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**EA Session 7 July 13, 2007 Prof. Samar K. Datta**

Cost Theory EA Session 7 July 13, 2007 Prof. Samar K. Datta

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**Overview Short run costs Long run costs & economies of scale**

Economies of scope & product transformation curve

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SHORT RUN COSTS Marginal Cost (MC) is the cost of expanding output by one unit => MC = dTC/dQ Average Total Cost (ATC) is the cost per unit of output, or average fixed cost (AFC) plus average variable cost (AVC) => ATC = TC/Q = TFC/Q + TVC/Q = AFC + AVC The relationship between the production function and cost can be exemplified by: Increasing returns With increasing returns, output is increasing relative to input and variable cost and total cost will fall relative to output. Decreasing returns With decreasing returns, output is decreasing relative to input and variable cost and total cost will rise relative to output. 14

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Cost Curves for a Firm The line drawn from the origin to the tangent of the variable cost curve: Its slope equals AVC The slope of a point on VC equals MC Therefore, MC = AVC at 7 units of output (point A) P TC 400 VC 300 200 A 100 FC 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Output 39

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**Cost Curves for a Firm Unit Costs AFC falls continuously**

When MC < AVC or MC < ATC, AVC & ATC decrease When MC > AVC or MC > ATC, AVC & ATC increase When MC = AVC = ATC then AVC and ATC are at minimum Output (units/yr.) Cost ($ per unit) 25 50 75 100 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 MC ATC AVC AFC 41

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**PRODUCING A GIVEN OUTPUT AT MINIMUM COST**

Capital per year Q1 Q1 is an isoquant for output Q1. Isocost curve C0 shows all combinations of K and L that cost C0. C0 C1 C2 CO C1 C2 are three isocost lines A K1 L1 K3 L3 K2 L2 Isocost C2 shows quantity Q1 can be produced with combination K2L2 or K3L3. However, both of these are higher cost combinations than K1L1. Labor per year 52

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**THE INFLEXIBILITY OF SHORT-RUN PRODUCTION**

Capital per year L2 Q2 K2 D C Long-Run Expansion Path The long-run expansion path is drawn as before.. Q1 A B L1 K1 L3 P Short-Run Expansion Path Labor per year 77

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**RETURNS TO SCALE Constant Returns to Scale**

If input is doubled, output will double and average cost is constant at all levels of output. Increasing Returns to Scale If input is doubled, output will more than double and average cost decreases at all levels of output. Decreasing Returns to Scale If input is doubled, the increase in output is less than twice as large and average cost increases with output. 78

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**LONG-RUN AVERAGE AND MARGINAL COST**

($ per unit of output LMC A LAC Output 85

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**ECONOMIES AND DISECONOMIES OF SCALE**

Measuring Economies of Scale Therefore, the following is true: EC < 1: MC < AC economies of scale EC = 1: MC = AC constant economies of scale EC > 1: MC > AC diseconomies of scale 89

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**LONG-RUN COST WITH CONSTANT RETURNS TO SCALE**

($ per unit of output) LAC = LMC With many plant sizes with minimum SAC = $10 the LAC = LMC and is a straight line $10 Q1 SAC1 SMC1 Q2 SAC2 SMC2 Q3 SAC3 SMC3 Output 96

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**LONG-RUN COST WITH ECONOMIES AND DISECONOMIES OF SCALE**

The long-run average cost curve is the envelope of the firm’s short-run average cost curves, assuming continually variable plant size. Cost ($ per unit of output SMC1 SAC1 LAC SAC3 SMC3 SAC2 SMC2 If the output is Q1 a manager would chose the small plant SAC1 and SAC $8. Point B is on the LAC because it is a least cost plant for a given output. $10 Q1 $8 B A LMC The long-run cost curve is the dark blue portion of the SAC curve which represents the minimum cost for any level of output, assuming only three discrete plant sizes. Output 102

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ECONOMIES OF SCOPE Economies of scope exist when the joint output of a single firm is greater than the output that could be achieved by two different firms each producing a single output. Firms must choose how much of each to produce. The alternative combinations can be illustrated using product transformation curves. 106

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**PRODUCT TRANSFORMATION CURVE**

Each curve shows combinations of output with a given combination of L & K. Number of tractors O2 O1 illustrates a low level of output. O2 illustrates a higher level of output with two times as much labor and capital. Number of cars 111

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ECONOMIES OF SCOPE The degree of economies of scope measures the savings in cost and can be written: C(Q1) is the cost of producing Q1 C(Q2) is the cost of producing Q2 C(Q1Q2) is the joint cost of producing both products If SC > 0 -- Economies of scope If SC < 0 -- Diseconomies of scope 114

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**DYNAMIC CHANGES IN COSTS –THE LEARNING CURVE (optional)**

The learning curve measures the impact of worker’s experience on the costs of production. It describes the relationship between a firm’s cumulative output and amount of inputs needed to produce a unit of output. 120

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**DYNAMIC CHANGES IN COSTS –THE LEARNING CURVE (optional)**

The learning curve in the figure is based on the relationship: 124

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**DYNAMIC CHANGES IN COSTS –THE LEARNING CURVE (optional)**

L equals A + B and this measures labor input to produce the first unit of output Labor input remains constant as the cumulative level of output increases, so there is no learning 125

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**DYNAMIC CHANGES IN COSTS –THE LEARNING CURVE (optional)**

L approaches A, and A represent minimum labor input/unit of output after all learning has taken place. The more important the learning effect. 126

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**DYNAMIC CHANGES IN COSTS –THE LEARNING CURVE (optional)**

The chart shows a sharp drop in lots to a cumulative amount of 20, then small savings at higher levels. Hours of labor per machine lot 10 8 Doubling cumulative output causes a 20% reduction in the difference between the input required and minimum attainable input requirement. 6 4 2 Cumulative number of machine lots produced 10 20 30 40 50 128

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**ECONOMIES OF SCALE VERSUS LEARNING (optional)**

Cost ($ per unit of output) LAC1 B Economies of Scale LAC2 Learning C A Output 132

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