1 Week 5: The Costs of Production 31 st March 2014
2 WHAT ARE COSTS?! According to the Law of Supply:! Firms are willing to produce and sell a greater quantity of a good when the price of the good is high.! This results in a supply curve that slopes upward.
3 WHAT ARE COSTS?! The Firm s Objective! The economic goal of the firm is to maximize profits.
4 Total Revenue, Total Cost, and Profit! Total Revenue! The amount a firm receives for the sale of its output.! Total Cost! The market value of the inputs a firm uses in production. Ex: The bakery pays to buy inputs (sugar, flour, workers, ovens )
5 Total Revenue, Total Cost, and Profit! Profit is the firm s total revenue minus its total cost. Profit = Total revenue - Total cost
6 What costs include?! A firm s cost of production includes all the opportunity costs of making its output of goods and services.! Explicit and Implicit Costs! A firm s cost of production include explicit costs and implicit costs.! Explicit costs are input costs that require a direct outlay of money by the firm.! Implicit costs are input costs that do not require an outlay of money by the firm.
7 Economic Profit versus Accounting Profit! Economists measure a firm s economic profit as total revenue minus total cost, including both explicit and implicit costs.! Accountants measure the accounting profit as the firm s total revenue minus only the firm s explicit costs.
8 Economic Profit versus Accounting Profit! When total revenue exceeds both explicit and implicit costs, the firm earns economic profit.! Economic profit is smaller than accounting profit.
9 Figure 1 Economic versus Accountants How an Economist Views a Firm How an Accountant Views a Firm Revenue Economic profit Implicit costs Explicit costs Total opportunity costs Accounting profit Explicit costs Revenue Copyright 2004 South-Western
10 PRODUCTION AND COSTS! The Production Function! The production function shows the relationship between quantity of inputs used to make a good and the quantity of output of that good.! Also is the link between a firm s production process and it total cost.
11 The Production Function Marginal Product! The marginal product of any input in the production process is the increase in output that arises from an additional unit of that input.! Increase in output that arises from an additional unit of input! Slope of the production function
12 The Production Function Diminishing Marginal Product! Diminishing marginal product is the Marginal product of an input declines as the quantity of the input increases.! Example: As more and more workers are hired at a firm, each additional worker contributes less and less to production because the firm has a limited amount of equipment.
13 Table 1 A Production Function and Total Cost: Hungry Helen s Cookie Factory
14 Quantity of! The production function in figure Output 2 shows the relationship (cookies between the number of workers per hour) hired and the quantity of 150 output produced.! Here the number of workers hired 130 (on the horizontal axis), and 120 the quantity of output produced 110 (on the vertical axis) are from table 1. The production function 100 gets flatter as the number of 90 workers increases, which reflects diminishing marginal product Production function Number of Workers Hired
15 Figure 2 Hungry Helen s Production Function! The production function in figure 2 shows the relationship between the number of workers hired and the quantity of output produced.! Here the number of workers hired (on the horizontal axis), and the quantity of output produced (on the vertical axis) are from table 1. The production function gets flatter as the number of workers increases
16 Figure 2 Hungry Helen s Production Function The production function in figure 2 shows the relationship between the number of workers hired and the quantity of output produced. Here the number of workers hired (on the horizontal axis) is from the first column in Table 1, and the quantity of output produced (on the vertical axis) is from the second column. The production function gets flatter as the number of Quantity of Output (cookies per hour) Production function Number of Workers Hired
17 From the Production Function to the Total -Cost Curve! The relationship between the quantity a firm can produce and its costs determines pricing decisions.! The total-cost curve shows this relationship graphically.
18 Figure 3 Hungry Helen s Total-Cost Curve Total Cost $80 Total-cost curve Quantity of Output (cookies per hour) Copyright 2004 South-Western
19 THE VARIOUS MEASURES OF COST! Costs of production may be divided into fixed costs and variable costs.
20 Fixed and Variable Costs! Fixed costs are those costs that do not vary with the quantity of output produced.! Variable costs are those costs that do vary with the quantity of output produced.
21 Fixed and Variable Costs! Total Costs! Total Fixed Costs (TFC)! Total Variable Costs (TVC)! Total Costs (TC)! TC = TFC + TVC
22 Table 2 The Various Measures of Cost: Thirsty Thelma s Lemonade Stand Copyright 2004 South-Western
23 Fixed and Variable Costs! Average Costs! Average costs can be determined by dividing the firm s costs by the quantity of output it produces.! The average cost is the cost of each typical unit of product.
24 Fixed and Variable Costs! Average Costs! Average Fixed Costs (AFC)! Average Variable Costs (AVC)! Average Total Costs (ATC)! ATC = AFC + AVC
25 Average Costs AFC Fixed cost = = Quantity FC Q AVC Variable cost = = Quantity VC Q ATC = = Total cost Quantity TC Q
26 Table 2 The Various Measures of Cost: Thirsty Thelma s Lemonade Stand Copyright 2004 South-Western
27 Fixed and Variable Costs! Marginal Cost! Marginal cost (MC) measures the increase in total cost that arises from an extra unit of production.! Marginal cost helps answer the following question:!! How much does it cost to produce an additional unit of output?
28 Marginal Cost MC (change in total cost) = = (change in quantity)! TC! Q
29 Marginal Cost Thirsty Thelma s Lemonade Stand Quantity Total Cost Marginal Cost Quantity Total Cost Marginal Cost 0 $ $ $7.80 $
30 Figure 4 Thirsty Thelma s Total-Cost Curves Total Cost $ Total-cost curve Quantity of Output (glasses of lemonade per hour) Copyright 2004 South-Western
31 Figure 5 Thirsty Thelma s Average-Cost and Marginal -Cost Curves Costs $ MC ATC AVC AFC Quantity of Output (glasses of lemonade per hour) Copyright 2004 South-Western
32 Cost Curves and Their Shapes! Marginal cost rises with the amount of output produced.! This reflects the property of diminishing marginal product.
33 Figure 5 Thirsty Thelma s Average-Cost and Marginal -Cost Curves Costs $ MC Quantity of Output (glasses of lemonade per hour) Copyright 2004 South-Western
34 Cost Curves and Their Shapes! The average total-cost curve is U-shaped.! At very low levels of output average total cost is high because fixed cost is spread over only a few units.! Average total cost declines as output increases.! Average total cost starts rising because average variable cost rises substantially.
35 Cost Curves and Their Shapes! The bottom of the U-shaped ATC curve occurs at the quantity that minimizes average total cost. This quantity is sometimes called the efficient scale of the firm.
36 Figure 5 Thirsty Thelma s Average-Cost and Marginal -Cost Curves Costs $ ATC Quantity of Output (glasses of lemonade per hour) Copyright 2004 South-Western
37 Cost Curves and Their Shapes! Relationship between Marginal Cost and Average Total Cost! Whenever marginal cost is less than average total cost, average total cost is falling.! Whenever marginal cost is greater than average total cost, average total cost is rising.
38 Cost Curves and Their Shapes! Relationship Between Marginal Cost and Average Total Cost! The marginal-cost curve crosses the average-total -cost curve at the efficient scale.! Efficient scale is the quantity that minimizes average total cost.
39 Figure 5 Thirsty Thelma s Average-Cost and Marginal -Cost Curves Costs $ MC ATC Quantity of Output (glasses of lemonade per hour) Copyright 2004 South-Western
40 Typical Cost Curves It is now time to examine the relationships that exist between the different measures of cost.
41 Big Bob s Cost Curves
42 Figure 6 Big Bob s Cost Curves Total Cost $ (a) Total-Cost Curve TC Quantity of Output (bagels per hour) Copyright 2004 South-Western
43 Figure 6 Big Bob s Cost Curves Costs $3.00 (b) Marginal- and Average-Cost Curves MC ATC AVC 0.50 AFC Quantity of Output (bagels per hour) Copyright 2004 South-Western
44 Typical Cost Curves! Three Important Properties of Cost Curves! Marginal cost eventually rises with the quantity of output.! The average-total-cost curve is U-shaped.! The marginal-cost curve crosses the average-total -cost curve at the minimum of average total cost.
45 COSTS IN THE SHORT RUN AND IN THE LONG RUN! For many firms, the division of total costs between fixed and variable costs depends on the time horizon being considered.! In the short run, some costs are fixed.! In the long run, fixed costs become variable costs.
46 COSTS IN THE SHORT RUN AND IN THE LONG RUN! Because many costs are fixed in the short run but variable in the long run, a firm s long-run cost curves differ from its short-run cost curves.
47 Figure 7 Average Total Cost in the Short and Long Run Average Total Cost ATC in short run with small factory ATC in short run with medium factory ATC in short run with large factory $12,000 ATC in long run 0 1,200 Quantity of Cars per Day Copyright 2004 South-Western
48 Economies and Diseconomies of Scale! Economies of scale refer to the property whereby long -run average total cost falls as the quantity of output increases.! Diseconomies of scale refer to the property whereby long-run average total cost rises as the quantity of output increases.! Constant returns to scale refers to the property whereby long-run average total cost stays the same as the quantity of output increases
49 Figure 7 Average Total Cost in the Short and Long Run Average Total Cost ATC in short run with small factory ATC in short run with medium factory ATC in short run with large factory ATC in long run $12,000 10,000 Economies of scale Constant returns to scale Diseconomies of scale 0 1,000 1,200 Quantity of Cars per Day Copyright 2004 South-Western
50 Summary! The goal of firms is to maximize profit, which equals total revenue minus total cost.! When analyzing a firm s behavior, it is important to include all the opportunity costs of production.! Some opportunity costs are explicit while other opportunity costs are implicit.
51 Summary! A firm s costs reflect its production process.! A typical firm s production function gets flatter as the quantity of input increases, displaying the property of diminishing marginal product.! A firm s total costs are divided between fixed and variable costs. Fixed costs do not change when the firm alters the quantity of output produced; variable costs do change as the firm alters quantity of output produced.
52 Summary! Average total cost is total cost divided by the quantity of output.! Marginal cost is the amount by which total cost would rise if output were increased by one unit.! The marginal cost always rises with the quantity of output.! Average cost first falls as output increases and then rises.
53 Summary! The average-total-cost curve is U-shaped.! The marginal-cost curve always crosses the average -total-cost curve at the minimum of ATC.! A firm s costs often depend on the time horizon being considered.! In particular, many costs are fixed in the short run but variable in the long run.
54 Reading suggestions! Mankiw, N. G. Principles of Economics, 6 th ed. Ch 13
5 FIRM BEHAVIOR AND THE ORGANIZATION OF INDUSTRY The s of Production 1 Copyright 2004 South-Western The Market Forces of Supply and Demand Supply and demand are the two words that economists use most often.
Chapter 13. The Costs of Production The Market Forces of Supply and Demand Supply and demand are the two words that economists use most often. Supply and demand are the forces that make market economies
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The s of Production Chapter 13 Copyright 2001 by Harcourt, Inc. The s of Production The Law of Supply: Firms are willing to produce and sell a greater quantity of a good when the price of the good is high.
Profit Total Revenue The amount a firm receives for the sale of its output. Total Cost The market value of the inputs a firm uses in production. Profit is the firm s total revenue minus its total cost.
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