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In this example, the marginal revenue and marginal cost    curves cross at a price of $4 and a quantity of 80 produced. If the farmer started out producing at a level of 60, and then experimented with increasing production to 70, marginal revenues from the increase in production would exceed marginal costs—and so profits would rise. The farmer has an incentive to keep producing. From a level of 70 to 80, marginal cost and marginal revenue are equal so profit doesn’t change. If the farmer then experimented further with increasing production from 80 to 90, he would find that marginal costs from the increase in production are greater than marginal revenues, and so profits would decline.

The profit-maximizing choice for a perfectly competitive firm will occur where marginal revenue is equal to marginal cost—that is, where MR = MC. A profit-seeking firm should keep expanding production as long as MR>MC. But at the level of output where MR = MC, the firm should recognize that it has achieved the highest possible level of economic profits. (In the example above, the profit maximizing output level is between 70 and 80 units of output, but the firm will not know they’ve maximized profit until they reach 80, where MR = MC.) Expanding production into the zone where MR<MC will only reduce economic profits. Because the marginal revenue received by a perfectly competitive firm is equal to the price P, so that P = MR, the profit-maximizing rule for a perfectly competitive firm can also be written as a recommendation to produce at the quantity where P = MC.

Profits and losses with the average cost curve

Does maximizing profit (producing where MR = MC) imply an actual economic profit? The answer depends on the relationship between price and average total cost. If the price that a firm charges is higher than its average cost of production for that quantity produced, then the firm will earn profits. Conversely, if the price that a firm charges is lower than its average cost of production, the firm will suffer losses. You might think that, in this situation, the farmer may want to shut down immediately. Remember, however, that the firm has already paid for fixed costs, such as equipment, so it may continue to produce and incur a loss. [link] illustrates three situations: (a) where price intersects marginal cost at a level above the average cost curve, (b) where price intersects marginal cost at a level equal to the average cost curve, and (c) where price intersects marginal cost at a level below the average cost curve.

Price and average cost at the raspberry farm

The three graphs show how profits are affected depending on where total cost intersects average cost.
In (a), price intersects marginal cost above the average cost curve. Since price is greater than average cost, the firm is making a profit. In (b), price intersects marginal cost at the minimum point of the average cost curve. Since price is equal to average cost, the firm is breaking even. In (c), price intersects marginal cost below the average cost curve. Since price is less than average cost, the firm is making a loss.

First consider a situation where the price is equal to $5 for a pack of frozen raspberries. The rule for a profit-maximizing perfectly competitive firm is to produce the level of output where Price= MR = MC, so the raspberry farmer will produce a quantity of 90, which is labeled as e in [link] (a). Remember that the area of a rectangle is equal to its base multiplied by its height. The farm’s total revenue at this price will be shown by the large shaded rectangle from the origin over to a quantity of 90 packs (the base) up to point E' (the height), over to the price of $5, and back to the origin. The average cost of producing 80 packs is shown by point C or about $3.50. Total costs will be the quantity of 80 times the average cost of $3.50, which is shown by the area of the rectangle from the origin to a quantity of 90, up to point C, over to the vertical axis and down to the origin. It should be clear from examining the two rectangles that total revenue is greater than total cost. Thus, profits will be the blue shaded rectangle on top.

Questions & Answers

what is demand ?
Tonight Reply
The amount of some goods or services consumers need to purchase
Adu
what are subsidies
Yaya Reply
how do trade unions deal with subsidies
Yaya
bro can you explain decision making
WhatsApp
Decision making is a process to use your limited resources for best productive purpose.
Dipam
explain why an increase in national income may not always lead to improvement in economic wellbeing of all the citizens?
Mendo
How many types of labour do we have pls
ROA
two
nabil
skilled and unskilled labour
nabil
Thanks 🙏
ROA
what are the factors that affects efficiency of labour ?
nabil
What are tools of economics analysis
Adu
Adu Tumwah,,, The tools of economics analysis are; Charts, graphs, equations, table, arithemetic mean, etc.
Dennis
Subsidies are payments made by the government to the producers of goods and services
Daizy
what is the marginal revenue if p=10-2q
Karen Reply
what's the difference between demand goods and supply gooda
Spiff Reply
why is 2% the optimal inflation rate in many countries
Spiff
why is 2% the optimal inflation rate in many countries
Spiff
what's inflation
Thando Reply
a general rise in the prices of services and goods in a particular country
Spiff
why is 2% the optimal inflation rate in many countries?
amina
resulting in a fall in the value of money,,
Spiff
for example
Spiff
Inflation is the continuous rise of price of goods and services in a nation
Oluchi
persistent increase in the general price level
Anyere
what will the effective demand if inflation is constant and real wage is less then money wage ?
Vipul Reply
to start
Dennis
to start with your question i think we have to break it down into key words, and they effective demand ,inflation and real wages ... Ok when we say demand is effective we mean the demand is backed up by capital .. it is backed up by the ability to pay for the good/commodity demanded for
Dennis
in other hand inflation is the persistent rise of goods and services in and particular country's economy
Dennis
so what is real wages it means the amount paid to labour for a particular work done
Dennis
money wage is the money/capital paid to a worker
Dennis
knowing this terms you can be able to answer your question....
Dennis
What is monopoly
Oluchi Reply
I believe that a market is monopolistic if there is no competition. in other words, a given company is the only one offering the product/service.
amina
am a fan of monopoly
Okeke
it is correct
Spiff
and in other word,,, is a thing that belongs to one person or group that another people will not able to share
Spiff
a single seller and large number of consumer
Vipul
A monopoly is a firm that is the sole producer of a good or service for which there are no close substitutes. It exist because of barriers to entry. The barriers can be legal or natural.
Dennis
Ok
Oluchi
give tree difference between economic good and free good
Gideon Reply
economic goods produced by man efforts and free goods are free by nature
Kobwa
What are tools of economics analysis
Adu
economics provides tools to know our better desire and how to get maximum utility and right way right time decission power.
Inno
economic good are related to income to fullfill satisfaction and free goods are natural resourses like sunshine rain air water from earth e.t.c
Inno
graphs,pie chart,histograms,tables,curves,etc.
nabil
why do government sometimes impose indirect taxes rather than direct taxes.
nabil
just five points with no explanations
nabil
what is want
Wasila Reply
anything just come from your heart
domingo
no matter how much you give
domingo
is what you desire to have
Tsai
their the human desire it's need(s).
Gideon
YES
Erik
like medicine food etc
domingo
price floor support producer or consumer?
Mastercorner Reply
support for consumer
domingo
what is antagonist
Edward Reply
Hi
Odidi
hw ar u
Mohamed
fine and you
Timah
Hi
moha
hw ar u
Mohamed
i'm not good due to corona virus
domingo
hi
Un
i would like to ask you for a little help to get rid of the corona virusand we have nothing to offer. thank you very much.
domingo
kk
Mohamed
how to get the donation?
domingo
to feel sympathical ideas we 'll get donation and to tell a great religious reward
Inno
antagonist is the mode of production involves all discriminatory systems of production
Kobwa
what are the factors influencing the level of advance made by commercial banks?
Kobwa Reply
What is Demand and supply
Felix Reply
supply is the ability to sell goods and services at the specific period of time and at the specific price
Kobwa
demand is the ability and willingness to buy goods and services at the specific period of time and at the specific price
Kobwa
what is demand
Sanni Reply
Sanni Saoban, Demand is a kind of need which is backed up by ability and willingness to pay.
Dipam
Demand is the various quantities of goods and services that a consumer is willing and able to buy at various prices within a given period of time
Sharon
Demand means desire for a commodity willingness and ability to purchased that commodity
Bhagabata
desired of good and services, when you try to sell something , you make the buyer need that something in a way that person buys the good or service from you. SUPPLY AND DEMAND
Erik
Am I right or wrong
Bhagabata
ryt
Oppong
demand means the desire for product and being able to purchase goods
Rameez
He or she must have willingness
Bhagabata
buy and sell orders on the foreign exchange.
ay
it is the various quantities of goods and services a consumer is willing and able to buy at a price at a period of time
Gideon
demand is the amount of goods or services a consumer is willing and able to buy at a given price over a given period of time
Grace
why should a firm close down when it's unable to pay it's variable cost?
ANDREW Reply
what is oligopolistic competitive market?
ngong
oligopolistic market is the market structure characterized by few sellers with large firm and mostly they produce goods that are differentiate & homogeneous goods
Kobwa
less demand due to assumptions
Inno

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Source:  OpenStax, Principles of economics. OpenStax CNX. Sep 19, 2014 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11613/1.11
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