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Chapter 29. Labor Demand and Supply. When the trucking industry experienced an expansion at the end of the 2001 recession, there were expectations of more employment and higher wages for truck drivers.

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chapter 29

Chapter 29

Labor Demand and Supply

introduction

When the trucking industry experienced an expansion at the end of the 2001 recession, there were expectations of more employment and higher wages for truck drivers.

The labor market outcome was also affected by federal regulations governing the number of hours drivers could spend on the road.

Introduction
learning objectives
Learning Objectives
  • Understand why a firm’s marginal revenue product curve is its demand for labor curve
  • Explain in what sense the demand for labor is a “derived” demand
  • Identify the key factors influencing the elasticity of demand for inputs
learning objectives4
Learning Objectives
  • Describe how equilibrium wage rates are determined for perfectly competitive firms
  • Explain what labor outsourcing is and how it will affect U.S. workers’ earnings and employment prospects
  • Contrast the demand for labor and wage determination by a product market monopolist with outcomes that would arise under perfect competition
chapter outline
Chapter Outline
  • Marginal Physical Product
  • Derived Demand
  • The Market Demand for Labor
  • Determinants of Demand Elasticity for Inputs
chapter outline6
Chapter Outline
  • Wage Determination
  • Labor Outsourcing, Wages, and Employment
chapter outline7
Chapter Outline
  • Monopoly in the Product Market
  • Other Factors of Production
did you know that
Did You Know That...
  • The principles we have used to explain the market in which goods are sold will also describe the labor market?
  • Profit-maximizing firms will hire labor up to the point where the marginal benefit equals the marginal cost?
competition in the product market
Competition in the Product Market
  • Assumptions
    • Each employer is one of a very large number of employers
    • Workers do not need special skills
    • Workers are free to move from one employer to another
    • The firm is a price taker
marginal physical product
Marginal Physical Product
  • Marginal Physical Product (MPP) of Labor
    • The change in output resulting from the addition of one more worker
    • The change in total output accounted for by hiring the worker, holding all other factors of production constant
  • MPP eventually declines because of the law of diminishing returns
marginal physical product11
Marginal Physical Product
  • Marginal Revenue Product (MRP)
    • The marginal physical product (MPP) times the marginal revenue
    • The additional revenue obtained from a one-unit change in labor input
marginal revenue product

118 $1,180

111 $1,110

104 $1,040

97 $970

90 $900

83 $830

76 $760

Marginal Revenue Product

Total

Physical Marginal Marginal

Product Physical Product Revenue Product

Labor Input (TPP) (MPP) (MRP) (MR = $10)

6 882

7 1,000

8 1,111

9 1,215

10 1,312

11 1,402

12 1,485

13 1,561

Observations

• MPP declines

• MRP = MP x MR

marginal physical product13

change in total cost

Marginal factor cost =

change in amount of resources used

Marginal Physical Product
  • Marginal Factor Cost (MFC)
    • The cost of using an additional unit of an input
marginal physical product14
Marginal Physical Product
  • In a perfectly competitive labor market:
    • The market determines the wage
    • The individual employer is a wage taker
    • All workers are hired for the same wage
    • MFC = wage
marginal revenue product15
Marginal Revenue Product
  • The MRP curve: demand for labor
    • The MRP curve is the demand curve for labor for the firm.
    • This tells us how many workers will be hired at various possible wage rates.
    • The firm will hire any worker who can contribute to revenues by more than they contribute to costs.
marginal physical product16
Marginal Physical Product
  • General rule for hiring
    • The firm hires workers up to the point at which the additional cost associated with hiring the last worker is equal to the additional revenue generated by that worker.
international example confusing mpp and mrp
International Example:Confusing MPP and MRP
  • Violinists in the Beethoven Orchestra in Germany filed a lawsuit in 2004 asking for higher wages.
  • Their rationale was that they play more notes than do woodwind and brass players.
international example confusing mpp and mrp18
International Example:Confusing MPP and MRP
  • Responding to the lawsuit, orchestra managers pointed out that violinists do indeed have a higher marginal physical product (more notes) than do oboe and French horn soloists.
  • But the marginal revenue product of the soloists is probably higher.
derived demand
Derived Demand
  • Derived Demand
    • The factors of production are needed to manufacture a final good or to provide a final service.
    • Thus, the demand for labor is influenced by demand for the final product.
demand for labor a derived demand
Demand for Labor—a Derived Demand

The firm produces CDs

• MRP0 when price of CDs is P0

• MRP1 when price of CDs is P1

• MRP2 when price of CDs is P2

• MRP0: MRP = MFC at 12 workers

• MRP1: MRP = MFC at 10 workers

• MRP2: MRP = MFC at 15 workers

Figure 29-2

the market demand for labor
The Market Demand for Labor
  • The quantity of labor demanded for a particular type of labor in each industry will vary as the wage rate changes.
  • The market demand for labor will generally be less elastic than the demand exhibited by one firm.
derivation of the market demand for labor

a

A

20

b

c

10

MRP0 = d0

MRP1 = d1

10

15

22

2000

Derivation of the Market Demand for Labor

Wage rate of $20• firms will hire 2000 workers

Firm

Market (200 firms)

Wage Rate per Hour ($)

0

0

Quantity of Labor per Time Period

Quantity of Labor per Time Period

derivation of the market demand for labor23
Derivation of the Market Demand for Labor

Firm

Market (200 firms)

a

A

20

Wage Rate per Hour ($)

b

B

10

MRP0 = d0

D

MRP1 = d1

0

10

15

22

0

2,000

3,000

Quantity of Labor per Time Period

Quantity of Labor per Time Period

Figure 29-3

determinants of demand elasticity for inputs
Determinants of Demand Elasticity for Inputs
  • The price elasticity of demand for a variable input will be greater
    • The greater the price elasticity of demand for the final product
    • The easier it is for a particular variable input to be substituted for by other inputs
    • The larger the proportion of total costs accounted for by a particular variable input
    • The longer the time period being considered
wage determination
Wage Determination
  • The demand for labor curve has been determined.
  • Now add an analysis of labor supply.
  • We can derive the equilibrium wage rate that workers earn in an industry.
international example how long does it take to earn a big mac
International Example: How Long Does it Take to Earn a Big Mac?
  • One way to make an international wage comparison is to see how long it takes the average worker in various countries to earn enough to purchase a standardized item.
  • In the U.S., the typical worker can earn a Big Mac sandwich in 9 minutes.
international example how long does it take to earn a big mac28
International Example: How Long Does it Take to Earn a Big Mac?
  • In Nigeria, the earnings necessary to purchase a Big Mac require an hour for the typical worker.
  • This time cost for the same sandwich is 2 hours in Pakistan and 3 hours in Kenya.
wage determination29
Wage Determination
  • Shifts in the market demand for labor will alter the equilibrium wage rate:
    • Change in demand for the final product
    • Change in labor productivity
    • Change in the price of related inputs
wage determination30
Wage Determination
  • Shifts in labor supply will alter the equilibrium wage rate:
    • Change in wages in other industries
    • Changes in working conditions
    • Job flexibility
international example manufacturing jobs disappear worldwide
International Example: Manufacturing Jobs Disappear Worldwide
  • Though many U.S. manufacturing jobs have disappeared since 1995, it is not consistent with the data to conclude that those jobs have been relocated overseas.
  • Manufacturing employment has declined in nearly all countries.
international example manufacturing jobs disappear worldwide32
International Example: Manufacturing Jobs Disappear Worldwide
  • The correct interpretation is that technological improvements have lessened the amount of labor input needed in industrial production.
  • The labor resources liberated from the manufacturing process are now used in telecommunications, software design, and other endeavors.
labor outsourcing wages and employment
Labor Outsourcing, Wages, and Employment
  • Outsourcing:
    • A firm’s employment of labor outside the country in which the firm is located.
    • Some U.S.-based companies outsource labor to other countries.
    • Some firms based around the globe outsource labor to the U.S.
labor outsourcing wages and employment34
Labor Outsourcing, Wages, and Employment
  • How are U.S. workers affected?
    • If cheaper labor is available in other countries, this will dampen the demand for U.S. labor.
    • But as the volume of global commerce rises, there may be more of a demand by foreign firms to hire U.S. workers as well.
labor outsourcing wages and employment35
Labor Outsourcing, Wages, and Employment
  • The long-term effects:
    • Labor outsourcing enhances trade, which allows for more specialization.
    • If goods are produced and services are performed in those countries where the opportunity costs are lowest, then global economic growth is enhanced.
labor outsourcing wages and employment36
Labor Outsourcing, Wages, and Employment
  • Benefits for U.S. workers:
    • To the extent that firms can outsource their labor needs, they will operate more efficiently.
    • This means that the products they sell have lower prices.
    • In turn, each dollar in a worker’s paycheck has a greater purchasing power.
monopoly in the product market
Monopoly in the Product Market
  • Constructing the monopolist’s input demand curve
    • In reconstructing the demand schedule for an input, we must recognize that:
      • The marginal physical products falls because of the law of diminishing returns as more workers are added.
      • The price (and marginal revenue) received for the product sold also falls as more is produced and sold.
monopoly in the product market40
Monopoly in the Product Market
  • What do you think?
    • Why does the monopolist hire fewer workers?
    • The marginal benefit to the monopolist of hiring an additional worker is affected by the fact that the selling price of her product will decline as she expands output.
other factors of production
Other Factors of Production
  • Profit maximization revisited
    • MRP of labor = price of labor (wage)
    • MRP of land = price of land (rent)
    • MRP of capital = price of capital (cost per unit of service)
other factors of production42
Other Factors of Production
  • Cost minimization
    • To minimize total costs for a particular rate of production, the firm will hire factors of production up to the point at which the marginal physical product per last dollar spent on each factor is equalized.
other factors of production43

MPP of labor

MPP of land

=

=

price of labor

MPP of capital

price of land

price of capital

Other Factors of Production
  • Cost minimization
issues and applications how a federal labor rule affected wages
Issues and Applications: How A Federal Labor Rule Affected Wages
  • A new 2003 U.S. regulation limited the number of daily hours truckers could be on the road.
  • This had the effect of shifting the labor supply curve to the left.
  • At the same time, the demand for trucking services was increasing due to a nationwide economic recovery.
issues and applications how a federal labor rule affected wages45
Issues and Applications: How A Federal Labor Rule Affected Wages
  • As is shown on the graph on the next slide, both the increased demand and the decreased supply for truck drivers had the effect of raising the equilibrium wage.
summary discussion of learning objectives
Summary Discussion of Learning Objectives
  • Why a firm’s marginal revenue product curve is its labor demand curve
    • In competitive markets, firms hire labor to the point at which the wage equals MRP.
  • The demand for labor as a “derived demand”
    • The demand for labor by perfectly competitive firms is derived from the demand for the final products they produce.
summary discussion of learning objectives48
Summary Discussion of Learning Objectives
  • Key factors affecting the elasticity of demand for inputs
    • Price elasticity of demand for the final product
    • Ease of substitution of other inputs
    • Proportion of total costs
    • Time period
summary discussion of learning objectives49
Summary Discussion of Learning Objectives
  • How equilibrium wage rates at perfectly competitive firms are determined
    • The wage at which the quantity of labor supplied by all workers equals the quantity of labor demanded by all firms
  • U. S. wage and employment effects of labor outsourcing
    • Decreased demand for U. S. workers when cheaper labor is available overseas
    • Increased demand for some U. S. labor
summary discussion of learning objectives50
Summary Discussion of Learning Objectives
  • Contrasting the demand for labor and wage determination under monopoly with outcomes under perfect competition
    • A monopolist’s labor demand curve is to the left of that of a perfectly competitive industry
    • Marginal revenue for a monopolist is less than price
    • Fewer workers are employed by the monopolist
end of chapter 29

End of Chapter 29

Labor Demand and Supply