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  • What is the lowest cost at which a firm can produce every level of output
  • K=capital
  • Economic costs are the opportunity costs of doing business. These are workers, machines(ciukd have been rented out to other firms) and entrepreneur. Economic costs ALWAYS exceed accounting costs.
  • When you have positive accounting profits, you can have zero or negative economic profit. When the economic cost is greater you make more profit and are able to pay entrepreneur’s
  • Economic profits = TR-EC. When you have zero economic profits you have positive accounting profits and are either reinvested in the firm or paid back to shareholders and just compensating them for the opportunity costs of indulging in the business.
  • Derive the total cost function.
  • R= rental rate of capital.
  • Diminishing marginal products and complementarity between two inputs.
  • E=Budget
  • Isocost line always have the same slope. All you are doing is finding the points of tangency.
  • It’s the lowest possible cost of producing 40 units when the capital and labour equals to 4 dollars.
  • Step 1: set up and solve the lagrangianStep 2: solve for k* and l* using all the FOCStep 3: substitute k* and l* into the cost identity
  • K and L do not appear in the TOTAL COST FUNCTION.
  • INCREASING RETURNS TO SCALE DECLINING MARGINAL COSTS.When the marginal cost is below the average cost, the average cost is decreasingWhen the marginal cost is higher than the average, the average is increasing.The point at which a firm achieves its lowest cost per unit of production.To calculate average costTake a ray from the origin and run it up to the total cost curve, the slope of that ray is the average cost curve.
  • With constant returns to scale production functions, you get constant marginal cost.
  • Firm A has constant marginal costs = 10. it’s easier when constant marginal costs present.
  • In response of an input price increase, the firm can reduce the expensive input. If wage rate goes up, the firm reduces labor and increases capital.If input prices go up, there is no way the total costs could go down
  • Sigma is a characteristic of a production technology and the other (s) describes firm behavior (the behavior of firms minimizing their cost of production)
  • How responsive is the capital to labor mix. If labor becomes more expensive than capital, the firms would make dramatic shifts from labor intensive input combination to capital intensive input combinations
  • The short run is not a fixed amount of time, it is the run which is dependent on a fixed input.
  • L* is the amount of labor you need to hire in order to get that amount of output that you need produced. You must pay the short run fixed cost (SFC)
  • Suppose capital could take any value, what would be the lowest possible cost of producing output level Q? the value you choose would be the value used in the long run.
  • It is linear tells us that it is constant returns to scale
  • You find the point of tangency from the SATC and the LRAC and trace it down to the SMC. How to derive the long run MC.Minimum efficient scale is that output in the long run, cost per unit is minimized. In the long run, firms operating in perfect competition would all produce at their minimum efficient scale.
  • It would have a linear cost function and have constant AC AND MC in the long run. No matter how much you produce, R doesn’t change.Q= 10K^.5 L^.5 L^1/2= Q/10K^5L*= Q^2/100K1VARIABLE COST IS WxL*
  • He is showing us a way of deriving the long run variable cost without using the lagrangian.
  • Lecture6

    1. 1. Cost Functions Dr. Andrew McGeeSimon Fraser University
    2. 2. Where we stand…
    3. 3. What we know…• Production function: (K,L) → Q• Suppose we know – w = wage rate of L – R = rental rate of K• Then we can determine how much it costs for a firm to produce an amount Q=f(K,L) assuming that the firm endeavors to minimize its costs• That is, we can figure out TC(Q), so all that remains to solve the firm’s profit maximization problem is to determine, P(Q), which depends on market structure
    4. 4. Types of costs• Accounting costs – Things for which you pay money – E.g., bills, labor costs, rent – Other things like depreciation (i.e., lost value of assets that lose value over time)• Economic costs – Opportunity costs of doing business • Values of highest foregone options of inputs – Workers (how much they could earn elsewhere) – Machines (how much they could earn if put to some other use) – Entrepreneur (how much he/she could earn as a salaried employee at some other firm)
    5. 5. Overlap between Accounting & Economic Costs• There is significant overlap between accounting & economic costs: – E.g., labor costs=wages=opportunity cost of labor in a competitive labor market• Economic costs > accounting costs – Entrepreneur’s salary < opportunity costs because entrepreneur receives a large share of firm’s accounting profits as owner of firm – Investors’ opportunity costs are not reflected in firm’s costs (compensated through accounting profits by way of dividends, capital gains)
    6. 6. Economic & Accounting Profit
    7. 7. Economic Costs (forget about accounting costs for now) Price-takers in input marketsw r L K
    8. 8. Deriving Total Cost Function
    9. 9. Cost Minimization Problem
    10. 10. Cost Minimization
    11. 11. Example
    12. 12. Cost minimization
    13. 13. Depicting Cost Minimization KTC3=rK3 All input combinations on the iso-expenditureTC2=rK2 (iso-cost) lines are input combinations that result in the same total cost of production w/r=MRTSTC1=rK1 Total cost is declining in the southwesterly directionTC0=rK0 A Isoquant q0 -w/r This firm can produce q0 for less than L TC3, but it cannot produce q0 for TC1 or TC2. Notice that for this and every output level and given input prices (w & r) Isocost or isoexpenditure lines there is a unique minimum cost of production. Our goal is to derive TC(w,r,q)
    14. 14. Duality: Output maximization• For every constrained maximization problem there exists a constrained minimization problem yielding the same solution for appropriate parameter values (“duality”)• Dual problem of cost minimization: maximize output subject to expenditure constraint
    15. 15. Output Maximization K w/r=MRTS Solving the Lagrangian will yield theE=rK same optimal condition: w/r=MRTS A q3 q2 q1 q0 L E=wL
    16. 16. Demand for inputs?K A q3 q2 q1 q0 L Demand for L at different wage rates? NO!
    17. 17. Demand for inputs?• Can we derive firm’s demand for inputs (K,L) using solutions to cost minimization problem (much like we derived demand for goods using the solution to the consumer choice problem)?• No!• Cost minimization holds output constant, but firm’s demand for K & L obviously depends on how much output it chooses to produce.
    18. 18. Deriving Total Cost Function K q ETC3=rK3 Cost expansion path: from this expansion path we q0 TC0TC2=rK2 can obtain the TC q1 TC1 associated with each TC(w,r,q)TC1=rK1 q2 output level q TC2TC0=rK0 q3 TC3 q3 q2 q0 q1 L
    19. 19. Example: Cobb-Douglass production function
    20. 20. Example: Cobb-Douglass production function• →wL=rK• Suppose w=r=$4. Then L=K. If L=K & q=40, we have• This implies that TC=$4*4+$4*4=$32 (lowest possible cost of producing 40 units)• &• (extra output for last $1 spent on inputs)
    21. 21. Example: Cobb-Douglass production function
    22. 22. Example: Deriving the Cost Function for a Cobb-Douglass production function
    23. 23. Other important cost functions
    24. 24. Graphing the Cost Functions $ TC(q) Observations: 1. Ceteris paribus invoked (w & r held constant) 2. MC initially declining through q0 (may not always be true) -Results from IRS (benefits to specialization) -Shape of the cost functions q depends on the production q0 q1 function$/unit MC(q)=dTC/dq 3. MC intersects AC at minimum value of AC -MC<AC for q<q1 -MC>AC for q>q1 4. For q>q0, MC is increasing. This is AC(q)=TC(q)/q the region of DRS in the production function. q q0 q1
    25. 25. Example: Deriving MC and AC functions
    26. 26. CRS production functions & cost functions CRS production functions have$ linear TC functions because MC TC(q) is constant: $ TC(q) IRS CRS DRS q q
    27. 27. CRS production functions & cost functions • What is AC when production function exhibits CRS everywhere? In previous example and in all such examples, AC(q)=TC(q)/q=c, a constant. When f(K,L) exhibits CRS everywhere, AC(q)=MC(q)=constant.$/unit When you see constant marginal costs, you immediately know something about the AC=MC productions function. Likewise, when you see CRS, you immediately know something about the MC> q
    28. 28. Effects of input price increase• When the price of one of the two inputs goes up, what happens if producers wish to maintain the same level of output? – Producers will substitute the now relatively cheaper input for some of the input whose price increased – Total costs definitely do not decrease following an input price increase. If they do, the producer could not have been minimizing costs to start with
    29. 29. Partial elasticity of substitution between inputs
    30. 30. Partial elasticity of substitution between inputs• Partial elasticity of substitution (s) measures how firms change input mix in response to price changes• High s → firms change input mix (K/L ratio) substantially in response to small changes in relative input prices• Low s → firms change input mix (K/L ratio) little in response to changes in relative input prices
    31. 31. Long vs. Short Run Costs• Short run = period of time during which at least one input cannot be changed• Long run = any time horizon during which all input can be changed• Variable input = input that can be changed in the short run• Fixed input = input that cannot be changed in the short run – Some inputs take time to be delivered or made; this time-to-delivery defines the short run• All inputs are variable in the long run
    32. 32. Short run cost functions
    33. 33. Short run cost functions
    34. 34. Enveloping the Short-run cost curves• Envelope of the STC: The set of lowest costs of production on any STC (i.e., for any fixed level of K) for every possible output level• The envelope of the STC curves defines the TC curve• Similarly, the envelope of the SATC curves defines the AC curve
    35. 35. Enveloping the Short-run cost curvesTC TC(w,r,q) Imagine that each STC curve corresponds to the firm’s cost schedule with a different number of plants. How many plants should the firm build to produce q1, q2, q3, and q4 units of output? q q1 q2 q3 q4 This TC curve is linear. What does that tell us?
    36. 36. Enveloping the Short-run cost curves TC TC The envelope of the STC curves need not be linear. q q1 q2 q3 q4
    37. 37. Enveloping the Short-run cost curvesCost perunit AC=MC q This is a CRS production function How are we deriving the MC curve from the SMC curves?
    38. 38. Enveloping the Short-run cost curves Not CRSCost perunit MC AC At MES, AC reaches its minimum values and AC=MC=SATC=SMC q MES=minimum efficient scale For each output level, find the SMC curve corresponding to the SATC just tangent to the AC curve. From this SMC curve we derive the MC (in the LR) of producing that output level.
    39. 39. Example: Short run Cobb Douglass Costs Fixed input STC =1 =4 =9
    40. 40. Example: Short run Cobb Douglass Costs• If in the short run you happen to be using the capital level that minimizes the costs of producing output level q in the long run (K1*), then you must also be minimizing costs in the short run, meaning that the derivative of the STC at this capital level is zero. Use this fact to solve for K1*:• Plug this back into the STC. You are now effectively using the K level that minimizes LR costs while using the L-level that minimizes costs for any given K-level. Thus you must be minimizing costs in the LR, so this is the TC function:• You can check that this is indeed the same as the TC we derived earlier for this Cobb Douglass production function