The Production Process and Control


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The Production Process and Control

  1. 1. MANAGERIAL ECONOMICS MODULE 4 The Production Process and Cost TOPICS: Cost Minimization Optimal Input Substitution Economies & Diseconomies of Scale Cost Function Average & Marginal Costs JOCIVIC F. BERTILLO Reporter
  2. 2. Cost Minimization • the process or goal of incurring the least possible opportunity cost in the pursuit of a given activity • the point of cost minimization occurs when the slope of Isocost equals the slope of Isoquant. Figure 1
  3. 3. Optimal Input Substitution • to minimize the cost of producing a given level of output, the firm should use less of an input and more of other inputs when that input’s price rises. Examples of Input Substitution: 1. Labor (L) & Capital (K) Substitution 3. Capital (K) and Energy (E) Substitution 2. Material Substitution 4. No substitution (fixed proportions)
  4. 4. Economies & Diseconomies of Scale The scale of production means the size of the production unit of a firm or business establishment • Desire for economy: a large scale production is more economical. • Desire for large profit: Business on a large scale yields more profits. • Desire for economic power and prestige: A large firm can command and control a large section of the business and has high reputation in the market. • Desire for increase of demand: When demand for a product increases, the firm will have to positively respond by increasing the scale of production. • Desire for self-defence in a competitive market: Owing to cut throat competition in business, the firm may be forced to enlarge its scale of production for its very survival.
  5. 5. Economies of Scale As output increases, the firm’s average cost of producing that output is likely to decline, at least to a point. Reasons: 1. If the firm operates on a larger scale, workers can specialize in the activities at which they are most productive. 2. Scale can provide flexibility. By varying the combination of inputs utilized to produce the firm’s output, managers can organize the production process more effectively. 3. The firm may be able to acquire some production inputs at lower cost because it is buying them in large quantities and can therefore negotiate better prices. The mix of inputs might change with the scale of the firm’s operation if managers take advantage of lower-cost inputs.
  6. 6. Diseconomies of Scale At some point, however, it is likely that the average cost of production will begin to increase with output. Reasons for this shift: 1. At least in the short run, factory space and machinery may make it more difficult for workers to do their jobs effectively. 2. Managing a larger firm may become more complex and inefficient as the number of tasks increases. 3. The advantages of buying in bulk may have disappeared once certain quantities are reached. At some point, available supplies of key inputs may be limited, pushing their costs up.
  7. 7. ● economies of scale Situation in which output can be doubled for less than a doubling of cost. ● diseconomies of scale Situation in which a doubling of output requires more than a doubling of cost. Economies & Diseconomies of Scale
  8. 8. Cost Function Is a financial terms used by economists and managers within businesses to understand how costs behave. A cost function C(q) is a function of q, which tells us what the minimum cost is for producing q units of output. We can also split total cost into fixed cost and variable cost as follows:
  9. 9. Components of Cost Function Total cost is defined as the Total actual cost that must be incurred to produce a given quantity of output. Fixed costs are costs that must be paid regardless of production or output. Are cost incurred that does not vary with the output Average Fixed Cost (AFC) is defined as Fixed costs (FC) divided by the quantity produced Variable costs are costs that change with the level of production, usually costs that are in some way directly associated with output, such as electricity, paper, steal, packaging Are cost that changes in direct proportion to quantity produce Average Variable Cost (AVC) is defined as Variable costs (VC) divided by the quantity produced
  10. 10. Marginal and Average Cost Average Total Cost (ATC) ● average total cost (ATC) Firm’s total cost divided by its level of output. ● average fixed cost (AFC) Fixed cost divided by the level of output. ● average variable cost (AVC) Variable cost divided by the level of output.
  11. 11. Marginal and Average Cost Marginal Cost (MC) ● Increase in cost resulting from the production of one extra unit of output. Because fixed cost does not change as the firm’s level of output changes, marginal cost is equal to the increase in variable cost or the increase in total cost that results from an extra unit of output. We can therefore write marginal cost as
  12. 12. Marginal and Average Cost TABLE 7.1 A Firm’s Costs Rate of Fixed Variable Total Marginal Average Average Average Output Cost Cost Cost Cost Fixed Cost Variable Cost Total Cost (Units (Dollars (Dollars (Dollars (Dollars (Dollars (Dollars (Dollars per Year) per Year) per Year) per Year) per Unit) per Unit) per Unit) per Unit) (FC) (VC) (TC) (MC) (AFC) (AVC) (ATC) (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) 0 50 0 50 -- -- -- -- 1 50 50 100 50 50 50 100 2 50 78 128 28 25 39 64 3 50 98 148 20 16.7 32.7 49.3 4 50 112 162 14 12.5 28 40.5 5 50 130 180 18 10 26 36 6 50 150 200 20 8.3 25 33.3 7 50 175 225 25 7.1 25 32.1 8 50 204 254 29 6.3 25.5 31.8 9 50 242 292 38 5.6 26.9 32.4 10 50 300 350 58 5 30 35 11 50 385 435 85 4.5 35 39.5 Marginal Cost (MC)
  13. 13. The Shapes of the Cost Curves Cost Curves for a Firm In (a) total cost TC is the vertical sum of fixed cost FC and variable cost VC. In (b) average total cost ATC is the sum of average variable cost AVC and average fixed cost AFC. Marginal cost MC crosses the average variable cost and average total cost curves at their minimum points. Figure 7.1