & the RoW P($/lb) The United States P($/lb) The Rest of the World Q(tons) Trade between us Q(tons) ES Q(thou. tons) ED As the world price would not be affected by changes in the U.S. Pw

15 Slide 15 For many important traded products, prices are determined by the worlds supply-demand balance, not local production and consumption. P($/lb) The United States Q(tons) Pw Local supply and demand determine production, consumption and trade, at a price given by the big (bad?) world market

16 Slide 16 But then theres policy! Policies that help producers raise Pd above Pt export taxes or quotas Policies on exports import tariffs or quotas import subsidies (rarely seen) Policies on imports export subsidies Policies that help consumers lower Pd below Pt Policies that work through trade affect both producers and consumers.

17 Slide 17 S (producers marginal cost) tax S (market supply, after taxes) Policies that tax production affect a market like this: and policies that tax consumption look like this: D (market demand, after taxes) D (consumers demand) Taxes restrict the market supply or demand, shifting them to the left… But what about domestic policies? tax

18 Slide 18 Policies that subsidize production work like this: and policies that subsidize consumption work like this: S (producers marginal cost) subsidy S (market supply, after taxes) D (market demand, after subsidies) subsidy D (consumers demand) Subsidies expand market supply or demand -- shift curves to the right.

19 Slide 19 Combining these concepts, we have six possible policies in markets for importables taxes or restrictions subsidies or encouragements on tradeon productionon consumption affect both prod. & cons. affect only production affect only consumption

20 Slide 20 …and six possible policies in markets for exportables: taxes or restrictions subsidies or encouragements on tradeon productionon consumption affect both prod. & cons. affect only production affect only consumption

21 Slide 21 Can we say anything about social welfare? What can we infer from the diagrams about how price changes affect consumer or producer welfare? What can we infer about net effects on social welfare? The simplest and most widely used approach is to compute changes in aggregate economic surplus: –areas on a supply-demand diagram –measured in terms of money (=price X quantity) –but equally relevant in a non-monetized setting… To see strengths and limitations of econ surplus approach we should start with fundamentals

22 Slide 22 Some perspectives on free trade in a free market… producers oppose trade that opens up competition for them will be better off when trade provides them with more consumers consumers prefer open trade that increases the number of sellers prefer fewer buyers for the goods they want Basic tension that is that it is hard to find policies that are in the best interests of everyone in the country. We will pick up here next lecture…

23 Q P as qty. rises, the gap between the curves falls… How could we evaluate a change? Criterion: marginal surplus until this marginal economic surplus reaches zero at the equilibrium Slide 23

24 Q P You should try to understand why. The Hines article explains how this area came to be the workhorse definition of social welfare in applied policy work, despite its limitations relative to other definitions of social welfare. Economic surplus is simply the area between S & D curves Slide 24

25 Q P For example, if new technology reduces marginal cost by 10%, There is a very close link between positive economics (for prediction) and normative economics (for evaluation) Q P we can predict that the new P will be lower and the new Q will be higher. A lower price means producers may lose… but the logic of economic surplus means there must be a net gain to society as a whole. Slide 25

26 Equilibrium = Optimum ? Q P If the equilibrium is the social optimum, do we live in the best of all possible worlds? If you have no other information, you cannot say something else would be better! Slide 26

27 Econ 101 vs. ??? Q P To continue the analysis, we need to know something about some other costs and benefits incurred in this market. Slide 27

28 Slide is not about public or welfare econ Most econ departments have such a course, but our full-semester offering AGEC 617 tends not to attract enough students, so we usually just offer the 1-credit AGEC 604. The question for welfare economics is, what can one infer about aggregate welfare from individual choices, which are assumed to be optimizing an unknown utility function. The answer is… not much… unless we make additional, quite strong assumptions e.g. all consumers are similar in certain ways, or face prices that are similar in certain ways Welfare economics is about those assumptions and their effects. Most are not testable…

29 Slide 29 But to use econ surplus in a thoughtful way, we should remember… The Pareto Principle –A Pareto improvement is preferred by at least one person, and dis-preferred by no one. –Very many situations are already Pareto optimal, and designing Pareto-improving policies is very difficult! The first theorem of welfare economics –A perfectly competitive equilibrium would be Pareto optimal (because everyone faces identical prices) The second theorem of welfare economics –Any P. optimum can be reached by a p.c.e. with transfers (but only if everyone can use the transfers to adjust consumption!)

30 Slide 30 …and, more practically, the Compensation Principle Is Pareto improvement needed for a change to be good? –what if many gain, and only one person loses? –what if the gains are much larger than the losses? –would the gains have to be redistributed immediately for the change to be socially desirable? Usually, we invoke the compensation principle: –we use the term Pareto improvement loosely, to mean a potentially Pareto-improving change, whose gainers could (but dont necessarily) compensate losers and still be better off. –Income and wealth is constantly being (re)distributed through various mechanisms; this way we separate the questions, and do not expect changes to generate gains and also redistribute them! In real life, reform packages often involve some compensation, to those who could block the change.

31 Slide 31 Arnold Harberger and the Triumph of Economic Surplus Harbergers three postulates (untestable!): –marginal willingness to pay is value in consumption –marginal supply price is cost of production –economists should be impartial, and count everyones money equally. Actual politics often involves King John redistribution (from poorer to richer people) and vested interests (that block pro-poor changes). A major determinant of economic growth is the extent to which governments follow Harberger…

32 Slide 32 Qty. of a goods Economic surplus treats the market as a household Qty of b Qb Qa Price of b goods Pb slope of income line =-Pb/Pa highest indifference level in a household model highest economic surplus in a market model equilibrium among optimizing people in a perfectly competitive market

33 Slide 33 We can divide economic surplus into two parts Qb Price of b goods Pb Consumer surplus : area between price paid and the demand curve Producer surplus : area between price received and the supply curve The sum of everyones gains/losses is societys total economic surplus

34 Slide 34 Qty. of a goods Trade creates a distinction between production and consumption – e.g. when we start selling Qty of b Price of b goods Qty of b A B A Producer surplus in b declines by: B …but consumer surplus in b rises by: BA ==> net social gain from trade in b is: Net gain from trade Decline in production of b Increase in consumption of b

35 Slide 35 Price of b goods New technologies also have very different impacts on producers and consumers A B C Net Econ. Surplus Gain = B+C Consumer Surplus Gain = A+B Producer Surplus Change = C-A If demand is very inelastic, and supply is very elastic, then innovation causes producer surplus to fall. This is Cochrans Treadmill, pushing ag. producers to become ag. consumers. Qty of b

36 Slide 36 …note that if a good is traded at a fixed price… Price of b goods With no trade With free trade innovation does not affect consumers; all gains go to producers! Qty of b No innovation With innovation No innovation With innovation

37 Slide 37 So what do we see, and why do we see it? The incidence of each policy is price change X qty. affected, or economic surplus – a useful measure of welfare change P($/lb) QpQp QcQc M For example, the U.S. market for avocados PwPw P us QpQp QcQc A BCD Consumers lose ABCD Producers gain A Who gains C ? In this case, avocado growers associations were given import quotas, and so captured the quota rent C from buying at P w and selling at P us, as well as the increased producer surplus A. Policy is an import quota (M)

38 Slide 38 Areas B and D are Harberger triangles, permanent losses to the U.S. economy. P($/lb) The United States PwPw P us A BCD Production efficiency losses, where MC is above P w Consumption efficiency losses, where WTP is above P w

39 39 Comparing instruments across markets QpQc PwPw P us QpQc ABCD An import quota instrument (M) C.S. change: - ABCD P.S. change: + A quota rent: + C net change: - B D PwPw P us A BCD An import tariff instrument (t) P w +t QpQcQpQc Note that this tariff-quota equivalence is limited. If there are changes in S, D or P w, the two policies lead to different responses. S+quotaS C.S. change: - ABCD P.S. change: + A tariff revenue: + C net change: - B D

40 40 What about policy on exports: If trade is good, surely more trade is better? QsQd CS loss: area AB PS gain: area ABCDE Subsidy cost: area BCDEF Net loss: area BF AD E Ptrade Pdom C B F QdQs Remember its not trade as such, but free trade thats desirable (at least in this model) an export subsidy:

41 Slide 41 Some conclusions on market equilibrium and social welfare Different market structures will lead to different equilibrium outcomes –To the extent that buyers or sellers dont trust each other, quantity sold would go to zero -- unless remedied by trust in a brand or third-party certification –To the extent that buyers or sellers are protected from competition by barriers to entry, they wont act competitively -- wont be price takers –These and other questions of market structure are the topic of AGEC 620 (for PhD students) and AGEC 621 (for PhD and advanced MS students) Different definitions of welfare lead to different policy preferences –These are examined in AGEC 617 and other courses in public economics For AGEC 640 (and in most everyday policy analysis) we assume: –that equilibria are perfectly competitive –that social welfare is proportional to economic surplus These are the simple but powerful techniques, that give us many non- obvious and yet useful results.


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