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Ch. 2: The Economic Problem. Topics Production Possibilities Frontier & Opportunity . Cost Efficient Allocation of resources Trade-off between current and future production. Gains from specialization and trade Importance of property rights and markets.

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ch 2 the economic problem
Ch. 2: The Economic Problem.
  • Topics
    • Production Possibilities Frontier & Opportunity . Cost
    • Efficient Allocation of resources
    • Trade-off between current and future production.
    • Gains from specialization and trade
    • Importance of property rights and markets
production possibilities and opportunity cost
Production Possibilities and Opportunity Cost

Production Possibilities Frontier (PPF)

  • boundary between combinations of goods and services that can be produced and those that cannot.

To illustrate PPF,

  • Assume economy produces only two goods at a time and hold the quantities of all other goods and services constant.
  • Assume everything else remains the same (ceteris paribus) except the two goods we’re considering.
ppf and efficiency
PPF and Efficiency

Coconuts

  • Combinations of goods can be classified as
  • Attainable
    • Productively efficient
    • Productively inefficient
  • Unattainable

Fish

ppf and opportunity cost
PPF and Opportunity Cost
  • Measuring opportunity cost using the PPF.
  • Opportunity cost of 1 million pizzas at
    • C
    • D
  • |Slope of PPF| = opportunity cost of pizza
production possibilities and opportunity cost1
Production Possibilities and Opportunity Cost
  • Opportunity cost of 1 million CDs
    • At C
    • At D
  • |1/PPF slope| = opportunity cost of CDs
law of imoc
Law of IMOC
  • The Law of Increasing Marginal Opportunity Cost
    • As the quantity produced of each good increases, so does its opportunity cost.
    • Causes concave (bowed away from origin) PPF
using resources efficiently
Using Resources Efficiently
  • This figure illustrates the marginal cost of pizza.
  • As pizza production increases, the opportunity cost and the marginal cost of pizza increases.
  • The Law of IMOC implies concavity of PPF
using resources efficiently1
Using Resources Efficiently
  • A graph of marginal opportunity cost is upward sloping because of Law of IMOC.
using resources efficiently2
Using Resources Efficiently
  • MarginalBenefit (MB) of a good or service
    • Reflects a person’s “preferences”
    • Measures the benefit received from consuming one more unit of it.
    • Can be measured by the amount that a person is willing to pay for an additional unit of a good or service.
  • Law of Decreasing MB (Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility)
    • the more we have of any good or service, the smaller is its MB and the less we are willing to pay for an additional unit of it.
    • MB Curve shows the relationship between the marginal benefit of a good and the quantity of that good consumed.
using resources efficiently3
Using Resources Efficiently
  • The Marginal Benefit curve slopes downward to reflect Law of Decreasing Marginal Benefit .
using resources efficiently4
Using Resources Efficiently
  • Two kinds of efficiency
    • Productive efficiency:
      • When we cannot produce more of any one good without giving up some other good
      • producing at a point on the PPF.
    • Allocative efficiency
      • When we cannot produce more of any one good without giving up some other good that we value more highly
      • producing at the point on the PPF that we prefer above all other points.
      • MB of last unit = MC of last unit
allocative efficiency
Allocative Efficiency

If Q<500, why should production increase?

If Q>500, why should production decrease?

MB, MC measured in CDs

MC

MB

2.5

# of pizzas (in millions)

allocative efficiency1
Allocative Efficiency

If MC increases, how would allocatively efficient level change?

If MB increases, how would allocatively efficient level change?

MB, MC measured in CDs

MC

MB

2.5

# of pizzas (in millions)

using resources efficiently5
Using Resources Efficiently
  • The point of allocative efficiency
    • point at which marginal benefit equals marginal cost.
    • determined by the quantity at which MB=MC
    • Changes as preferences (MB) or costs (MC) change.
economic growth
Economic Growth
  • Economic Growth
    • expansion of PPF
    • Increases the standard of living
  • Determinants of economic growth:
    • Technological change
    • Capital accumulation
      • Physical or human
economic growth1
Economic Growth
  • How will the choice between consumer and capital goods affect future economic growth?
  • What kind of government policies can affect location on PPF?

Consumer goods

Capital Goods

gains from trade
Gains From Trade
  • Comparative Advantage
    • A person has a comparative advantage in production of a good if that person can produce the good at a lower opportunity cost than anyone else.
  • Absolute advantage
    • A person has an absolute advantage in an activity if that person can produce more of the good in a given amount of time than anyone else.
gains from trade1
Gains From Trade

Who has absolute advantage in

coconuts

fish

Who has comparative advantage in

coconuts

fish

Coconuts per day

15

Mary

9

Bill

9

10

Fish per day

gains from trade2
Gains From Trade
  • Suppose no trade and on PPF.
  • If Bill produces 3 fish, he can produce ____ coconuts.
  • If Mary produces 6 fish, she can produce ____ coconuts.
  • World production is ____ fish and ___ coconuts.
  • If specialize and trade
  • world production could be ____ fish and ____ coconuts.
  • What are the gains from trade?

Coconuts per day

15

Mary

9

Bill

9

Fish per day

10

gains from trade3
Gains From Trade

Coconuts per day

What is the “world” PPF for Mary & Bill?

Fish per day

gains from trade4
Gains From Trade
  • Nations can gain from specialization and trade
  • Because the gains from trade arise from comparative (not absolute) advantage, people can gain from trade even if they have an absolute advantage in all commodities.
gains from trade revisited
Gains from Trade Revisited

Suppose there is a small island economy with 20 Irish and 10 Germans. Each Irish can catch either 10 fish or gather 40 coconuts in a day. Each German can catch either 6 fish or 30 coconuts in a day.

the market economy
The Market Economy
  • Trade is organized using two key social institutions:
    • Property rights
    • Markets
  • Property Rights
    • the social arrangements that govern ownership, use, and disposal of resources, goods or services.
  • Markets
    • any arrangement that enables buyers and sellers to get information and do business with each other.