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Multiple Input Cost Relationships. Isoquant means “equal quantity”. Output is identical along an isoquant. Two inputs. Page 104 in booklet. Slope of an Isoquant. The slope of an isoquant is referred to as the Marginal Rate of Technical Substitution, or

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Isoquant means “equal quantity”

Output is

identical along

an isoquant

Two inputs

Page 104 in booklet


Slope of an isoquant
Slope of an Isoquant

The slope of an isoquant is referred to as the

Marginal Rate of Technical Substitution, or

MRTS. The value of the MRTS in our example

is given by:

MRTS = Capital ÷ labor

If output remains unchanged along an isoquant, the loss in output from decreasing labor must be identical to the gain in output from adding capital.


Plotting the iso cost line
Plotting the Iso-Cost Line

Firm can afford 10 units of

capital at a rental rate of $100

for a budget of $1,000

Capital

10

Firm can afford 100 units of

labor at a wage rate of $10 for

a budget of $1,000

Labor

100


Slope of an iso cost line
Slope of an Iso-cost Line

The slope of an iso-cost in our example is given by:

Slope = - (wage rate÷ rental rate)

or the negative of the ratio of the price of the two Inputs. The slope is based upon the budget constraint and can be obtained from the following equation:

($10×use of labor)+($100×use of capital)


Least cost decision rule
Least Cost Decision Rule

The least cost combination of two inputs (labor and capital in our example) occurs where the slope of the iso-cost line is tangent to isoquant:

MPPLABOR÷ MPPCAPITAL= -(wage rate÷ rental rate)

Slope of an

isoquant

Slope of iso-

cost line


Least cost decision rule1
Least Cost Decision Rule

The least cost combination of labor and capital in out example also occurs where:

MPPLABOR÷ wage rate = MPPCAPITAL÷ rental rate

MPP per dollar

spent on labor

MPP per dollar

spent on capital

=


Least cost decision rule2
Least Cost Decision Rule

This decision rule holds for a larger number of inputs as well…

The least cost combination of labor and capital in out example also occurs where:

MPPLABOR÷ wage rate = MPPCAPITAL÷ rental rate

MPP per dollar

spent on labor

MPP per dollar

spent on capital

=


Least Cost Input Choice for 100 Units

At the point of tangency, we know that:

slope of isoquant = slope of iso-cost line, or…

MPPLABOR÷ MPPCAPITAL = - (wage rate÷ rental rate)

Page 104 in booklet


What Inputs to Use for a Specific Budget?

Firm can afford to

produce only 75 units

of output using C3 units

of capital and L3 units

of labor

Page 104 in booklet


The planning curve
The Planning Curve

The long run average cost (LAC) curve reflects points of tangency with a series of short run average total cost (SAC) curves. The point on the LAC where the following holds is the long run equilibrium position (QLR) of the firm:

SAC = LAC = PLR

where MC represents marginal cost and PLR represents the long run price, respectively.


What can we say about the four

firm sizes in this graph?

Page 102 in booklet


Size 1 would lose

money at price P

Page 102 in booklet


Firm size 2, 3 and 4

would earn a profit

at price P….

Q3

Page 102 in booklet





If price were to fall to

PLR, only size 3 would not lose money; it would break-even. Size 4 would have to down size its operations!

Page 102 in booklet


How to Expand Firm’s Capacity

Optimal input

combination

for output=10

Page 107 in booklet


How to Expand Firm’s Capacity

Two options:

1. Point B ?

Page 107 in booklet


How to Expand Firm’s Capacity

Two options:

1. Point B?

2. Point C?

Page 107 in booklet


Expanding Firm’s Capacity

Page 107 in booklet


Expanding Firm’s Capacity

This combination

costs more to

produce 20 units

of output since

budget HI exceeds

budget FG

Page 107 in booklet


Expanding Firm’s Capacity

Optimal input

combination

for output=20

with budget FG

Optimal input

combination

for output=10

with budget DE

Page 107 in booklet


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