Unemployment And Its Natural Rate

Learn about the data used to measure the amount of unemployment Consider how unemployment arises from the process of job search Losing a job can be the most distressing economic event in a person's life. Most people rely on their labor earnings to maintain their standard of living, and many people get from their work not only income but also a sense of personal accomplishment. A job loss means a lower living standard in the present, anxiety about the future, and reduced self-esteem. It is not...

Some Important Public Goods

There are many examples of public goods. Here we consider three of the most important. Nati onal Defense The defense of the country from foreign aggressors is a classic example of a public good. It is also one of the most expensive. In 1999 the U.S. federal government spent a total of 277 billion on national defense, or about 1,018 per person. People disagree about whether this amount is too small or too large, but almost no one doubts that some government spending for national defense is...

Should Tiger Woods Mow His Own Lawn

Tiger Woods spends a lot of time walking around on grass. One of the most talented golfers of all time, he can hit a drive and sink a putt in a way that most casual golfers only dream of doing. Most likely, he is talented at other activities too. For example, let's imagine that Woods can mow his lawn faster than anyone else. But just because he can mow his lawn fast, does this mean he should To answer this question, we can use the concepts of opportunity cost and comparative advantage. Let's...

Should The United States Trade With Other Countries

Just as individuals can benefit from specialization and trade with one another, as the farmer and rancher did, so can populations of people in different countries. Many of the goods that Americans enjoy are produced abroad, and many of the goods produced in the United States are sold abroad. Goods produced abroad and sold domestically are called imports. Goods produced domestically and sold abroad are called exports. goods produced abroad and sold domestically goods produced domestically and...

Measuring The Cost Of Living

Learn how the consumer price index (CPI) is constructed Consider why the CPI is an imperfect measure of the cost of living Compare the CPI and the GDP deflator as measures of the overall price level In 1931, as the U.S. economy was suffering through the Great Depression, famed baseball player Babe Ruth earned 80,000. At the time, this salary was extraordinary, even among the stars of baseball. According to one story, a reporter asked Ruth whether he thought it was right that he made more than...

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Consumer Surplus Producer Surplus License-Holder Surplus Total Surplus A + B + C + D + E' + E'' + F A + B A + B + C + D + E' + E'' + F + G A + B + C + E' + E'' + G (C + D + E' + E'' + F) +C +(E' + E'') The area D + F shows the fall in total surplus and represents the deadweight loss of the quota. Changes in Welfare from an Import Quota. The table compares economic welfare when trade is unrestricted and when trade is restricted with an import quota. Letters refer to the regions marked in Figure...

In This Chapter You Will

Learn what characteristics make a market competitive Examine how competitive firms decide how much output to produce Examine how competitive firms decide when to shut down production temporarily If your local gas station raised the price it charges for gasoline by 20 percent, it would see a large drop in the amount of gasoline it sold. Its customers would quickly switch to buying their gasoline at other gas stations. By contrast, if your local water company raised the price of water by 20...

In The N Ews

Does a Drought Need to Cause a Water Shortage During the summer of 1999, the east coast of the United States experienced unusually little rain and a shortage of water. The following article suggests a way that the shortage could have been averted. By Terry L. Anderson and Clay J. Landry Water shortages are being blamed on the drought in the East, but that's giving Mother Nature a bum rap. Certainly the drought is the immediate cause, but the real culprit is regulations that don't allow markets...

How Do Interest Rates Affect Household Saving

An important decision that every person faces is how much income to consume today and how much to save for the future. We can use the theory of consumer choice to analyze how people make this decision and how the amount they save depends on the interest rate their savings will earn. Consider the decision facing Sam, a worker planning ahead for retirement. To keep things simple, let's divide Sam's life into two periods. In the first period, Sam is young and working. In the second period, he is...

Governmentcreated Monopolies

In many cases, monopolies arise because the government has given one person or firm the exclusive right to sell some good or service. Sometimes the monopoly arises from the sheer political clout of the would-be monopolist. Kings, for example, once granted exclusive business licenses to their friends and allies. At other times, the government grants a monopoly because doing so is viewed to be in the public interest. For instance, the U.S. government has given a monopoly to a company called...

Discrimination By Employers

Let's now turn from measurement to the economic forces that lie behind discrimination in labor markets. If one group in society receives a lower wage than another group, even after controlling for human capital and job characteristics, who is to blame for this differential The answer is not obvious. It might seem natural to blame employers for discriminatory wage differences. After all, employers make the hiring decisions that determine labor demand and wages. If some groups of workers earn...

Costs As Opportunity Costs

When measuring costs at Hungry Helen's Cookie Factory or any other firm, it is important to keep in mind one of the Ten Principles of Economics from Chapter 1 The cost of something is what you give up to get it. Recall that the opportunity cost of an item refers to all those things that must be forgone to acquire that item. When economists speak of a firm's cost of production, they include all the opportunity costs of making its output of goods and services. A firm's opportunity costs of...

Case Study The Increasing Value Of Skills

The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer. Like many adages, this one is not always true, but recently it has been. Many studies have documented that the earnings gap between workers with high skills and workers with low skills has increased over the past two decades. Table 19-1 presents data on the average earnings of college graduates and of high school graduates without any additional education. These data show the increase in the financial reward from education. In 1978, a man on average...

Case Study The Laffer Curve And Supplyside Economics

One day in 1974, economist Arthur Laffer sat in a Washington restaurant with some prominent journalists and politicians. He took out a napkin and drew a figure on it to show how tax rates affect tax revenue. It looked much like panel (b) of our Figure 8-7. Laffer then suggested that the United States was on the downward-sloping side of this curve. Tax rates were so high, he argued, that reducing them would actually raise tax revenue. Most economists were skeptical of Laffer's suggestion. The...

Case Study Discrimination In Sports

As we have seen, measuring discrimination is often difficult. To determine whether one group of workers is discriminated against, a researcher must correct for differences in the productivity between that group and other workers in the economy. Yet, in most firms, it is difficult to measure a particular worker's contribution to the production of goods and services. One type of firm in which such corrections are easier is the sports team. Professional teams have many objective measures of...

Ability Effort And Chance

Why do major league baseball players get paid more than minor league players Certainly, the higher wage is not a compensating differential. Playing in the major leagues is not a less pleasant task than playing in the minor leagues in fact, the opposite is true. The major leagues do not require more years of schooling or more experience. To a large extent, players in the major leagues earn more just because they have greater natural ability. Natural ability is important for workers in all...

Case Study The Microsoft Case

The most important and controversial antitrust case in recent years has been the U.S. government's suit against the Microsoft Corporation, filed in 1998. Certainly, the case did not lack drama. It pitted one of the world's richest men (Bill Gates) against one of the world's most powerful regulatory agencies (the U.S. Justice Department). Testifying for the government was a prominent economist (MIT professor Franklin Fisher). Testifying for Microsoft was an equally prominent economist (MIT...

Negative Externalities In Production

Now let's suppose that aluminum factories emit pollution For each unit of aluminum produced, a certain amount of smoke enters the atmosphere. Because this smoke creates a health risk for those who breathe the air, it is a negative externality. How does this externality affect the efficiency of the market outcome Because of the externality, the cost to society of producing aluminum is larger than the cost to the aluminum producers. For each unit of aluminum produced, the social cost includes the...

Public Policy And Job Search

Even if some frictional unemployment is inevitable, the precise amount is not. The faster information spreads about job openings and worker availability, the more rapidly the economy can match workers and firms. The Internet, for instance, may help facilitate job search and reduce frictional unemployment. In addition, public policy may play a role. If policy can reduce the time it takes unemployed workers to find new jobs, it can reduce the economy's natural rate of unemployment. Government...

Case Study Two Ways To Reduce The Quantity Of Smoking Demanded

Two Ways Demand Curve

Public policymakers often want to reduce the amount that people smoke. There are two ways that policy can attempt to achieve this goal. One way to reduce smoking is to shift the demand curve for cigarettes and other tobacco products. Public service announcements, mandatory health warnings on cigarette packages, and the prohibition of cigarette advertising on television are all policies aimed at reducing the quantity of cigarettes demanded at any given price. If successful, these policies shift...

The Effects Of A Shift In Aggregate Supply

Short Run Aggregate Supply Curve Shifts

Imagine once again an economy in its long-run equilibrium. Now suppose that suddenly some firms experience an increase in their costs of production. For example, bad weather in farm states might destroy some crops, driving up the cost An Adverse Shift in Aggregate Supply. When some event increases firms' costs, the short-run aggregate-supply curve shifts to the left from AS to AS2. The economy moves from point A to point B. The result is stagflation Output falls from Y1 to Y2, and the price...

Political Instability And Capital Flight

Capital Flight Impact Interest Rates

In 1994 political instability in Mexico, including the assassination of a prominent political leader, made world financial markets nervous. People began to view Mexico as a much less stable country than they had previously thought. They decided to pull some of their assets out of Mexico in order to move these funds to the United States and other safe havens. Such a large and sudden movement of funds out of a country is called capital flight. To see the implications of capital flight for the...

The Cost Of Producing Stereo Systems Has Fallen Over The Past Several Decades

An early freeze in California sours the lemon crop. What happens to consumer surplus in the market for lemons What happens to consumer surplus in the market for lemonade Illustrate your answers with diagrams. 2. Suppose the demand for French bread rises. What happens to producer surplus in the market for French bread What happens to producer surplus in the market for flour Illustrate your answer with diagrams. 3. It is a hot day, and Bert is very thirsty. Here is the value he places on a...

The Various Measures Of Cost

Thirsty Thelma Lemonade Stand

Our analysis of Hungry Helen's Cookie Factory demonstrated how a firm's total cost reflects its production function. From data on a firm's total cost, we can derive several related measures of cost, which will turn out to be useful when we analyze production and pricing decisions in future chapters. To see how these related measures are derived, we consider the example in Table 13-2. This table presents cost data on Helen's neighbor Thirsty Thelma's Lemonade Stand. The first column of the table...

Catherines Demand Curve

Catherine Demand Curve

The demand schedule shows the quantity demanded at each price. Catherine's Demand Curve. This demand curve, which graphs the demand schedule in Table 4-1, shows how the quantity demanded of the good changes as its price varies. Because a lower price increases the quantity demanded, the demand curve slopes downward. a graph of the relationship between the price of a good and the quantity demanded a Latin phrase, translated as other things being equal, used as a...

The Effects Of An Import Quota

Deadweight Loss Imports

The Isolandian economists next consider the effects of an import quota a limit on the quantity of imports. In particular, imagine that the Isolandian government distributes a limited number of import licenses. Each license gives the license holder the right to import 1 ton of steel into Isoland from abroad. The Isolandian economists want to compare welfare under a policy of free trade and welfare with the addition of this import quota. Figure 9-7 shows how an import quota affects the Isolandian...

Shifts In The Demand Curve

Shifts The Demand Curve

Suppose that the American Medical Association suddenly announces a new discovery People who regularly eat ice cream live longer, healthier lives. How does this announcement affect the market for ice cream The discovery changes people's tastes and raises the demand for ice cream. At any given price, buyers now want to purchase a larger quantity of ice cream, and the demand curve for ice cream shifts to the right. Whenever any determinant of demand changes, other than the good's price, the demand...

Pat And Kris Are Roommates. They Spend Most Of Their Time Studying Of Course But They Leave Some Time For Their

Will a nation tend to export or import goods for which it has a comparative advantage Explain. Why do economists oppose policies that restrict trade among nations 1. Consider the farmer and the rancher from our example in this chapter. Explain why the farmer's opportunity cost of producing 1 pound of meat is 2 pounds of potatoes. Explain why the rancher's opportunity cost of producing 1 pound of meat is 1 8 pound of potatoes. 2. Maria can read 20 pages of economics in an hour. She can also read...

Little Kona Is A Small Coffee Company That Is Considering Entering A Market Dominated By Big Brew

The New York Times Nov. 30, 1993 reported that the inability of OPEC to agree last week to cut production has sent the oil market into turmoil . . . leading to the lowest price for domestic crude oil since June 1990. a. Why were the members of OPEC trying to agree to cut production b. Why do you suppose OPEC was unable to agree on cutting production Why did the oil market go into turmoil as a result c. The newspaper also noted OPEC's view that producing nations outside the organization, like...

Case Study Monopoly Drugs Versus Generic Drugs

According to our analysis, prices are determined quite differently in monopolized markets from the way they are in competitive markets. A natural place to test this theory is the market for pharmaceutical drugs because this market takes on both market structures. When a firm discovers a new drug, patent laws give the firm a monopoly on the sale of that drug. But eventually the firm's patent runs out, and any company can make and sell the drug. At that time, the market switches from being...

Why The Longrun Supply Curve Might Slope Upward

So far we have seen that entry and exit can cause the long-run market supply curve to be horizontal. The essence of our analysis is that there are a large number of potential entrants, each of which faces the same costs. As a result, the long-run market supply curve is horizontal at the minimum of average total cost. When the demand for the good increases, the long-run result is an increase in the number of firms and in the total quantity supplied, without any change in the price. There are,...

If You Were Johnny S Agent What Recording Fee Would You Advise

100,000 200,000 300,000 400,000 500,000 600,000 700,000 800,000 900,000 1,000,000 The author is paid 2 million to write the book, and the marginal cost of publishing the book is a constant 10 per book. a. Compute total revenue, total cost, and profit at each quantity. What quantity would a profit-maximizing publisher choose What price would it charge b. Compute marginal revenue. Recall that MR ATR AQ. How does marginal revenue compare to the price Explain. c. Graph the marginal-revenue,...

Hi-tech Printing Company Invents A New Process That Sharply Reduces The Cost Of Printing Books. What Happens To Hi-tech

How much should the firm produce to maximize profit b. Calculate marginal revenue and marginal cost for each quantity. Graph them. Hint Put the points between whole numbers. For example, the marginal cost between 2 and 3 should be graphed at 2 1 2. At what quantity do these curves cross How does this relate to your answer to part a c. Can you tell whether this firm is in a competitive industry If so, can you tell whether the industry is in a long-run...

Case Study Rent Control In The Short Run And Long

Partial Rent Control Quantities

One common example of a price ceiling is rent control. In some cities, the local government places a ceiling on rents that landlords may charge their tenants. The goal of this policy is to help the poor by making housing more affordable. Economists often criticize rent control, arguing that it is a highly inefficient way to help the poor raise their standard of living. One economist called rent control the best way to destroy a city, other than bombing. The adverse effects of rent control are...

Externalities In Consumption

Positive Consumption

The externalities we have discussed so far are associated with the production of goods. Some externalities, however, are associated with consumption. The consumption of alcohol, for instance, yields negative externalities if consumers are more likely to drive under its influence and risk the lives of others. Similarly, the consumption of education yields positive externalities because a more educated population leads to better government, which benefits everyone. The analysis of consumption...

Case Study Are Lighthouses Public Goods

Lighthouses Free

Some goods can switch between being public goods and being private goods depending on the circumstances. For example, a fireworks display is a public good if performed in a town with many residents. Yet if performed at a private amusement park, such as Walt Disney World, a fireworks display is more like a private good because visitors to the park pay for admission. Another example is a lighthouse. Economists have long used lighthouses as examples of a public good. Lighthouses are used to mark...

Recent Study Found That The Demand And Supply Schedules For Frisbees Are As Follows

Lovers of classical music persuade Congress to impose a price ceiling of 40 per ticket. Does this policy get more or fewer people to attend classical music concerts The government has decided that the free-market price of cheese is too low. a. Suppose the government imposes a binding price floor in the cheese market. Use a supply-and-demand diagram to show the effect of this policy on the price of cheese and the quantity of cheese sold. Is there a shortage or surplus of cheese b. Farmers...

Our Second Model The Production Possibilities Frontier

Quantity Computers Produced

Most economic models, unlike the circular-flow diagram, are built using the tools of mathematics. Here we consider one of the simplest such models, called the production possibilities frontier, and see how this model illustrates some basic economic ideas. Although real economies produce thousands of goods and services, let's imagine an economy that produces only two goods cars and computers. Together the car industry and the computer industry use all of the economy's factors of production. The...

Principle 6 Markets Are Usually A Good Way To Organize Economic Activity

For 5 a week you can watch baseball without being nagged to cut the grass For 5 a week you can watch baseball without being nagged to cut the grass The collapse of communism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe may be the most important change in the world during the past half century. Communist countries worked on the premise that central planners in the government were in the best position to guide economic activity. These planners decided what goods and services were produced, how much was...

Case Study Why The Cow Is Not Extinct

Throughout history, many species of animals have been threatened with extinction. When Europeans first arrived in North America, more than 60 million buffalo roamed the continent. Yet hunting the buffalo was so popular during the nineteenth century that by 1900 the animal's population fell to about 400 before the government stepped in to protect the species. In some African countries today, the elephant faces a similar challenge, as poachers kill the animals for the ivory in their tusks. Yet...

The Market For Pizza Has The Following Demand And Supply Schedules

Explain each of the following statements using supply- a. When a cold snap hits Florida, the price of orange juice rises in supermarkets throughout the country. b. When the weather turns warm in New England every summer, the prices of hotel rooms in Caribbean resorts plummet. c. When a war breaks out in the Middle East, the price of gasoline rises, while the price of a used Cadillac falls. 2. An increase in the demand for notebooks raises the quantity of notebooks demanded, but not the...