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Section 9

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  1. Chapter 9 Applying the Competitive Model

  2. Consider the market for coffee in an isolated village where demand is given by Qd = 400 – 5P (where P is the price in cents) The cost function (in cents) for each of the village’s (identical) coffee shops is given by C(q) = 200 + .5q2 • Find the long run supply, the equilibrium price and quantity, and the number of coffee shops. • Suppose the government imposes a tax of 10 cents per cup of coffee. Find the new equilibrium amounts. • What if the government instead imposed a tax of $6 per shop? Find the new equilibrium amounts. • Do consumers prefer the per cup or the per shop tax?

  3. Initial LR equilibrium: Qd = Qs, P=MC=AC, nq = Qs • MC = AC q = 200/q + .5q or q = 20 MC (10) = 20 = P • Qd = Qs Qs = 400 – 5(20) = 300 • nq = Qs 20n = 300 or n = 15 • Same conditions but now C(q) = 200 + .5q2+ 20q • MC = AC 20 + q = 200/q + .5q + 20 or q = 20 MC (20) = 20 + 20 = 40 = P • Qd = Qs Qs = 400 – 5(40) = 200 • nq = Qs 20n = 200 or n = 10 • Same conditions but now C(q) = 800 + .5q2 • MC = AC q = 800/q + .5q or q = 40 MC (40) = 40 = P • Qd = Qs Qs = 400 – 5(40) = 200 • nq = Qs 40n = 200 or n = 5

  4. Do Consumers Care Which Tax? • Same price per cup and same quantity sold in the market • But, consider the total resource cost (ignore taxes as they’re just a within village transfer) • Per cup → Total cost per shop is 200 + .5(400)=400 so the total cost for village = 400 * 10 shops = 4000 • Per shop → Total cost per shop is 200 + .5(1600) = 1000 so the total cost for village is 1000 * 5 shops = 5000 • The village is better off with more shops – diseconomies of scale if shops make too much

  5. DWL of Agricultural Price Supports • Government imposes a binding price floor on production of wheat • To support the price, the government buys up the excess supply • Graphically identify the change in consumer and producer welfare and the deadweight loss of the policy

  6. DWL of a Target Price Policy • Government sets at target price pt for wheat • If the market price is less than pt, government pays farmers the difference • Graphically, determine the change in consumer and producer welfare and find the deadweight loss • Can we determine which policy has a smaller deadweight loss?

  7. Deadweight Loss of Price Support Price D S PS ΔCS = – (A+B) ΔPS = (A+B +C) ΔG = – (B+C+D+E+F+G) NetΔ = – (B+D+E+F+G) C A B P* G D E F QC Q* QS Quantity

  8. Deadweight Loss of Price Support Price D S PS ΔCS = (C+D+E) ΔPS = (A+B) ΔG = – (A+B+C+D+E+F) NetΔ = – (F) B A P* F C E D PC Q* QS Quantity

  9. Deadweight loss of Christmas • efficient gift: recipient values gift as much as it cost giver • DWL = price of gift – value to recipient • according to Yale undergraduates, DWL is between 10% and 33% of value of gifts

  10. DWL of Christmas (cont.) • gifts from friends and "significant others" are most efficient • noncash gifts from members of extended family are least efficient (1/3 of value is lost) • grandparents, etc. are most likely to give cash • DWL is large • U.S. holiday expenditures are $40 billion per year • DWL of gift-giving holidays is between a 1/10 and 1/3 as large as estimates of DWL from inefficient income taxation

  11. “Boy, you have to be the hardest person in the world to buy for.”

  12. Government policies • government policies tend to lower welfare in competitive markets: • welfare is maximized in competitive equilibrium, so new equilibrium has lower welfare

  13. “Yes, we do have the authority to regulate you.”

  14. We examine 2 types of policies • limits on number of firms in a market, which shift supply curve • sales taxes, which create a wedge between p and MC

  15. Regulation of taxicabs • every country except Sweden regulates taxicabs • many American cities limit number of taxicabs

  16. Explanations for taxi regulation • raises earnings of permit owners (taxi-fleet owners), who lobby city officials • some city officials contend that limiting cabs allows for better regulation of cabbies' behavior and protection of consumers (why not regulate without restricting?)

  17. Effects of limiting number of cabs • raises market price • lowers welfare creates DWL • hurts consumers helps medallion owners (but not cab drivers)

  18. Occupational licenses • governments around world license: doctors, lawyers, electricians, contractors, beauticians,… • usually current practitioners design tests to prevent entry • failure rate on California bar exam in 1993: • 46% overall • 47% of attorneys from other states

  19. Zoning • many cities frequently control number and location of firms using zoning laws • Berkeley's zoning ordinances • limits number of restaurants to 31 in Telegraph Av. area near UCB • limits number of chain book stores in certain areas • designed to prevent these low-cost stores from driving higher-cost, traditional book stores out of business

  20. FTC opposes Internet bans that harm competition • preventing Internet shopping raises the prices of some goods • in 2003, a FTC report concluded that ending bans on interstate wine sales over the Internet would save consumers as much as 21% on relatively expensive wines and increase consumer choice

  21. Existing regulations • 26 states, including New York, Florida, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania, laws (many dating from the Prohibition era) ban direct-to-consumer shipping from out-of-state, in part to prevent sales to minors • FTC concluded that shipping wine directly to homes does not lead to more underage drinking: many states require an adult to sign to accept wine deliveries

  22. Entry barriers • LR barrier to entry: • an explicit restriction or a cost that applies only to potential new firms • existing firms are not subject to restriction or do not bear cost • barriers to entry limit ability of firms to enter a market in response to a profit opportunity

  23. Government barriers: Milk when a federal court declared unconstitutional a 50-year-old statute that allowed only 5 wholesalers to sell milk in New York City • a new firm entered market • price per gallon fell 70¢ • consumers saved $80 million a year

  24. Government barriers: Factories laws require • new factories have extra features to prevent pollution or avoid seismic problems • exempt older factories

  25. Trucking regulation • Motor Carrier Act of 1935 gave Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) control over pricing and entry in interstate trucking • in response to lobbying by industry it was supposed to regulate, ICC granted truck firms monopolies over some routes and restricted entry on others • drove up prices

  26. Motor Carrier Act of 1980 • ended ICC's regulation • increase in entry from 1977 to 1982 • # of for-hire trucks rose 17% (to 267,000) • # of trucks in private trucking sector rose 65% (to 510,000) • more efficient firms expanded; less-efficient firms failed • trucking rates fell 15-20% from 1980 to 1983 (saves consumers $15 billion/year) • 25-35% by 1985

  27. State regulation • with end of federal regulations, state regulations created bizarre rate differentials • before trucking was partially deregulated in 1990 in California, sometimes less expensive to ship a package from SF to Reno (deregulated interstate route) than to ship it 15 miles from SF to Oakland (an intrastate route) • As of 1/1/95 federal law ended state differentials: prohibited state or local agencies from regulating "prices, routes or services" in trucking industry

  28. Exit barriers • exit barriers make it difficult for a firm to go out of business • exit barriers keep number of firms in a market high in SR low in LR • Example: electric utilities

  29. Welfare effects of a price ceiling • price ceiling: highest price that a firm can legally charge • in 1970s, U.S. government used price controls to keep gasoline prices below market price • long lines at gas stations and large DWL loss in consumer surplus in California ($1985) • $1.2 billion 12/1973 - 3/1974 price controls • $800 million 5/1979 - 7/1979 controls

  30. Tariff effects • tariff protects U.S. producers from foreign competition • larger tariff  less is imported, hence domestic firms charge higher price • consumers lose; domestic producers gain • loss is less than from a ban

  31. Figure 9.10 Effect of a Tariff (or Quota) p , 1988 dollars = a 2 S S per barrel A e 29.04 2 e 3 3 19.70 S t = 5.00 D B e C E 1 1 14.70 S , World price F G H Demand 8.2 9.0 11.8 13.1 0 Imports = 2.8 Q , Million barrels of oil per day

  32. Interpretation of DWL • -C = loss from producing 9.0 million barrels per day instead of 8.2 million barrels per day • cost of producing extra 0.8 million barrels domestically = C + G • had Americans bought this oil at world price, cost would have been only G • -E = consumption distortion loss from American consumers' buying too little oil • U.S. consumers value extra output as E + H • value in international markets is only H

  33. Free trade versus a quota • effect of a positive quota is similar to that of a tariff • gain to domestic producers are same as with a tariff • but government gets no tariff revenues • foreign exporters get what would be tariff revenues • thus, DWL from quota > greater than under tariff

  34. 1 Consumer welfare • CS = area under consumer's demand curve above market price up to quantity that consumer buys • how much consumers are harmed by an increase in price is measured by change in CS

  35. 2 Producer welfare • PS = area above MC and below demand (price line) up to quantity produced • PS = a firm's gain from trading • PS = largest amount of money that you could take from a firm's and it would still produce • PS = R - VC (=  in LR)

  36. 3 Competition maximizes welfare • one standard measure of welfare: • W = CS + PS • more p is above MC, lower is W • in competitive equilibrium, where p = MC, W is maximized

  37. 4 Policies that shift supply curves • governments limit # of firms by • limiting number of firms (licensing) • raising costs of entry or exit to new firms • results • higher price • hurts consumers • helps existing firms • lowers welfare (DWL > 0)

  38. 5 Policies that create a wedge between supply and demand • policy creates a gap between price consumers pay and price firms receive • taxes • price ceilings • price floors • consequently, p > MC and DWL

  39. 6 Comparing both types of policies: Imports • welfare highest with free trade • welfare lowest with ban on imports • if a tariff and quota produce same equilibrium, tariff better for home country as it produces tariff revenues for government