Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Some Tools Of Economic Analysis

  • Be the first to comment

Some Tools Of Economic Analysis

  1. 1. Some Tools of Economic Analysis <ul><li>Chapter 2 </li></ul>© 2006 Thomson/South-Western
  2. 2. The Economic Problem <ul><li>Economics examines how people use their scarce resources to satisfy their unlimited wants </li></ul><ul><li>Scarce resource </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not freely available  when its price exceeds zero </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Resources </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Inputs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Factors of production </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Used to produce goods and services </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Opportunity Cost <ul><li>Opportunity cost of a chosen activity is the value of the best alternative that is forgone </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Similar to opportunity lost </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focuses on the alternatives associated with making choices </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Opportunity cost is subjective </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Only the individual making the choice can select the most attractive alternative </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Chooser seldom knows the actual value of the “road not taken” </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Time and Information <ul><li>Rational choice does not mean that individuals exhaustively calculate the value of all possible alternatives </li></ul><ul><li>Acquiring information about alternatives is costly and time consuming  people usually make choices based on limited or even incorrect information  some choices may turn out to be poor ones </li></ul>
  5. 5. Opportunity Cost <ul><li>Time is the ultimate constraint </li></ul><ul><ul><li>By pursuing one activity, we cannot at the same time do something else  each activity undertaken has an opportunity cost </li></ul></ul><ul><li>May vary with circumstances </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Depends on the value of the alternatives </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Monetary cost </li></ul><ul><ul><li>May be a reasonable approximation but can omit the time involved which may be substantial for some activities </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Sunk Cost and Choice <ul><li>Sunk cost </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A cost that has already been incurred </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cannot be recovered regardless of further actions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Economic decision makers should consider only those costs that are affected by the choice  already incurred sunk costs become irrelevant in making choices </li></ul>
  7. 7. Law of Comparative Advantage <ul><li>States that the individual with the lower opportunity cost of producing a particular output should specialize in producing that output </li></ul><ul><li>Absolute advantage means being able to produce a product using fewer resources than other resources require while comparative advantage focuses on producing where opportunity costs are lower </li></ul>
  8. 8. Law of Comparative Advantage <ul><li>Comparative advantage between nations exists because of </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Climate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Workforce skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Natural resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Capital stock </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Resources will be allocated more efficiently when production and trade conform to the law of comparative advantage </li></ul>
  9. 9. Specialization and Exchange <ul><li>Barter </li></ul><ul><ul><li>System of exchange in which products are traded directly for other products </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Works best in simply economies with little specialization and few goods </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In advanced economies with specialization, money plays an important role in facilitating exchange </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Money serves as a medium of exchange because it is the one thing that everyone is willing to accept in return for all goods and services </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Specialization and Exchange <ul><li>Specialization and comparative advantage imply </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Most people consume little of what they produce </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Produce little of what they consume </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Thus, they exchange what they produce for money which is in turn exchanged for other goods and services </li></ul>
  11. 11. Division of Labor <ul><li>Division of labor means that each worker specializes in separate tasks  the group can produce more </li></ul><ul><li>How is this increase in productivity possible? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>First, tasks can be assigned according to individual preferences and abilities according to comparative advantage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Second, workers who perform the same task again and again gets better at it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Third, there is no time lost in moving from task to task </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fourth, specialization of labor allows for the introduction of specialized machines  each worker becomes more productive </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Production Possibilities Frontier <ul><li>Focus is on how much an economy can produce with the resources available  What are the economy’s production capabilities? </li></ul><ul><li>Simplifying assumptions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Two broad classes of products – consumer goods and capital goods </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Production during a given time period – one year </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Resources available are fixed in both quantity and quality during the time period </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The available technology does not change </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Production Possibilities Frontier <ul><li>Identifies the various possible combinations of the two types of goods that can be produced when all available resources are employed fully and efficiently </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No change increases the production of one good without decreasing the production of the other good </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Involves getting the maximum possible output from available resources </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Exhibit 1: The Economy’s PPF
  15. 15. The Economy’s PPF <ul><li>Points A and F = amount of consumer goods and capital goods that can be produced per year if all resources are used efficiently </li></ul><ul><li>Points between A and F = other possible combinations of the two goods produced when all resources are efficiently employed </li></ul><ul><li>Points inside the curve, I , = combinations that do not employ resources efficiently or fully </li></ul><ul><li>Point C yields more consumer goods and no fewer capital goods than I , while point E yields more capital goods and no fewer consumer goods than I , and all points between C and E yield more of both goods </li></ul><ul><li>Points outside the PPF, such as U , = unattainable combinations  PPF serves as the frontier between unattainable and attainable combinations. </li></ul>48 A C D E F B U I 0 10 20 34 43 50 0 10 20 30 40 50 Capital Goods (millions of units per year) Consumer Goods (millions of units per year)
  16. 16. Movements along the PPF <ul><li>Law of Increasing Costs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dictates the bowed-out shape of the PPF </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When the economy uses all resources efficiently, each additional increment of one good requires the economy to sacrifice successively larger and larger increments of the other good </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Occurs because resources drawn away from consumer goods are those that are increasingly better suited to producing consumer goods  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>First 10 million units of capital goods have an opportunity cost of only 2 million units of consumer goods while </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Final 10 million (points E to F) have an opportunity cost of 20 million units of consumer goods </li></ul></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Factors that can Shift the PPF <ul><li>Changes in Resource Availability </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Increases / Improvements in Quality  rightward shift </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Decreases /Reductions in Quality  leftward shift </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Increases in the Capital Stock </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Increases  rightward shift </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Decreases  leftward shift </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Technological Change </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Employs available resources more efficiently </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>All of the following would lead to a rightward shift in the PPF from A to A ‘ : </li></ul><ul><li>Increase in the size or health of the labor force </li></ul><ul><li>Improvement in the skills of the labor force </li></ul><ul><li>Increases in the amount of capital </li></ul><ul><li>Decreases in any of the above factors would shift the PPF from A ' to A  shift to the left </li></ul><ul><li>The parallel shift implies the change that occurred affected the production of both goods equally </li></ul>Exhibit 2a: Shifts in the Economy’s PPF
  19. 19. <ul><li>A leftward shift from A to A &quot; could be caused by any of the following: </li></ul><ul><li>Decrease in the size or health of the labor force </li></ul><ul><li>Decline in the skills of the labor force </li></ul><ul><li>Decreases in the amount of capital </li></ul><ul><li>The parallel shift implies the change that occurred affected the production of both goods equally </li></ul>Exhibit 2b: Shifts in the Economy’s PPF
  20. 20. Exhibit 2c: Shifts in the Economy’s PPF <ul><li>Increase in resources or technological change that benefits consumer goods would rotate the PPF outward from the horizontal axis, from A to A ' </li></ul>
  21. 21. Exhibit 2d: Shifts in the Economy’s PPF <ul><li>Increase in resources or technological advance that benefits capital goods would rotate the PPF outward from the vertical axis, F to F ' </li></ul>
  22. 22. Lessons of PPF <ul><li>Efficiency  PPF represents the combinations of output that are possible, given the economy’s resources and technology </li></ul><ul><li>Scarcity  Given the stock of resources and technology, the economy can produce only so much </li></ul><ul><li>Economic Growth  rightward shift or rotation of PPF </li></ul><ul><li>Choice </li></ul>
  23. 23. Three Questions <ul><li>How an economy selects the most preferred combination will depend on the decision-making rules employed </li></ul><ul><li>Regardless of how decisions are made, each economy must answer three fundamental questions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What goods and services will be produced? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How will they will be produced? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For whom will they be produced? </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Economic System <ul><li>Economic System is a set of mechanisms and institutions that resolve the what , how , and for whom questions </li></ul><ul><li>Criteria used to distinguish among economic systems </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Who owns the resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What decision-making process is used to allocate resources and products </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What type of incentives guide the economic decision makers </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Pure Capitalism <ul><li>Rules of the Game </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Private ownership of all resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Coordination of economic activity based on price signals generated in free, unrestricted markets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Owners have property rights to use their resources and are free to supply those resources to the highest bidder </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Voluntary buying and selling </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Market prices guide resources to their most productive uses and channel goods and services to consumers who value them most </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Laissez-faire: let people do as they choose without government intervention </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Pure Capitalism <ul><li>Markets </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Transmit information about relative scarcity of goods and services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide individual incentives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Distribute income among resource supplies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adam Smith’s invisible hand: although each individual pursues his or her self-interest, the “invisible hand” of markets promotes the general welfare </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. Flaws in Capitalism <ul><li>No central authority to protect property rights, enforce contracts, or ensure that rules of the game are followed </li></ul><ul><li>People with no resources to sell could starve </li></ul><ul><li>Some producers may try to monopolize by eliminating competition </li></ul><ul><li>Production or consumption of some goods generates byproducts – pollution – that affect people not involved in the market transaction </li></ul><ul><li>Public goods, such as national defense, will not be produced by private firms because they cannot prevent non-payers from enjoying the benefits of public goods </li></ul>
  28. 28. Pure Command System <ul><li>Resources are directed and production is coordinated not by markets buy by the “command,” or central plan, of government </li></ul><ul><li>Public or communal ownership of property </li></ul><ul><li>Central plans spell out answers to three questions </li></ul>
  29. 29. Flaws of Command System <ul><li>Running an economy is so complicated that some resources are used inefficiently </li></ul><ul><li>Because nobody owns resources, people have less incentive to employ them in their highest valued use </li></ul><ul><li>Central plans may reflect more the preferences of central planners than those of society </li></ul><ul><li>Since government is responsible for all production, the variety of products tends to be more limited than in a market economy </li></ul><ul><li>Each individual has less personal freedom in making economic choices </li></ul>
  30. 30. Mixed / Transitional Economies <ul><li>Economic systems have grown more alike over time </li></ul><ul><li>Role of government increasing in market economies and role of markets increasing in command economies </li></ul><ul><li>United States represents a mixed system: government directly accounts for about one-third of all economic activity </li></ul><ul><li>Government also regulates the private sector in a variety of ways </li></ul><ul><li>Some economies based on custom or religion </li></ul>

×