1 Test Yourself: Labor If the workers took a notion they could stop all speeding trains; every ship upon the ocean they could tie with mighty chains. Every wheel in the creation every mine and every mill; fleets and armies of the nation, would at their command stand still. Joe Hill
2 What is a production function?
3 A production function is a graph that shows the relationship between the amount of resources employed and a firm s total product.
4 Total Output Chart: Production Function Total Output 10 Quantity of Labor
5 What is marginal product?
6 Marginal product is the change in total product that occurs when the use of a particular resource increases by one unit, and all other resources remain constant.
8 What is marginal revenue product?
9 Marginal revenue product is the increase in total revenue to a firm resulting from hiring an additional unit of labor or other variable resource.
10 What is the law of diminishing returns?
11 The law of diminishing returns says that as more of a variable resource is added to a given amount of a fixed resource, marginal product eventually declines and could become negative.
12 Marginal Product Chart: Marginal Product Curve Law of Diminishing Returns 2 Quantity of Labor
13 How do we measure MRP in perfect competition?
14 In perfect competition, marginal revenue product is equal to the marginal product of its labor times the price of its product. MRP = MP X P Review slide #9.
15 How many workers will a firm hire to maximize its profits?
16 A firm will continue hiring workers as long as the last worker s MRP is greater than his/her wage.
17 Why will a firm hire the last worker if MRP > W?
18 A firm will hire the last worker if MRP > W because the firm s revenue from hiring the last worker is greater than the amount of money paid to the last worker.
19 Why will a firm not hire the last worker if MRP < W?
20 A firm will not hire the last worker if MRP < W because the firm would be paying the last worker more money than it was making on him/her.
21 What point is the firm is moving toward?
22 The firm is moving toward the point at which MRP = Wage. A firm will continue hiring workers up to that point.
23 What does the demand curve for labor show?
24 The demand curve for labor shows the different quantities of labor employers are willing to hire at different wage rates in a given time period, ceteris paribus.
25 What is the demand curve for labor equal to?
26 The demand curve for labor is equal to the marginal revenue product of labor.
27 Chart: Demand Curve for P $280 Labor $210 $140 $ Q
28 Diagram: Demand Curve for Labor Increase in Quantity of labor demanded Decrease in Quantity of labor demanded Decrease in Wage Rate Increase in Wage Rate
29 What does the supply curve for labor show?
30 The supply curve for labor shows the different quantities of labor workers are willing to offer employers at different wage rates in a given time period, ceteris paribus.
31 Wages Chart: Market Supply Curve S Quantity of Labor
32 Diagram: Market Supply Curve Decrease in Quantity of labor supplied Increase in Quantity of labor supplied Decrease in Wage Rate Increase in Wage Rate
33 In a perfectly competitive market, what determines the level of wages?
34 In a perfectly competitive market, the level of wages is determined by the intersection of the demand for labor and the supply of labor. That s the equilibrium wage.
35 Wages Chart: Market Supply and Demand Equilibrium Wage S D Quantity of Labor
36 Why is the supply curve horizontal at the equilibrium?
37 The firm can hire all the workers it wants at the equilibrium wage, so its supply curve is horizontal.
38 Wages Chart: The Firm s Supply and Equilibrium Wage Demand S D Quantity of Labor
39 What is derived demand?
40 Derived demand is the demand for labor and other factors of production that depends on the consumer demand for the final goods and services those factors produce.
41 Derived demand only exists because there is a primary demand from the consumer. If the primary demand ceases to exist, the derived demand also ceases to exist. Likewise, if there is a shift in primary demand there will also be a shift in derived demand.
42 Does the perfectly competitive model apply to workers in unions?
43 No, the perfectly competitive model does not apply to workers in unions. Unions function something like a labor cartel, restricting the number of workers in a company or industry to drive up the remaining workers' wages.
44 What are some examples of unions?
45 Some examples of unions are: Teamsters United Auto Workers National Education Association American Federation of Government Employees the AFL-CIO Air Line Pilots Association American Federation of Teachers United Auto Workers
46 How do unions attempt to raise wages?
47 Unions attempt to raise wages by increasing the demand for labor. decreasing the supply of labor. exerting power through collective bargaining, featherbedding, work stoppages, strikes, etc.
48 Wage Rate per day Chart: Unions Cause an Increase in the Demand for Labor $280 S $210 E 2 $140 E 1 D 2 $70 Quantity of Labor D
49 What is featherbedding?
50 Featherbedding is a term used when unions force firms to hire more workers than are required or to impose work rules that reduce output per worker.
51 Diagram: Featherbedding Increase in wages and employment Increase in the demand for labor Union featherbeds
52 What else can unions do to increase the demand for labor?
53 Unions can increase the demand for labor by decreasing competition from other nations. They do this by supporting restrictions on imported goods such as quotas and tariffs and by lobbying for stricter immigration rules.
54 Wage Rate per day Chart: Unions Cause a Decrease in the Supply of Labor $350 S 2 $280 E 2 S 1 $210 E 1 $140 D 1 Quantity of Labor
55 How else can unions raise wages?
56 Unions can also raise wages through collective bargaining.
57 What is collective bargaining?
58 Collective bargaining is the process of negotiation between the union and management over wages and working conditions. Unions present their argument on a particular issue, and employers must decide whether to concede to workers' demands or to present counterarguments. The goal of the union in collective bargaining is to improve the status of the worker while still keeping the employer in business. The bargaining relationship is continuous, rather than a one-time affair.
59 Wage Rate per day Chart: Collective Bargaining Causes a Wage Rate Increase $280 Unemployment S $210 $140 D $70 Quantity of Labor
60 What factors can cause a change in the demand for labor?
61 Factors that can cause a change in the demand for labor are unions the prices of substitute goods the demand for final products the marginal product of labor
62 What factors can cause a change in the supply for labor?
63 Factors that can cause a change in the supply of labor are unions demographic trends expectations of future income changes in immigration laws education and training
64 What has happened to union membership since WWII?
65 Since WWII, union membership has declined dramatically.
66 How does union membership in the US compare to other countries?
67 Union membership in the US is far below that of other industrialized countries
68 What is a Monopsony?
69 A monopsony is a labor market in which a single firm hires labor, i.e. there is one buyer of labor.
70 What is the reason for a monopsony?
71 A monopsony usually occurs when there is an absence of other firms in the area competing for a relatively immobile labor force. For example, studies suggest that in some rural areas in the South, Wal- Mart has such influence that it is able to exert a significant degree of monopsony power over workers.
72 What is marginal factor cost (MFC)?
73 MFC is the additional total cost resulting from a one-unit increase in the quantity of a factor. The wage paid in perfect competition is found when the supply and demand curves intercept. The wage paid in monopsony is found by first finding the point where the MFC curve and the demand curve intercept. When this point is vertically extended to the supply curve for the market you find the wage paid in monopsony, which is considerably lower.
74 What does the monopsonist have to do to hire additional workers?
75 To hire additional workers, the monopsonist has to raise the wage rate for all workers, therefore the MFC exceeds the wage rate.
76 Wages Chart: A Monopsonist Determines its Wage Rate Monopsonist s Equilibrium Wage MFC S Equilibrium Wage with a competitive labor market D MRP Quantity of Labor
77 What are the effects of hiring in a monopsony market?
78 A monopsonist hires fewer workers and pays a lower wage than a firm in a competitive labor market.
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