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Part 3 Markets and Efficiency

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1 Part 3 Markets and Efficiency
Concept of economic (allocative) efficiency introduced previously Decreasing marginal benefits and increasing marginal costs Efficient allocation where MB = MC This assumes all costs and benefits are included (including environmental costs) Do competitive markets produce efficient outcomes?

2 Demand and Marginal Benefit
People value many different goods and services The total benefit (value) of a good to a person is the benefit gained from the whole of the amount of the good consumed The marginal benefit (value) of a good to a person is the additional benefit that consuming the last unit provides A person’s relative valuation of a good is expressed in their willingness to pay

3 Willingness to Pay People have a limited budget so that purchasing one thing for $5 means not purchasing the other things that $5 could have bought If I pay $5 for a unit of a good it means I value that unit of that good at least as much as (and maybe more than) the other things I could have bought for $5 My willingness to pay for the last unit I purchase is a measure of its marginal benefit to me

4 Willingness to Pay Willingness to pay for additional units of a good declines with quantity for each individual People vary in their willingness to pay depending on their incomes and preferences At the level of the market will find willingness to pay will decline with quantity.

5 Willingness to Pay and Demand Curves
Under most circumstances (small or zero income effects from price changes) a demand curve can also be thought of as a marginal benefit curve or as a marginal willingness to pay curve The area under the demand curve to the left of the last unit purchased can be thought of as measuring total benefit or total willingness to pay

6 Willingness to Pay and Demand Curves
Total benefit or total WTP for Q1 (green shaded area) P1 P1 = MB or marginal WTP at Q1 D Q1 Q

7 Consumers’ Surplus Given a price of P1 consumers purchase
up to Q1. They pay P1 for all units although previous units are valued more P Consumers’ Surplus: excess of total WPT over amount actually paid P1 P1 = MB or marginal WTP at Q1 D Q1 Q Amount actually paid (P1 x Q1)

8 Supply and Marginal Cost
The cost of production of a good is its opportunity cost--the other goods that could have been produced instead with the resources used Provided all productive resources are priced in competitive markets, the opportunity cost of producing something will be reflected in the cost of production (cost of the productive resources used)

9 Supply and Marginal Cost
The marginal cost of production is the opportunity cost of producing one more unit of the good Marginal opportunity costs tend to rise with output Producers will only produce up to the point where the price they receive equals the marginal cost of production (profit max) The supply curve is a marginal cost curve

10 Supply and Marginal Cost
MC=S 15 Marginal opportunity cost Of the 10th unit = $15 Q 10 Firm will supply the 10th unit if the price is $15. This is the minimum price that producers will accept for that unit of production

11 Producers’ Surplus P S=MC Producers’ Surplus 15 Cost of production 10
Q Producer would have been willing to Produce units 1-9 for less than $15 but Receives the same price for all units

12 Is the Competitive Market Efficient?
S=MC P CS Sum of CS and Ps is the Social Surplus E 15 PS D=MB 10 Q At E the Social Surplus is maximized. Maximum of total benefit over the total opportunity cost.

13 Is the Market Always Efficient?
Markets may not result in economic efficiency for a number of reasons - Price floors and ceilings - Taxes, subsidies, quotas - Monopoly - Public goods - External costs or benefits These barriers to efficiency are very widespread

14 Inefficiencies: Underproduction and Overproduction
Deadweight loss S Underproduction D Q Q’ Q* P S Deadweight loss Overproduction D Q Q* Q’

15 Efficiency and Equity Efficiency is an allocation of resources where MB=MC An efficient allocation can only be defined given some initial allocation of resources between individuals Willingness to pay is budget constrained Efficient markets may well result in very unequal distributions of income

16 Markets with Price or Quantity Regulation
Housing markets and rent ceilings Rent S Rb Deadweight loss Rc Shortage D Q Qs Qd

17 Markets with Price or Quantity Regulation
Labour Markets with minimum wages Wage Unemployment S Wmin W* D Q Q* Qd Qs

18 Markets with Price or Quantity Regulation
Agricultural markets--problems of price and income instability due to supply fluctuations and inelastic demand Markets in inventories and price stabilization Attempts to raise farm incomes - Price floors - Quotas - Subsidy programs

19 Agricultural Price Floors and Quotas
Surplus at P’ P’ P* D Q” Q’ Q* Q P’ = price floor Q’ = quota amount

20 Agricultural Subsidies
P S S-subsidy P’+sub P* P’ Subsidy D Q* Q’ Q

21 Sales Taxes and Prices The incidence of a sales tax
Incidence and the elasticity of demand and supply P S + tax S P’+ tax Per unit tax Tax revenue P* P’ D Q Q’ Q*

22 Sales Taxes and Efficiency
P Consumers’ surplus S+tax S P’ Tax revenue Deadweight loss D Producers’ surplus Q’ Q

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