Presentation on theme: "ECONOMIC DECISION MAKING IS PRETTY SIMPLE BECAUSE IT ONLY INVOLVES A FEW TERMS AND RULES. IN FACT, YOU PROBABLY ALREADY THINK ABOUT MANY PROBLEMS IN THE."— Presentation transcript:
ECONOMIC DECISION MAKING IS PRETTY SIMPLE BECAUSE IT ONLY INVOLVES A FEW TERMS AND RULES. IN FACT, YOU PROBABLY ALREADY THINK ABOUT MANY PROBLEMS IN THE SAME WAY THAT ECONOMISTS DO. Making Economic Decisions
Trade-Offs Scarcity forces people to make choices about how they will use their resources Most economic decisions are made with common sense and careful analysis In economic choices, people exchange one good or service for another The trade-off is the alternative you face if you decide to do one thing rather than another Example: If you decide to buy $100 jeans, then your trade-off is the $100
Opportunity Cost The cost of the next best use of your time and money when you choose to do one thing over another Includes more than just money also takes into accounts all the possible discomforts and inconveniences linked to the choice made The opportunity cost of any action is the value of what is given up because the choice was made The opportunity cost is generated from the next highest ranked alternative, not all alternatives
For example: Suppose Congress votes to spend $2 billion for projects to clean up polluted rivers. The opportunity cost of the vote is the next best alternative use of those same tax dollars. Congress could have used the money for increased funding on space research. In this example, the opportunity cost of cleaning up polluted rivers is less funding for the space program. Being aware of trade-offs and opportunity costs is important in making economic decisions: you will make wiser use of your own resources if you are aware of the opportunity costs and trade-offs.
Other Measures of Cost Fixed Costs- expenses that are the same no matter how many units of a good that are produced Examples: mortgage payments and property taxes Variable costs-expenses that change with the number of units of a good that is produced Examples: wages and materials -these expenses increase as production is increased or decrease as production is decreased
Total costs- the addition of the variable and fixed costs together -many businesses focus on the average total cost -to arrive at the average total cost, divide the total cost by the quantity produced Marginal costs- the extra cost of producing one additional unit of output Example: if it cost $2000 to produce 50 items and $2050 to produce 51 items, the marginal cost is $50
Measures of Revenue Businesses use two key measures to decide what output will produce the greatest profit Total revenue- the number of units sold multiplied by the average price per unit Example: 50 units sold at $40 each= $2000 total revenue Marginal Revenue- the change in total revenue for selling one more unit of output Marginal Benefit- the additional or extra benefit associated with an action
Cost Benefit Analysis Model that is create by economists to compare marginal costs and marginal benefits of a decision Rational economic decision making tells us to choose an action when the benefits are greater than the costs If the costs outweigh the benefits, then the chosen option should be rejected Example: If you produce something that costs $10 and you cannot sell the item for $10, then there is no benefit
Using Cost Benefit Analysis Look at the graph on page 413 of your online textbook Suppose you are a farmer trying to decide how much of your 25 acres to plant. Assume the marginal cost of planting and harvesting are the same for all 25 acres (the horizontal line on the graph). Let’s assume that some of the land is better than other. As a result, the size of the harvest that you can expect from each acre goes down as the number increases, as you plant the most fertile land first. As more is planted, the less fertile land must be used. The downward-sloping line would represent the diminishing marginal benefits.
The graph makes it easy to see how much land you should plant. Clearly, you should plant the first 5 acres because the marginal cost is low when compared to the benefits to be gained. It would make sense to plant up to 15 acres because to that point the marginal benefit is greater than the marginal cost. You would not want to plant more than 15 acres because the extra cost is greater than the benefit.