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Chapter 2 Confronting Scarcity: Choices in Production

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Chapter 2 Confronting Scarcity: Choices in Production. Review. What is the economic way of thinking? Scarcity forces us to choose and economists analyze opportunity costs when analyzing choices People are motivated to maximize their self interest

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  • What is the economic way of thinking?
    • Scarcity forces us to choose and economists analyze opportunity costs when analyzing choices
    • People are motivated to maximize their self interest
    • Individuals maximize choices by engaging in marginal decision making
factors of production
Factors of Production
  • Definition: resources available to an economy for the production of goods and services
  • Factors of production (FOP) create utility.
  • Utility is the value or satisfaction that people derive from the goods or services they consume
factors of production1
Factors of Production
  • Land (natural resources)-resources of nature that can be used in the production of goods and services
    • Must be found in nature
    • Expansion occurs through:
      • Discovery of more
      • Discovery of new use
      • New ways of extraction
factors of production2
Factors of Production
  • Labor-human factor in production
    • Natural ability
    • Human capital
    • Increase labor through
      • Increasing number of people available
      • Increasing human capital
factors of production3
Factors of Production
  • Capital-resources produced for use in the production of goods and services
    • Resource must have been produced
    • Resource can be used to produce other goods and services
factors of production4
Factors of Production
  • Entrepreneurs change the way that the factors of production are used by putting new technologies to work
  • Entrepreneur person who seeks to earn profits by finding new ways to organize the factors of production (sometimes classified as the fourth factor of production)
  • Technology knowledge that can be applied to production of goods and services
case in point technology cuts costs boosts productivity and profits
Case in Point: Technology Cuts Costs, Boosts Productivity and Profits
  • Read p. 41
  • Who are the winners and losers from technology?
    • Consumers
    • Producers
    • Workers
land labor or capital
Land, labor or capital?
  • An unemployed factory worker
  • A college professor
  • The SMCHS library
  • Yellowstone National Park
  • An untapped deposit of natural gas
  • The White House
  • A power plant
production possibilities curve
Production Possibilities Curve
  • CSU Monterey Bay built on site of Fort Ord
  • Shift from military use to civilian use
  • Definition: Model that shows goods and services that an economy is capable of producing given the factors of production and technology it has available
production possibilities curve1
Production Possibilities Curve
  • Assumes that only two goods can be produced
  • Any increase in one good means you can produce less of the other
  • Assumes that factors of production are fixed
production possibilities curve2
Production Possibilities Curve
  • The PPC is downward sloping
    • Reflects scarcity
  • The PPC is bowed out
    • Curve gets steeper as we move from left to right
    • “Producing an additional good on horizontal axis requires a greater sacrifice of the good on the vertical axis than did previous units produced” (Tregarthen & Rittenberg, 2000, p. 57)
production possibilities curve3
Production Possibilities Curve
  • The PPC is bowed out
    • The absolute value of the slope of any production possibilities curve (PPC) = the opportunity cost of an additional unit of a good on the horizontal axis
    • Steeper the slope, the greater the opportunity cost of producing that good
    • Illustrates the law of increasing opportunity cost
calculating opportunity cost
Calculating Opportunity Cost
  • Opportunity cost = what is given up/what is obtained
  • Economy can produce either 40 houses or 20 office buildings
  • OC of houses = 20 office buildings/40 houses=.5 office buildings
  • OC of office buildings = 40 houses/20 office buildings = 2 houses
  • Try “Try It Yourself” 2-2 on p. 49
production possibilities curve4
Production Possibilities Curve
  • Law of increasing opportunity cost
    • As an economy moves along its PPC in the direction of increased production of one good, the opportunity cost of additional units of that good increase
    • Law applies because as one moves closer to one end of the curve, resources transferred from one use to the other had greater and greater comparative advantage
production possibilities curve5
Production Possibilities Curve
  • Comparative advantage is when the opportunity cost of producing that good or service is lower for a particular economy than any other
    • International trade theory is based on comparative advantage
production possibilities curve6
Production Possibilities Curve
  • Specialization implies that an economy is producing goods and services in which it has a comparative advantage
    • People work and use the income they earn to buy goods and services from people who have a comparative advantage in doing other things
    • What would life be like without specialization? Hong Kong vs. United States
production possibilities curve7
Production Possibilities Curve
  • Movement along the PPC means that all factors of production are being maximized (point A)
  • Production within the curve means that factors of production are being used inefficiently (point B)
    • Idle factors of production
    • Inefficient production
    • Could increase production of both goods
production possibilities curve8
Production Possibilities Curve
  • Production outside of the PPC is impossible without economic growth
    • Increased educational levels
    • Change in technology
    • Increased quality or quantity of labor and capital
applications of the ppc model
Applications of the PPC Model
  • In order to allocate resources efficiently, then each nation should specialize in producing products for which they have a comparative advantage
  • Nations should trade in order to get the goods and services they need
    • Trade results in more production
  • Failure to specialize means that the world economy would be producing inside the global PPC
production possibilities and economic growth
Production Possibilities and Economic Growth
  • An outward shift of the PPC indicates economic growth.
  • Economic growth raises standards of living, even in the continuing face of scarcity.
  • Economic growth is a sustained increase in a nation’s production of goods and services.
production possibilities and economic growth1
Production Possibilities and Economic Growth
  • The history of world economic growth raises important questions about the ability of nations to deal with the ever-present problem of scarcity.
    • Rich versus poor nations
    • Conditions that favor growth
    • How can growth be promoted?
    • How can poverty be reduced?
production possibilities and economic growth2
Production Possibilities and Economic Growth
  • Economic growth occurs through
    • Increases in educational levels
    • Changes in technology
    • Increases in quantity or quality of labor and capital
    • Innovation