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Specialization and Exchange Specialization –Method of production in which each person concentrates on a limited number of activities Exchange –Practice.

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Presentation on theme: "Specialization and Exchange Specialization –Method of production in which each person concentrates on a limited number of activities Exchange –Practice."— Presentation transcript:

1 Specialization and Exchange Specialization –Method of production in which each person concentrates on a limited number of activities Exchange –Practice of trading with others to obtain what we want Allows for –Greater production –Higher living standards than otherwise possible All economics exhibit high degrees of specialization and exchange

2 Further Gains to Specialization Absolute Advantage: A Detour –Ability to produce a good or service using fewer resources than other producers use Comparative Advantage –If one can produce some good with a smaller opportunity cost than others can –Total production of every good or service will be greatest when individuals specialize according to their comparative advantage –Another reason why specialization and exchange lead to higher living standards than self-sufficiency

3 Labor Requirements for Berries and Fish Labor Required for 1 cup of Berries1 Fish Mary½ hour1 hour Jim2 hours6 hours Mary: opportunity cost of 1 fish= Jim: opportunity cost of 1 fish= Mary: opportunity cost of 1 cup berries= Jim: opportunity cost of 1 cup berries= Jim: Fish3 Mary: Fish 4

4 Comparative Advantage & International Trade Labor Requirement per: ChinaUnited States Suit125 hours50 hours Computer625 hours100 hours Opportunity cost per: suit computer

5 A small change in production ChinaU.S.world Suit production+10 Computer production +4

6 Gains from specialization and Trade ChinaU.S. SuitsComputersSuitsComputers Change in Production Exports(-) or Imports(+) Net Gain As long as opportunity costs differ, specialization and trade can be beneficial to all involved. This remains true regardless of whether the parties are different nations, different states, different countries, or different individuals. It remains true even if one party has an all-round absolute advantage.

7 Specialization in Perspective While specialization gives us material gains –There may be opportunity costs to be paid in the loss of other things we care about –Example: downside of specialization in family The right amount of specialization can be found by balancing gains against costs

8 Resource Allocation Problem of resource allocation –Which goods and services should be produced with societys resources? Where on the PPF should economy operate? –How should they be produced? No capital at all Small amount of capital More capital –Who should get them? How do we distribute these products among the different groups and individuals in our society? Example: Who should get the scarce donor organs?

9 The Three Methods of Resources Allocation Traditional Economy –Resources are allocated according to long- lived practices from the past Command Economy (Centrally-Planned) –Resources are allocated according to explicit instructions from a central authority Market Economy –Resources are allocated through individual decision making

10 The Three Methods of Resources Allocation Traditional Economy –Resources are allocated according to long- lived practices from the past Command Economy (Centrally-Planned) –Resources are allocated according to explicit instructions from a central authority Market Economy –Resources are allocated through individual decision making

11 The Nature of Markets A market is a group of buyers and sellers with the potential to trade with each other –Global markets Buyers and sellers spread across the globe –Local markets Buyers and sellers within a narrowly defined area

12 The Importance of Prices A price is the amount of money that must be paid to a seller to obtain a good or service When people pay for resources allocated by the market –They must consider opportunity cost to society of their individual actions Markets can create a sensible allocation of resources

13 Resource Allocation in the United States Numerous cases of resource allocation outside the market –Such as families Various levels of government collect about one- third of our incomes as taxes –Enables government to allocate resources by command Government uses regulations of various types to impose constraints on our individual choice Examples: environment and safety regulations The market is the dominant method of resource allocation in United States –However, it is not a pure market

14 Resource Ownership Communism –Most resources are owned in common Socialism –Most resources are owned by state Capitalism –Most resources are owned privately

15 Types of Economic Systems An economic system is composed of two features –Mechanism for allocating resources Market Command –Mode of resource ownership Private State

16 Figure 4: Types of Economic Systems Resource Allocation MarketCommand Private State Resource Ownership Market Capitalism Centrally Planned Capitalism Centrally Planned Socialism Market Socialism

17 Economic Systems and This Book This book will focus on market capitalist economies About 400 million people have come under the sway of the market in past decade More are being added as China changes to a market economy Study of modern economies is study of market capitalism


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