Chapter 12 Managerial Decisions for Firms with Market Power

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Chapter 12 Managerial Decisions for Firms with Market Power

Learning Objectives Define market power and describe measurement of market power Explain why entry barriers are necessary for long run market power and discuss major types of entry barriers Find the profit‐maximizing output, price, and input usage for a monopolist and monopolistic competitor Employ empirically estimated or forecasted demand, average variable cost, and marginal cost to calculate profit‐maximizing output and price for monopolistic or monopolistically competitive firms Select production levels at multiple plants to minimize the total cost of producing a given total output for a firm

Market Power Ability of a firm to raise price without losing all its sales Any firm that faces downward sloping demand has market power Gives firm ability to raise price above average cost & earn economic profit (if demand & cost conditions permit)

Monopoly Single firm Produces & sells a good or service for which there are no good substitutes New firms are prevented from entering market because of a barrier to entry

Measurement of Market Power
Degree of market power inversely related to price elasticity of demand The less elastic the firm’s demand, the greater its degree of market power The fewer close substitutes for a firm’s product, the smaller the elasticity of demand (in absolute value) & the greater the firm’s market power When demand is perfectly elastic (demand is horizontal), the firm has no market power

Measurement of Market Power
Lerner index measures proportionate amount by which price exceeds marginal cost: Equals zero under perfect competition Increases as market power increases Also equals –1/E, which shows that the index (& market power), vary inversely with elasticity The lower the elasticity of demand (absolute value), the greater the index & the degree of market power

Measurement of Market Power
If consumers view two goods as substitutes, cross-price elasticity of demand (EXY) is positive The higher the positive cross-price elasticity, the greater the substitutability between two goods, & the smaller the degree of market power for the two firms

Barriers to Entry Entry of new firms into a market erodes market power of existing firms by increasing the number of substitutes A firm can possess a high degree of market power only when strong barriers to entry exist Conditions that make it difficult for new firms to enter a market in which economic profits are being earned

Common Entry Barriers Economies of scale
When long-run average cost declines over a wide range of output relative to demand for the product, there may not be room for another large producer to enter market Barriers created by government Licenses, exclusive franchises Essential input barriers One firm controls a crucial input in the production process

Common Entry Barriers Brand loyalties Consumer lock-in
Strong customer allegiance to existing firms may keep new firms from finding enough buyers to make entry worthwhile Consumer lock-in Potential entrants can be deterred if they believe high switching costs will keep them from inducing many consumers to change brands

Common Entry Barriers Network externalities Sunk costs
Occur when benefit or utility of a product increases as more consumers buy & use it Make it difficult for new firms to enter markets where firms have established a large base or network of buyers Sunk costs Entry costs (which are sunk costs) can serve as a barrier if they are so high that the manager cannot expect to earn enough future profit to make entry worthwhile

Demand & Marginal Revenue for a Monopolist
Market demand curve is the firm’s demand curve Monopolist must lower price to sell additional units of output Marginal revenue is less than price for all but the first unit sold When MR is positive (negative), demand is elastic (inelastic) For linear demand, MR is also linear, has the same vertical intercept as demand, and is twice as steep

Demand & Marginal Revenue for a Monopolist (Figure 12.1)

Short-Run Profit Maximization for Monopoly
Monopolist will produce where MR = SMC as long as TR at least covers the firm’s total avoidable cost (TR ≥ TVC) Price for this output is given by the demand curve If TR < TVC (or, equivalently, P < AVC) the firm shuts down & loses only fixed costs If P > ATC, firm makes economic profit If ATC > P > AVC, firm incurs a loss, but continues to produce in short run

Short-Run Profit Maximization for Monopoly (Figure 12.3)

Short-Run Loss Minimization for Monopoly (Figure 12.4)

Long-Run Profit Maximization for Monopoly
Monopolist maximizes profit by choosing to produce output where MR = LMC, as long as P  LAC Will exit industry if P < LAC Monopolist will adjust plant size to the optimal level Optimal plant is where the short-run average cost curve is tangent to the long-run average cost at the profit-maximizing output level

Long-Run Profit Maximization for Monopoly (Figure 12.5)

Profit-Maximizing Input Usage
Profit-maximizing level of input usage produces exactly that level of output that maximizes profit

Profit-Maximizing Input Usage
Marginal revenue product (MRP) MRP is the additional revenue attributable to hiring one more unit of the input When producing with a single variable input: Employ amount of input for which MRP = input price Relevant range of MRP curve is downward sloping, positive portion, for which ARP > MRP

Monopoly Firm’s Demand for Labor (Figure 12.6)

Profit-Maximizing Input Usage
For a firm with market power, profit-maximizing conditions MRP = w and MR = MC are equivalent Whether Q or L is chosen to maximize profit, resulting levels of input usage, output, price, & profit are the same

Monopolistic Competition
Large number of firms sell a differentiated product Products are close (not perfect) substitutes Market is monopolistic Product differentiation creates a degree of market power Market is competitive Large number of firms, easy entry

Monopolistic Competition
Short-run equilibrium is identical to monopoly Unrestricted entry/exit leads to long-run equilibrium Attained when demand curve for each producer is tangent to LAC At equilibrium output, P = LAC and MR = LMC

Short-Run Profit Maximization for Monopolistic Competition (Figure 12

Long-Run Profit Maximization for Monopolistic Competition (Figure 12

Implementing the Profit-Maximizing Output & Pricing Decision
Step 1: Estimate demand equation Use statistical techniques from Chapter 7 Substitute forecasts of demand-shifting variables into estimated demand equation to get Q = a′ + bP

Implementing the Profit-Maximizing Output & Pricing Decision
Step 2: Find inverse demand equation Solve for P

Implementing the Profit-Maximizing Output & Pricing Decision
Step 3: Solve for marginal revenue When demand is expressed as P = A + BQ, marginal revenue is Step 4: Estimate AVC & SMC Use statistical techniques from Chapter 10 AVC = a + bQ + cQ2 SMC = a + 2bQ + 3cQ2

Implementing the Profit-Maximizing Output & Pricing Decision
Step 5: Find output where MR = SMC Set equations equal & solve for Q* The larger of the two solutions is the profit-maximizing output level Step 6: Find profit-maximizing price Substitute Q* into inverse demand P* = A + BQ* Q* & P* are only optimal if P  AVC

Implementing the Profit-Maximizing Output & Pricing Decision
Step 7: Check shutdown rule Substitute Q* into estimated AVC function AVC* = a + bQ* + cQ*2 If P*  AVC*, produce Q* units of output & sell each unit for P* If P* < AVC*, shut down in short run

Implementing the Profit-Maximizing Output & Pricing Decision
Step 8: Compute profit or loss Profit = TR – TC = P x Q* - AVC x Q* - TFC = (P – AVC)Q* - TFC If P < AVC, firm shuts down & profit is -TFC

Maximizing Profit at Aztec Electronics: An Example

Maximizing Profit at Aztec Electronics: An Example
Estimation of demand & marginal revenue

Maximizing Profit at Aztec Electronics: An Example
Solve for inverse demand

Maximizing Profit at Aztec Electronics: An Example
Determine marginal revenue function P = 100 – 0.002Q MR = 100 – 0.004Q

Demand & Marginal Revenue for Aztec Electronics (Figure 12.9)

Maximizing Profit at Aztec Electronics: An Example
Estimation of average variable cost and marginal cost Given the estimated AVC equation: AVC = 28 – 0.005Q Q2 Then, SMC = 28 – (2 x 0.005)Q + (3 x )Q2 = 28 – 0.01Q Q2

Maximizing Profit at Aztec Electronics: An Example
Output decision Set MR = MC and solve for Q* 100 – 0.004Q = 28 – 0.01Q Q2 0 = (28 – 100) + ( )Q Q2 = -72 – 0.006Q Q2

Maximizing Profit at Aztec Electronics: An Example
Output decision Solve for Q* using the quadratic formula

Maximizing Profit at Aztec Electronics: An Example
Pricing decision Substitute Q* into inverse demand P* = 100 – 0.002(6,000) = \$88

Maximizing Profit at Aztec Electronics: An Example
Shutdown decision Compute AVC at 6,000 units: AVC* = (6,000) (6,000)2 = \$34 Because P = \$88 > \$34 = ATC, Aztec should produce rather than shut down

Maximizing Profit at Aztec Electronics: An Example
Computation of total profit π = TR – TVC – TFC = (P* x Q*) – (AVC* x Q*) – TFC = (\$88 x 6,000) – (\$34 x 6,000) - \$270,000 = \$528,000 - \$204,000 - \$270,000 = \$54,000

Profit Maximization at Aztec Electronics (Figure 12.10)

Multiple Plants If a firm produces in 2 plants, A & B
Allocate production so MCA = MCB Optimal total output is that for which MR = MCT For profit-maximization, allocate total output so that MR = MCT = MCA = MCB

A Multiplant Firm (Figure 12.11)

Summary Price-setting firms possess market power
A monopoly exists when a single firm produces and sells a particular good or service for which there are no good substitutes and new firms are prevented from entering the market Monopolistic competition arises when the market consists of a large number of relatively small firms that produce similar, but slightly differentiated, products and have some market power A firm can possess a high degree of market power only when strong barriers to the entry of new firms exist In the short run, the manager of a monopoly firm will choose to produce where MR = SMC, rather than shut down, as long as total revenue at least covers the firm’s total variable cost (TR ≥ TVC)

Summary In the long run, the monopolist maximizes profit by choosing to produce where MR = LMC, unless price is less than long-run average cost (P < LAC), in which case the firm exits the industry For firms with market power, marginal revenue product (MRP) is equal to marginal revenue times marginal product: MRP = MR × MP Whether the manager chooses Q or L to maximize profit, the resulting levels of input usage, output, price, and profit are the same Short-run equilibrium under monopolistic competition is exactly the same as for monopoly

Summary Long-run equilibrium in a monopolistically competitive market is attained when the demand curve for each producer is tangent to the long-run average cost curve Unrestricted entry and exit lead to this equilibrium 8 steps can be employed for profit-maximization for a monopoly or monopolistically competitive firm: (1) estimate demand equation, (2) find inverse demand equation, (3) solve for marginal revenue, (4) estimate average variable cost and marginal cost, (5) find output level where MR = SMC, (6) find profit-maximizing price, (7) check the shutdown rule, and (8) compute profit/loss A firm producing in two plants, A and B, should allocate production between the two plants so that MCA = MCB