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Ln23 miller950022 17_ln23

  1. 1. Chapter 23 Perfect Competition
  2. 2. Introduction Lithium has become an increasingly important input in the production of batteries for consumer electronics. Consequently, the demand for this element has increased. Yet, the inflation-adjusted price of lithium has been declining. What accounts for a falling price in the face of rising demand? In this chapter, as you learn about the characteristics of perfectly competitive markets, you will understand how the entry of new firms into the industry has caused this downward trend in prices. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-2
  3. 3. Learning Objectives • Identify the characteristics of a perfectly competitive market structure • Discuss the process by which a perfectly competitive firm decides how much output to produce • Understand how the short-run supply curve for a perfectly competitive firm is determined Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-3
  4. 4. Learning Objectives (cont'd) • Explain how the equilibrium price is determined in a perfectly competitive market • Describe what factors induce firms to enter or exit a perfectly competitive industry • Distinguish among constant-, increasing-, and decreasing-cost industries based on the shape of the long-run industry supply curve Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-4
  5. 5. Chapter Outline • Characteristics of a Perfectly Competitive Market Structure • The Demand Curve of the Perfect Competitor • How Much Should the Perfect Competitor Produce? • Using Marginal Analysis to Determine the ProfitMaximizing Rate of Production • Short-Run Profits Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-5
  6. 6. Chapter Outline (cont'd) • The Short-Run Breakeven Price and the Short-Run Shutdown Price • The Supply Curve for a Perfectly Competitive Industry • Price Determination Under Perfect Competition • The Long-Run Industry Situation: Exit and Entry • Long-Run Equilibrium • Competitive Pricing: Marginal Cost Pricing Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-6
  7. 7. Did You Know That ... • The world’s oldest company that makes wooden pencils recently celebrated its 350th year of operations? • Throughout this time, however, many other pencil manufacturers have come and gone. • Low costs of entering and exiting the market account for this pattern. • This is one of the characteristics of a perfectly competitive market, the topic of this chapter. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-7
  8. 8. Characteristics of a Perfectly Competitive Market Structure • Perfect Competition – A market structure in which the decisions of individual buyers and sellers have no effect on market price Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-8
  9. 9. Characteristics of a Perfectly Competitive Market Structure (cont'd) • Perfectly Competitive Firm – A firm that is such a small part of the total industry that it cannot affect the price of the product or service that it sells Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-9
  10. 10. Characteristics of a Perfectly Competitive Market Structure (cont'd) • Price Taker – A competitive firm that must take the price of its product as given because the firm cannot influence its price Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-10
  11. 11. Characteristics of a Perfectly Competitive Market Structure (cont'd) • Why a perfect competitor is a price taker 1. Large number of buyers and sellers 2. Homogenous products are perfect substitutes and indistinguishable across firms 3. Both buyers and sellers have equal access to information 4. No barriers to entry or exit (any firm can enter or leave the industry without serious impediments) Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-11
  12. 12. The Demand Curve of the Perfect Competitor • Question – If the perfectly competitive firm is a price taker, who or what sets the price? Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-12
  13. 13. The Demand Curve of the Perfect Competitor (cont'd) • The perfectly competitive firm is a price taker, selling a homogenous commodity that is indistinguishable across all firms in the industry – Will sell all units for $5 – Will not be able to sell at a higher price – Will face a perfectly elastic demand curve at the going market price Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-13
  14. 14. Figure 23-1 The Demand Curve for Magneto Optical Disks Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-14
  15. 15. How Much Should the Perfect Competitor Produce? • Perfect competitor accepts price as given – Firm raises price, it sells nothing – Firm lowers its price, it earns less revenues than it otherwise would • Perfect competitor has to decide how much to produce – Firm uses profit-maximization model Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-15
  16. 16. How Much Should the Perfect Competitor Produce? (cont'd) • The model assumes that firms attempt to maximize their total profits. – The positive difference between total revenues and total costs • The model also assumes firms seek to minimize losses – When total revenues may be less than total costs Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-16
  17. 17. How Much Should the Perfect Competitor Produce? (cont'd) • Total Revenues – The price per unit times the total quantity sold – The same as total receipts from the sale of output Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-17
  18. 18. How Much Should the Perfect Competitor Produce? (cont'd) Profit π = Total revenue (TR) – Total cost (TC) TR = P x Q TC = TFC + TVC P is determined by the market in perfect competition Q is determined by the producer to maximize profit Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-18
  19. 19. How Much Should the Perfect Competitor Produce? (cont'd) • For the perfect competitor, price is also equal to average revenue (AR) because TR PQ AR = = = P Q Q • The demand curve is the average revenue curve Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-19
  20. 20. Figure 23-2 Profit Maximization, Panel (a) Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-20
  21. 21. Figure 23-2 Profit Maximization, Panel (b) Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-21
  22. 22. Figure 23-2 Profit Maximization, Panel (c) Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-22
  23. 23. How Much Should the Perfect Competitor Produce? (cont'd) • Profit-Maximizing Rate of Production – The rate of production that maximizes total profits, or the difference between total revenues and total costs – Also, the rate of production at which marginal revenue equals marginal cost Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-23
  24. 24. Using Marginal Analysis to Determine the ProfitMaximizing Rate of Production • Marginal Revenue – The change in total revenues divided by the change in output MR = change in TR change in Q Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-24
  25. 25. Using Marginal Analysis to Determine the ProfitMaximizing Rate of Production (cont’d) • Marginal Cost – The change in total cost divided by the change in output MR = change in TC change in Q Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-25
  26. 26. Using Marginal Analysis to Determine the ProfitMaximizing Rate of Production (cont'd) • Profit maximization occurs at the rate of output at which – marginal revenue equals marginal cost MR = MC Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-26
  27. 27. Short-Run Profits • To find out what our competitive individual magneto optical disk producer is making in terms of profits in the short run, we have to determine the excess of price above average total cost Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-27
  28. 28. Short-Run Profits (cont'd) • From Figure 23-2 previously, if we have production and sales of seven Titanium batteries, TR = $35, TC = $30, and profit = $5 per hour. • Now we take info from column 6 in panel (a) and add it to panel (c) to get Figure 23-3. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-28
  29. 29. Figure 23-3 Measuring Total Profits Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-29
  30. 30. Short-Run Profits (cont'd) • Graphical depiction of maximum profits and graphical depiction of minimum losses – The height of the rectangular box in the previous figure represents profits per unit – The length represents the amount of units produced – When we multiply these two quantities, we get total economic profits Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-30
  31. 31. Short-Run Profits (cont'd) • Short-run average profits are determined by comparing ATC with P = MR = AR at the profit-maximizing Q • In the short run, the perfectly competitive firm can make either economic profits or economic losses Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-31
  32. 32. Figure 23-4 Minimization of Short-Run Losses Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-32
  33. 33. Short-Run Profits (cont’d) • We see in the previous Figure 23-4 that the marginal revenue (d2) curve is intersected (from below) by the marginal cost curve at an output rate of 5 batteries per hour • The firm is clearly not making profits because average total costs at that output rate are greater than the price of $3 per battery • The losses are shown in the shaded area Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-33
  34. 34. The Short-Run Break-Even Price and the Short-Run Shutdown Price • What do you think? – Would you continue to produce if you were incurring a loss? • In the short run? • In the long run? Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-34
  35. 35. The Short-Run Break-Even Price and the ShortRun Shutdown Price (cont'd) • As long as total revenues from continuing to produce output exceed the associated variable costs, the firm will continue to produce • A firm goes out of business when the owners sell its assets; a firm temporarily shuts down when it stops producing, but is still in business Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-35
  36. 36. The Short-Run Break-Even Price and the ShortRun Shutdown Price (cont'd) • As long as the price per unit sold exceeds the average variable cost per unit produced, the earnings of the firm’s owners will be higher if it continues to produce in the short run than if it shuts down. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-36
  37. 37. The Short-Run Break-Even Price and the ShortRun Shutdown Price (cont'd) • Short-Run Break-Even Price – The price at which a firm’s total revenues equal its total costs – At the break-even price, the firm is just making a normal rate of return on its capital investment (it’s covering its explicit and implicit costs). • Short-Run Shutdown Price – The price that just covers average variable costs – It occurs just below the intersection of the marginal cost curve and the average variable cost curve. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-37
  38. 38. Figure 23-5 Short-Run Break-Even and Shutdown Prices Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-38
  39. 39. The Short-Run Break-Even Price and the ShortRun Shutdown Price (cont'd) • The meaning of zero economic profits • Question – Why produce if you are not making a profit? • Answer – Distinguish between economic profits and accounting profits – Remember when economic profits are zero a firm can still have positive accounting profits Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-39
  40. 40. The Supply Curve for a Perfectly Competitive Industry • Question – What does the short-run supply curve for the individual firm look like? • Answer – The firm’s short-run supply curve in a competitive industry is its marginal cost curve at and above the point of intersection with the average variable cost curve Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-40
  41. 41. Figure 23-6 The Individual Firm’s Short-Run Supply Curve Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-41
  42. 42. The Supply Curve for a Perfectly Competitive Industry (cont'd) • The Industry Supply Curve – The locus of points showing the minimum prices at which given quantities will be forthcoming – Also called the market supply curve Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-42
  43. 43. Figure 23-7 Deriving the Industry Supply Curve Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-43
  44. 44. Example: Vets Respond to Higher Market Prices of Treatments for Fido • Despite slight differences between veterinary clinics, the 16,000 veterinary practices in the U.S. approximate a perfectly competitive industry. • The demand for veterinary services has increased over the past decade, causing average fees to rise by 50 percent. • Clinics have responded by providing more pet care services, thereby moving up along their individual supply curves. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-44
  45. 45. The Supply Curve for a Perfectly Competitive Industry (cont'd) • Factors that influence the industry supply curve (determinants of supply) – Firm’s productivity – Factor costs (wages, prices of raw materials) – Taxes and subsidies – Number of sellers Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-45
  46. 46. Price Determination Under Perfect Competition • Question – How is the market, or “going,” price established in a competitive market? • Answer – This price is established by the interaction of all the suppliers (firms) and all the demanders (consumers) Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-46
  47. 47. Price Determination Under Perfect Competition (cont'd) • The competitive price is determined by the intersection of the market demand curve and the market supply curve – The market supply curve is equal to the horizontal summation of the supply curves of the individual firms Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-47
  48. 48. Figure 23-8 Industry Demand and Supply Curves and the Individual Firm Demand Curve, Panel (a) Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-48
  49. 49. Figure 23-8 Industry Demand and Supply Curves and the Individual Firm Demand Curve, Panel (b) Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-49
  50. 50. What If . . . The government mandated that prices stay at long-run equilibrium levels? • If the government were to restrict price variations by keeping prices at long-run equilibrium levels, they would be unable to adjust to short-run changes in demand or supply. • The result would be shortages or surpluses of certain products. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-50
  51. 51. The Long-Run Industry Situation: Exit and Entry • Profits and losses act as signals for resources to enter an industry or to leave an industry Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-51
  52. 52. The Long-Run Industry Situation: Exit and Entry (cont'd) • Signals – Compact ways of conveying to economic decision makers information needed to make decisions – An effective signal not only conveys information but also provides the incentive to react appropriately Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-52
  53. 53. The Long-Run Industry Situation: Exit and Entry (cont'd) • Exit and entry of firms – Economic profits • Signal resources to enter the market – Economic losses • Signal resources to exit the market Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-53
  54. 54. The Long-Run Industry Situation: Exit and Entry (cont'd) • Allocation of capital and market signals – Price system allocates capital according to the relative expected rates of return on alternative investments. – Investors and other suppliers of resources respond to market signals about their highestvalued opportunities. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-54
  55. 55. Example: For Many Hamburger Sellers, the Exit Signal is Flashing Red • Increased demand and higher incomes led many firms to enter the hamburger fast food market in the 2000s. • As demand and incomes have declined in the current economic slowdown, prices of hamburgers have remained unchanged, even though beef prices have increased. • This has resulted in negative economic profits for some sellers, and many firms have chosen to exit the market. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-55
  56. 56. The Long-Run Industry Situation: Exit and Entry (cont'd) • Tendency toward equilibrium (note that firms are adjusting all of the time) – At break-even, resources will not enter or exit the market – In competitive long-run equilibrium, firms will make zero economic profits Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-56
  57. 57. Example: Economic Profits Attract OnlineDaily-Deals Entrants in Droves • For a few years, Groupon and LivingSocial were the only firms providing daily deals on the Internet. • Since 2011, however, there have been new entrants into the industry, including Facebook, Google, TravelZoo, and Yipit. • Thus, positive economic profits have generated substantial entry of new firms. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-57
  58. 58. The Long-Run Industry Situation: Exit and Entry (cont'd) • Long-Run Industry Supply Curve – A market supply curve showing the relationship between prices and quantities after firms have been allowed time to enter or exit from an industry, depending on whether there have been positive or negative economic profits Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-58
  59. 59. The Long-Run Industry Situation: Exit and Entry (cont'd) • Constant-Cost Industry – An industry whose total output can be increased without an increase in long-run per-unit costs – Its long-run supply curve is horizontal. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-59
  60. 60. Figure 23-9 Constant-Cost, Increasing-Cost, and Decreasing-Cost Industries, Panel (a) Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-60
  61. 61. The Long-Run Industry Situation: Exit and Entry (cont'd) • Increasing-Cost Industry – An industry in which an increase in industry output is accompanied by an increase in longrun per unit costs – Its long-run industry supply curve slopes upward Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-61
  62. 62. Figure 23-9 Constant-Cost, Increasing-Cost, and Decreasing-Cost Industries, Panel (b) Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-62
  63. 63. The Long-Run Industry Situation: Exit and Entry (cont'd) • Decreasing-Cost Industry – An industry in which an increase in industry output leads to a reduction in long-run per-unit costs – Its long-run industry supply curve slopes downward. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-63
  64. 64. Figure 23-9 Constant-Cost, Increasing-Cost, and Decreasing-Cost Industries, Panel (c) Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-64
  65. 65. Long-Run Equilibrium • In the long run, the firm can change the scale of its plant, adjusting its plant size in such a way that it has no further incentive to change; it will do so until profits are maximized • In the long run, a competitive firm produces where price, marginal revenue, marginal cost, short-run minimum average cost, and long-run minimum average cost are equal Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-65
  66. 66. Figure 23-10 Long-Run Firm Competitive Equilibrium Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-66
  67. 67. Competitive Pricing: Marginal Cost Pricing • Marginal Cost Pricing – A system of pricing in which the price charged is equal to the opportunity cost to society of producing one more unit of the good or service in question – The opportunity cost is the marginal cost to society. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-67
  68. 68. Competitive Pricing: Marginal Cost Pricing (cont'd) • Market Failure – A situation in which an unrestrained market operation leads to either too few or too many resources going to a specific economic activity Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-68
  69. 69. You Are There: Looking to Enter a Competitive Online Market? Rent a Desk! • A company called Plug and Play Tech Centers rents shared workspaces consisting of desks and Internet access points. • This allows an online service provider to have access to about 20 square feet of office space at a very low cost. • This makes entry and exit very easy for someone who provides professional services online. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-69
  70. 70. Issues & Applications: A Decreasing-Cost, “White Gold” Industry • During the past two decades, new firms have entered the lithium industry by using a technology that extracts the element from ancient lakebeds. • One result is that input prices for lithium producers have declined. • Figure 23-11 on the next page shows the market price of lithium since 1952. • The decline in the price of lithium following the entry of more firms shows that it is a decreasingcost industry. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-70
  71. 71. Figure 23-11 Index Measure of the InflationAdjusted Price of Lithium since 1952 Source: U.S. Geological Survey. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-71
  72. 72. Summary Discussion of Learning Objectives • The characteristics of a perfectly competitive market structure 1. Large number of buyers and sellers 2. Homogeneous product 3. Buyers and sellers have equal access to information 4. No barriers to entry and exit Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-72
  73. 73. Summary Discussion of Learning Objectives (cont'd) • How a perfectly competitive firm decides how much to produce – Economic profits are maximized when marginal cost equals marginal revenue as long as the market price is not below the short-run shutdown price, where the marginal cost curve crosses the average variable cost curve Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-73
  74. 74. Summary Discussion of Learning Objectives (cont'd) • The short-run supply curve of a perfectly competitive firm – The rising part of the marginal cost curve above minimum average variable cost • The equilibrium price in a perfectly competitive market – A price at which the total amount of output supplied by all firms is equal to the total amount of output demanded by all buyers Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-74
  75. 75. Summary Discussion of Learning Objectives (cont'd) • Incentives to enter or exit a perfectly competitive industry – Economic profits induce entry of new firms – Economic losses will induce firms to exit the industry Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-75
  76. 76. Summary Discussion of Learning Objectives (cont'd) • The long-run industry supply curve and constant-, increasing-, and decreasing-cost industries – The relationship between price and quantity after firms have been able to enter or exit the industry – Constant-cost industry • Horizontal long-run supply curve – Increasing-cost industry • Upward-sloping long-run supply curve – Decreasing-cost industry • Downward-sloping long-run supply curve Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23-76

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