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Chapter 4 Markets in Action: Government Participation. Price Floors/Ceilings Tariffs/Quotas Sales Taxes. Welfare Analysis. Consumer and Producer Surplus. Welfare Analysis. To determine the impact on trade policies, we must determine how the participants in the economy are affected

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Chapter 4 Markets in Action: Government Participation

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Chapter 4Markets in Action: Government Participation

Price Floors/Ceilings

Tariffs/Quotas

Sales Taxes


Welfare Analysis

Consumer and Producer Surplus


Welfare Analysis

  • To determine the impact on trade policies, we must determine how the participants in the economy are affected

    • Participants include:

      • Consumers (Households)

      • Producers (Firms)

      • Government


Consumer Surplus

  • Consumer Surplus (CS) is a method to determine the net benefit of consumption

  • Definition: “extra amount consumers are willing to pay for an item compared to what they have to pay”

    • Graphically, this is the area under the demand curve


Area under demand curve is the total value of consumption

At $10, value to consumer is (a+b+c), but consumer must pay (b+c)

So CS = a

Consumer Surplus II

P

15

a

a

10

b

b

d

5

c

e

c

D

0

Q

15

10


If the price falls to $5, then the total value of consumption is (a+b+c+d+e)

Consumer must pay (c+e)

So, CS= (a+b+d)

Consumer Surplus III

P

15

a

a

10

b

d

b

d

5

c

e

e

c

D

Q

0

15

10


Producer Surplus (PS)

  • “Extra benefit” to producers

  • “What producers can charge” – “What producers willing to charge”

  • Graphically: Area between market price and supply curve


Suppose the market price is $5

Firm is willing to sell unit 8 at $5, but for units 1-7, the firm is willing to sell each at a price less than $8

PS = x

Producer Surplus II

P

S

10

y

z

5

x

1

0

15

8

Q


If the market price rises to $10, the firm is willing to sell at most 15 units.

For units 1-14, the firm is willing to sell at a price lower than $10

PS = (x+y+z)

Producer Surplus III

P

S

10

y

z

5

x

1

0

15

8

Q


Market Equilibrium

  • A nation’s welfare can then be determined by the sum of consumer surplus (CS) and producer surplus (PS) (plus any government revenue)

    Welfare = CS + PS + GR

  • Note that an increase in market price decreases CS yet increases PS

  • So an increase in market price does not necessarily have a negative impact on the economy.


Government Intervention

  • What we have looked at before were cases where the "invisible hand" and market mechanism worked without interference from outside sources.

  • Lets look now at what happens when there is government intervention in the market


Government Intervention

  • Cases where governments (Federal, State, Local) intervene:

    • Price Ceilings

    • Price Floors

    • Sales Taxes

    • Tariffs

    • Quotas


Price Ceilings

  • Price Ceiling:A government regulation that limits how high a price can be charged for a good/service

  • 2 possible situations :

1) ceiling set above the equilibrium price

2) ceiling set below the equilibrium price

Where do we see price ceilings in place?


Price Ceilings

P

S

Ceilings create

shortages

P*

Ceiling

Price

D

Q


Price Floors

Price Floors: A government regulation that limits how low a

price may be charged for a good/service

2 possible situations :

1) ceiling set above the equilibrium price

2) ceiling set below the equilibrium price

In what situations do we see price floors in place?


Price Floors

P

S

Floor

Price

P*

Floors Create

Surpluses

D

Q


Quotas

  • Limit the quantity of imported goods that can enter a market

  • 2 possible scenarios

    1) Binding quota (*)

    2) Non-binding quota

Why would the government ever use a quota rather than a tariff?


Quotas

  • Suppose the US autarky (no trade) price is $10.00. Suppose also that the price that the rest of the world pays is $5.00.

  • If the US begins to trade, its own firms will supply 5 units at $5.00, while demanding 20 units

  • This means the US must import 15 units


Quotas

P

S

10

5

Imports

D

Q

20

5

15


Quota

  • Suppose a quota is put in place that limits imports to 7 units. What will happen to:

  • US production

2) US consumption

3) Price US consumers pay


Quotas

P

S

Under the quota,

Consumers now

pay $8 and import

less

10

8

Quota

5

D

Q

20

5

15

10

17


Sales Taxes

While there are many different types of sales taxes,

we will focus on a specific tax.

A specific tax is a tax where for each unit of a good sold, a certain

amount of money is paid to the government.

One type of this tax is called an EXCISE TAX.


Taxes

  • NOTE:

  • Sellers (Producers) only receive the price that excludes the tax.

  • Buyers are faced with the price that includes the tax.

  • Taxes have thus driven a wedge between the prices.


TAX INCIDENCE

  • This is the idea concerning "who bears the burden of the tax." Is it always the consumer who pays the full price of the tax??

Scenarios:

1) Perfectly inelastic demand

2) Perfectly elastic demand

3) Perfectly elastic supply


Modeling Taxes

  • Suppose that a $10 per unit tax is placed on a good. The pre-tax price of the good is $25.

Firms make supply decisions based on the price that they

receive, not the price that we pay.

Depending upon demand elasticity, consumers react by reducing

the amount consumed.

Depending upon supply elasticity, suppliers react by reducing

the amount produced.


P

S + Tax

S

30

Tax raises price consumers

pay, but also reduces the amount

suppliers receive – tax burden

shared

Govnt. Rev.

25

20

D

0

Q

25

20


Taxes

  • In this case, the burden is shared.

What happens to the burden of the tax if demand and supply

elasticities are different?


P

S + Tax

S

33

GR

25

23

D

Q

25

23


Taxes

  • What can we conclude from this???

  • The more inelastic the demand and supply of a commodity,

  • the smaller the decline in output from a given tax.

2) Relative burden of taxation among buyers and sellers follows

the "path of least resistance" ( i.e. tax is shifted in proportion to

where inelasticity is greatest)

3) Where is government revenue the highest? To which goods

does this relate?


Subsidies

  • Subsidies: a per unit payment on the purchase or sale of a commodity. Often called a “negative tax.”

Purchase =====> consumption subsidy

Sale =====> production subsidy


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