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R. GLENN HUBBARD Microeconomics FOURTH EDITION ANTHONY PATRICK O’BRIEN
2 of 32 © 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall Trade-offs, Comparative Advantage, and the Market System CHAPTER 2 Chapter Outline and Learning Objectives 2.1Production Possibilities Frontiers and Opportunity Costs 2.2Comparative Advantage and Trade 2.3The Market System
3 of 32 © 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall Managers Making Choices at BMW Whether to introduce new car models. Where in the world to advertise. Whether to concentrate production in German factories or to build new factories in overseas markets. Which quantities of which models to produce. AN INSIDE LOOK on page 60 discusses the trade-off GM faces when deciding how to allocate resources between producing powertrains for its two electric cars—the Chevy Volt and the Cadillac Converj. To compete in the automobile market, the managers of BMW must make many strategic decisions, such as:
4 of 32 © 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall The Trade-offs When You Buy a Car When you buy a car, you probably consider factors such as safety and fuel efficiency. To increase fuel efficiency, automobile manufacturers make cars small and light, but because large cars absorb more of the impact of an accident than do small cars, people are usually safer driving large cars. See if you can answer these questions by the end of the chapter: What can we conclude from these facts about the relationship between safety and fuel efficiency? Under what circumstances would it be possible for automobile manufacturers to make cars safer and more fuel efficient? Economics in Your Life Scarcity A situation in which unlimited wants exceed the limited resources available to fulfill those wants. Scarcity requires trade-offs. Goods and services and the economic resources used to make them, or factors of production—workers, capital, natural resources, and entrepreneurial ability—are scarce.
5 of 32 © 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall Use a production possibilities frontier to analyze opportunity costs and trade-offs. 2.1 LEARNING OBJECTIVE Production Possibilities Frontiers and Opportunity Costs Production possibilities frontier (PPF) A curve showing the maximum attainable combinations of two products that may be produced with available resources and current technology.
6 of 32 © 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall Graphing the Production Possibilities Frontier BMW’s Production Possibilities Frontier Figure 2.1 BMW faces a trade-off: To build one more hybrid, it must build one less SUV. The production possibilities frontier illustrates the trade-off BMW faces. Combinations on the production possibilities frontier—like points A, B, C, D, and E—are technically efficient because the maximum output is being obtained from the available resources. Combinations inside the frontier— like point F—are inefficient because some resources are not being used. Combinations outside the frontier— like point G—are unattainable with current resources. Opportunity cost The highest-valued alternative that must be given up to engage in an activity.
7 of 32 © 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall Solved Problem 2.1 Drawing a Production Possibilities Frontier for Rosie’s Boston Bakery Hours Spent MakingQuantity Made ChoiceCakesPiesCakesPies A50 B41 C32 D23 E14 F05 Rosie has 5 hours per day to devote to baking. In 1 hour, Rosie can prepare 2 pies or 1 cake. a. Use the information given to complete the following table: Solving the Problem Step 1: Review the chapter material. Step 2: Answer part (a) by filling in the table.
8 of 32 © 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall Solved Problem 2.1 Drawing a Production Possibilities Frontier for Rosie’s Boston Bakery Hours Spent MakingQuantity Made ChoiceCakesPiesCakesPies A50 B41 C32 D23 E14 F05 Rosie has 5 hours per day to devote to baking. In 1 hour, Rosie can prepare 2 pies or 1 cake. a. Use the information given to complete the following table: b. Use the data in the table to draw a production possibilities frontier graph illustrating Rosie’s trade-offs between making cakes and making pies. Label the vertical axis “Quantity of cakes made.” Label the horizontal axis “Quantity of pies made.” Make sure to label the values where Rosie’s production possibilities frontier intersects the vertical and horizontal axes. Solving the Problem Step 1: Review the chapter material. Step 2: Answer part (a) by filling in the table. Step 3: Answer part (b) by drawing the production possibilities frontier graph
9 of 32 © 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall Solved Problem 2.1 Drawing a Production Possibilities Frontier for Rosie’s Boston Bakery Therefore, her opportunity cost of making 2 more pies is making 1 less cake. Moving from choice D to choice E increases Rosie’s production of pies by 2 but lowers her production of cakes by 1. Your Turn: For more practice, do related problem 1.9 at the end of this chapter. MyEconLab Hours Spent MakingQuantity Made ChoiceCakesPiesCakesPies A5050 B4142 C3234 D2326 E1418 F05010 Step 4: Answer part (c) by showing choices D and E on your graph. c. Label the points representing choice D and choice E. If Rosie is at choice D, what is her opportunity cost of making more pies?
10 of 32 © 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall Spending more on health care means spending less on other goods and services for both households and governments. Although the consequences of being uninsured can be severe, particularly if someone develops a serious illness, economists are not surprised that higher prices for health insurance lead to less health insurance being purchased. Faced with limited incomes, people have to make choices among the goods and services they buy. In a world of scarcity, trade-offs of some kind are inevitable. Facing Trade-offs in Health Care Spending Making the Connection Your Turn: Test your understanding by doing related problems 1.10, 1.11, 1.12, and 1.13 at the end of this chapter. MyEconLab
11 of 32 © 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall Increasing Marginal Opportunity Costs Figure 2.2 As the economy moves down the production possibilities frontier, it experiences increasing marginal opportunity costs because increasing automobile production by a given quantity requires larger and larger decreases in tank production. For example, to increase automobile production from 0 to 200—moving from point A to point B—the economy has to give up only 50 tanks. But to increase automobile production by another 200 vehicles—moving from point B to point C—the economy has to give up 150 tanks. The more resources already devoted to an activity, the smaller the payoff to devoting additional resources to that activity.
12 of 32 © 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall Economic Growth Figure 2.3 Panel (a) shows that as more economic resources become available and technological change occurs, the economy can move from point A to point B, producing more tanks and more automobiles. Panel (b) shows the results of technological change in the automobile industry that increases the quantity of vehicles workers can produce per year while leaving unchanged the maximum quantity of tanks that can be produced. Shifts in the production possibilities frontier represent economic growth. Economic growth The ability of the economy to increase the production of goods and services.
13 of 32 © 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall Comparative Advantage and Trade Understand comparative advantage and explain how it is the basis for trade. 2.2 LEARNING OBJECTIVE
14 of 32 © 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall Specialization and Gains from Trade Production Possibilities for You and Your Neighbor, without Trade Figure 2.4 The table shows how many pounds of apples and how many pounds of cherries you and your neighbor can each pick in one week. Panel (a) shows your PPF. If you devote all your time to picking apples and none of your time to picking cherries, you can pick 20 pounds. If you devote all your time to picking cherries, you can pick 20 pounds. Panel (b) shows that if your neighbor devotes all her time to picking apples, she can pick 30 pounds. If she devotes all her time to picking cherries, she can pick 60 pounds.
15 of 32 © 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall Gains from Trade Figure 2.5 When you don’t trade with your neighbor, you pick and consume 8 pounds of apples and 12 pounds of cherries per week—point A in panel (a). When your neighbor doesn’t trade with you, she picks and consumes 9 pounds of apples and 42 pounds of cherries per week—point C in panel (b). If you specialize in picking apples, you can pick 20 pounds. If your neighbor specializes in picking cherries, she can pick 60 pounds. If you trade 10 pounds of your apples for 15 pounds of your neighbor’s cherries, you will be able to consume 10 pounds of apples and 15 pounds of cherries— point B in panel (a). Your neighbor can now consume 10 pounds of apples and 45 pounds of cherries—point D in panel (b). You and your neighbor are both better off as a result of trade. Trade The act of buying and selling.
16 of 32 © 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall A Summary of the Gains from Trade Table 2.1 YouYour Neighbor Apples (in pounds) Cherries (in pounds) Apples (in pounds) Cherries (in pounds) Production and consumption without trade Production with trade Consumption with trade Gains from trade (increased consumption)2313
17 of 32 © 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall Absolute Advantage versus Comparative Advantage Absolute advantage The ability of an individual, a firm, or a country to produce more of a good or service than competitors, using the same amount of resources. Comparative advantage The ability of an individual, a firm, or a country to produce a good or service at a lower opportunity cost than competitors. Opportunity Costs of Picking Apples and Cherries Table 2.2 Opportunity Cost of Picking 1 Pound of Apples Opportunity Cost of Picking 1 Pound of Cherries You1 pound of cherries1 pound of apples Your Neighbor2 pounds of cherries0.5 pound of apples Don’t Let This Happen to You Don’t Confuse Absolute Advantage and Comparative Advantage Make sure you know the definitions. Keep in mind it is possible to have one without the other. Your Turn: Test your understanding by doing related problem 2.5 at the end of this chapter. MyEconLab
18 of 32 © 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall Comparative Advantage and the Gains from Trade The basis for trade is comparative advantage, not absolute advantage. Individuals, firms, and countries are better off if they specialize in producing goods and services for which they have a comparative advantage and obtain the other goods and services they need by trading.
19 of 32 © 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall Solved Problem 2.2 Comparative Advantage and the Gains from Trade CanadaUnited States Honey (in tons) Maple Syrup (in tons) Honey (in tons) Maple Syrup (in tons) Suppose that Canada and the United States both produce maple syrup and honey, which sell for the same prices in both countries. These are the combinations of the two goods that each country can produce in one day using the same amounts of capital and labor: a. Who has a comparative advantage in producing maple syrup? Who has a comparative advantage in producing honey?
20 of 32 © 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall Solved Problem 2.2 Comparative Advantage and the Gains from Trade Solving the Problem Step 1: Review the chapter material. Step 2: Answer part (a) by calculating who has a comparative advantage in each activity. The United States has a comparative advantage in the production of honey and Canada has a comparative advantage in the production of maple syrup. Step 3: Answer part (b) by showing that specialization makes Canada and the United States better off. b. Suppose that Canada is currently producing 30 tons of honey and 15 tons of maple syrup, and the United States is currently producing 10 tons of honey and 40 tons of maple syrup. Demonstrate that Canada and the United States can both be better off if they specialize in producing only one good and engage in trade. Before TradeAfter Trade Honey (in tons) Maple Syrup (in tons) Honey (in tons) Maple Syrup (in tons) Canada United States
21 of 32 © 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall Solved Problem 2.2 Comparative Advantage and the Gains from Trade c. Illustrate your answer to question (b) by drawing a PPF for the United States and a PPF for Canada. Show on your PPFs the combinations of honey and maple syrup produced and consumed in each country before and after trade. Step 4: Answer part (c) by drawing the PPFs. Your Turn: For more practice, do related problems 2.6 and 2.7 at the end of this chapter. MyEconLab
22 of 32 © 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall The Market System Explain the basic idea of how a market system works. 2.3 LEARNING OBJECTIVE
23 of 32 © 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall Market A group of buyers and sellers of a good or service and the institution or arrangement by which they come together to trade. Product market A market for goods—such as computers—or services—such as medical treatment. Factor market A market for the factors of production, such as labor, capital, natural resources, and entrepreneurial ability. Factors of production The inputs used to make goods and services.
24 of 32 © 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall Factors of production are divided into four broad categories: Labor includes all types of work, from the part-time labor of teenagers working at McDonald’s to the work of senior managers in large corporations. Capital refers to physical capital, such as computers and machine tools, that is used to produce other goods. Natural resources include land, water, oil, iron ore, and other raw materials (or “gifts of nature”) that are used in producing goods. An entrepreneur is someone who operates a business. Entrepreneurial ability is the ability to bring together the other factors of production to successfully produce and sell goods and services.
25 of 32 © 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall Two key groups participate in markets: A household consists of all the individuals in a home. Firms are suppliers of goods and services. The Circular Flow of Income Circular-flow diagram A model that illustrates how participants in markets are linked.
26 of 32 © 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall The Circular-Flow Diagram Figure 2.6 Households and firms are linked together in a circular flow of production, income, and spending. The blue arrows show the flow of the factors of production. In factor markets, households supply labor, entrepreneurial ability, and other factors of production to firms. Firms use these factors of production to make goods and services that they supply to households in product markets. The red arrows show the flow of goods and services from firms to households. The green arrows show the flow of funds. In factor markets, households receive wages and other payments from firms in exchange for supplying the factors of production. Households use these wages and other payments to purchase goods and services from firms in product markets. Firms sell goods and services to households in product markets, and they use the funds to purchase the factors of production from households in factor markets.
27 of 32 © 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall The Gains from Free Markets Free market A market with few government restrictions on how a good or service can be produced or sold or on how a factor of production can be employed. The Market Mechanism Individuals usually act in a rational, self-interested way. In analyzing people in the act of buying and selling, the motivation of financial reward usually provides the best explanation for the actions people take. For the market mechanism to work in responding to changes in consumers’ wants, prices must be flexible. In a famous phrase, Smith said that firms would be led by the “invisible hand” of the market to provide consumers with what they want. Firms respond individually to changes in relative prices by making decisions that collectively end up satisfying the wants of consumers. Countries that come closest to the free market benchmark have been more successful than those with centrally planned economies in providing their people with rising living standards, as Adam Smith argued in 1776.
28 of 32 © 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall A Story of the Market System in Action: How Do You Make an iPad? Making the Connection Firm Location of the FirmiPad Component the Firm Supplies ARMGreat BritainProcessor design BroadcomUnited States (California)Touchscreen controller Infineon TechnologiesGermanySemiconductors LG ElectronicsSouth KoreaScreen SamsungSouth KoreaFlash memory and processor Texas InstrumentsUnited States (Texas)Touchscreen controller The invisible hand of the market has led these firms to contribute their knowledge and resources to the process that ultimately results in an iPad available for sale in a store in the United States. Your Turn: Test your understanding by doing related problems 3.8 and 3.9 at the end of this chapter. MyEconLab
29 of 32 © 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall Entrepreneur Someone who operates a business, bringing together the factors of production— labor, capital, and natural resources—to produce goods and services. ProductInventor Air conditioningWilliam Haviland Carrier AirplaneOrville and Wilbur Wright Biomagnetic imagingRaymond Damadian Biosynthetic insulinHerbert Boyer DNA fingerprintingAlec Jeffries FM radioEdwin Howard Armstrong HelicopterIgor Sikorsky High-resolution CAT scanner Robert Ledley Hydraulic brakeMalcolm Lockheed Integrated circuitJack Kilby MicroprocessorTed Hoff Optical scannerEverett Franklin Lindquist ProductInventor Oral contraceptivesCarl Djerassi Overnight delivery service Fred Smith Personal computer Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak Quick-frozen foodsClarence Birdseye Safety razorKing Gillette Soft contact lensKevin Tuohy Solid fuel rocket engine Robert Goddard SupercomputerSeymour Cray Vacuum tubePhilo Farnsworth ZipperGideon Sundback Important Products Introduced by Entrepreneurs at Small Firms Table 2.2
30 of 32 © 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall The Legal Basis of a Successful Market System Property rights The rights individuals or firms have to the exclusive use of their property, including the right to buy or sell it. Protection of Private Property Enforcement of Contracts and Property Rights If property rights are not well enforced, fewer goods and services will be produced. This reduces economic efficiency, leaving the economy inside its production possibilities frontier. Patents and copyrights protect intellectual property rights for inventors of ideas for new products or production methods and for creators of books, films, and software.
31 of 32 © 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall The Trade-offs When You Buy a Car At the beginning of the chapter, we asked you to think about two questions: When buying a new car, what is the relationship between safety and fuel efficiency? and Under what circumstances would it be possible for automobile manufacturers to make cars safer and more fuel efficient? You have to recognize that there is a trade-off between safety and fuel efficiency, which looks much like the relationship in Figure 2.1. To make a point like G in Figure 2.1 attainable, automobile makers would have to discover new technologies that allow them to make cars lighter and safer at the same time. Economics in Your Life
32 of 32 © 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall AN INSIDE LOOK Managers at General Motors Approve Production of a Plug-in Cadillac Choosing between producing a Chevy Volt and a Cadillac Converj.
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