2 Key Terms equilibrium: the point at which the demand for a product or service is equal to the supply of that product or service disequilibrium: any price or quantity not at equilibrium shortage: when quantity demanded is more than quantity supplied surplus: when quantity supplied is more than quantity demanded
3 Key Terms, cont. price ceiling: a maximum price that can legally be charged for a good or service rent control: a price ceiling placed on apartment rent price floor: a minimum price for a good or service minimum wage: a minimum price that an employer can pay a worker for one hour of labor
4 Introduction What factors affect price? Prices are affected by the laws of supply and demand. They are also affected by actions of the government. Often times the government will intervene to set a minimum or maximum price for a good or service.
5 What is Equilibrium?
6 Equilibrium In order to find the equilibrium price and quantity, you can use supply and demand schedules. When a market is at equilibrium, both buyers and sellers benefit. How many slices are sold at equilibrium?
7 Disequilibrium Checkpoint: What market condition might cause a pizzeria owner to throw out many slices of pizza at the end of the day? If the market price or quantity supplied is anywhere but at equilibrium, the market is said to be at disequilibrium. Disequilibrium can produce two possible outcomes: Shortage A shortage causes prices to rise as the demand for a good is greater than the supply of that good. Surplus A surplus causes a drop in prices as the supply for a good is greater than the demand for that good.
8 Shortage and Surplus Shortage and surplus both lead to a market with fewer sales than at equilibrium. How much is the shortage when pizza is sold at $2.00 per slice?
9 Price Ceiling While markets tend toward equilibrium on their own, sometimes the government intervenes and sets market prices. Price ceilings are one way the government controls prices. Rent Control Sets a price ceiling on apartment rent Prevents inflation during housing crises Helps the poor cut their housing costs Can lead to poorly managed buildings because landlords cannot afford the upkeep.
10 The Effects of Rent Control
11 Price Floors A price floor is a minimum price set by the government. The minimum wage is an example of a price floor. Minimum wage affects the demand and the supply of workers. At what wage is the labor market at equilibrium?
12 Price Supports in Agriculture Price supports in agriculture are another example of a price floor. They began during the Great Depression to create demand for crops. Opponents of price supports argue that the regulations dictate to farmers what they should produce. Supporters say that without government intervention, farmers would overproduce.
13 Chapter 6: Prices Section 2
14 Key Terms inventory: the quantity of goods that a firm has on hand fad: a product that is popular for a short period of time search costs: the financial and opportunity costs that consumers pay when searching for a good or service
15 Equilibrium When a market is in disequilibrium, it experiences either shortages or surpluses, both of which will eventually lead the market back toward equilibrium. Shortages cause a firm to raise its prices. Higher prices cause the quantity supplied to rise and the quantity demanded to fall until the two values are equal again. The same holds true for a surplus, only in reverse: Surpluses cause a firm to drop its prices. Lower prices cause the quantity supplied to fall and the quantity demanded to rise until equilibrium is restored.
16 Increase in Supply A shift in the supply curve will change the equilibrium price and quantity. As supply increases, it will cause the market to move toward a new equilibrium price. An example of a product that saw a radical market change in recent years is the digital camera.
17 Falling Prices and the Supply Curve
18 Changes in Supply Checkpoint: What happens to the equilibrium price when the supply curve shifts to the right? An increase in supply shifts the supply curve to the right. This shift throws the market into disequilibrium. Something will have to change in order to bring the market back to equilibrium.
19 A Moving Target Equilibrium for most products is in constant motion. Think of equilibrium as a moving target that changes as market conditions change. As supply or demand increases or decreases, a new equilibrium is created for that product.
20 Decrease in Supply Some factors lead to a decrease in supply, which shifts the supply curve to the left and results in a higher market price and a decrease in quantity sold. These factors include: An increase in the costs of resources to produce a good An increase in labor costs An increase in government regulations
21 A Change in Demand: Fads Fads often lead to an increase in demand for a particular good. The sudden increase in market demand cause the demand curve to shift to the right. What impact did the change in demand shown in the graph have on the equilibrium price?
22 Fads and Shortages As a result of fads, shortages appear to customers in different forms: Empty shelves at the stores Long lines to buy a product in short supply Search costs, such as driving to multiple stores to find a product.
23 Reaching a New Equilibrium Checkpoint: How is equilibrium reached after a shortage? Eventually, the increase in demand for a particular good will push the product to a new equilibrium price and quantity. Once a fad reaches its peak, though, prices will drop as quickly as they rose: A shortage becomes a surplus, causing the demand curve to shift to the left and restoring the original price and quantity supplied. New technology can also lead to a decrease in consumer demand for one product as a more high-tech substitute becomes available.
24 Chapter 6: Prices Section 3
25 Key Terms supply shock: a sudden shortage of a good rationing: a system of allocating scarce goods and services using criteria other than price black market: a market in which goods are sold illegally, without regard for government controls on price quantity
26 Introduction What roles do prices play in a free market economy? In a free market economy, prices are used to distribute goods and resources throughout the economy. Prices play other roles, including: Serving as a language for buyers and sellers Serving as an incentive for producers Serving as a signal of economic conditions
27 Price as an Incentive Prices provide a standard of measure of value throughout the world. Prices act as a signal that tells producers and consumers how to adjust. Prices tell buyers and sellers whether goods are in short supply or readily available. The price system is flexible and free, and it allows for a wide diversity of goods and services.
28 Prices as a Signal Prices can act as a signal to both producers and consumers: A high price tells producers that a product is in demand and they should make more. A low price indicates to producers that a good is being overproduced. A high price tells consumers to think about their purchases more carefully. A low price indicates to consumers to buy more of the product.
29 Flexibility of Prices Prices are flexible, which means they can be increased to solve problems of shortage and decreased to solve problems of surplus. Raising prices is one of the quickest ways to solve a shortage. It reduces quantity demanded and only people who have enough money will be able to pay the higher prices. This will cause the market to settle at a new equilibrium.
30 Free Market v. Command Free market systems based on prices cost nothing to administer. Central planning, on the other hand, requires a number of people to decide how resources are distributed, such as in the former Soviet Union. Unlike central planning, free market pricing is based on decisions made by consumers and suppliers.
31 Consumer Choices In a free market economy, prices help consumers choose among similar products and allow producers to target their customers with the products the customers want most. In a command economy, production is restricted to a few varieties of each product. As a result, there are fewer consumer choices.
32 Rationing & the Black Market In a command economy, or in a free market economy during wartime, shortages are common. One response to shortages is rationing. Since the government cannot track all of the goods passing through the economy, people sometimes conduct business on the illegal black market in order to bypass rationing.
33 Rationing During WWII During World War II, the federal government used rationing to control shortages. Each family was given tickets for such items as butter, sugar, or shoes. If you used up your allotment, you could not legally buy these items again until new tickets were issued.
34 Efficient Resource Allocation The free market system allows for efficient resource allocation, which means that the factors of production will be used for their most valuable purposes. Efficient resource allocation works with the profit incentive. Producers will use the resources available to them to ensure the greatest amount of profit.
35 The Profit Incentive In The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith wrote that businesses do best when they provide what people need. Financial rewards motivate people. How have you provided or benefited from the profit incentive?
36 Market Problems Checkpoint: Under what circumstances may the free market system fail to allocate resources efficiently? Imperfect Competition Can affect prices, which in turn affect consumer decisions Negative Externalities Side effects of production, which include unintended costs Imperfect Information Prevents a market from operating smoothly
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