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Finally, the right-hand portion of the long-run average cost curve, running from output level Q 4 to Q 5 , shows a situation where, as the level of output and the scale rises, average costs rise as well. This situation is called diseconomies of scale    . A firm or a factory can grow so large that it becomes very difficult to manage, resulting in unnecessarily high costs as many layers of management try to communicate with workers and with each other, and as failures to communicate lead to disruptions in the flow of work and materials. Not many overly large factories exist in the real world, because with their very high production costs, they are unable to compete for long against plants with lower average costs of production. However, in some planned economies, like the economy of the old Soviet Union, plants that were so large as to be grossly inefficient were able to continue operating for a long time because government economic planners protected them from competition and ensured that they would not make losses.

Diseconomies of scale can also be present across an entire firm, not just a large factory. The leviathan effect can hit firms that become too large to run efficiently, across the entirety of the enterprise. Firms that shrink their operations are often responding to finding itself in the diseconomies region, thus moving back to a lower average cost at a lower output level.

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The size and number of firms in an industry

The shape of the long-run average cost curve has implications for how many firms will compete in an industry, and whether the firms in an industry have many different sizes, or tend to be the same size. For example, say that one million dishwashers are sold every year at a price of $500 each and the long-run average cost curve for dishwashers is shown in [link] (a). In [link] (a), the lowest point of the LRAC curve occurs at a quantity of 10,000 produced. Thus, the market for dishwashers will consist of 100 different manufacturing plants of this same size. If some firms built a plant that produced 5,000 dishwashers per year or 25,000 dishwashers per year, the average costs of production at such plants would be well above $500, and the firms would not be able to compete.

The lrac curve and the size and number of firms

The two graphs show how the LRAC is affected by competition between firms.
(a) Low-cost firms will produce at output level R. When the LRAC curve has a clear minimum point, then any firm producing a different quantity will have higher costs. In this case, a firm producing at a quantity of 10,000 will produce at a lower average cost than a firm producing, say, 5,000 or 20,000 units. (b) Low-cost firms will produce between output levels R and S. When the LRAC curve has a flat bottom, then firms producing at any quantity along this flat bottom can compete. In this case, any firm producing a quantity between 5,000 and 20,000 can compete effectively, although firms producing less than 5,000 or more than 20,000 would face higher average costs and be unable to compete.

Questions & Answers

what is per capita income
Kafwimbi Reply
what is GDP of an economy
Kafwimbi
Gross Domestic Product
grace
Why is scarcity the main problem of economics
Nicholas Reply
Because of unlimited needs and wants demanded by the household
Jeremiah
what is GDP deflator?
saud
Because of endless needs and wants required to achieve maximum satisfaction possible by consumers
Nobert
how to calculate price elasticity demand?
Precious Reply
change in quantity over quantity divided by change in price over price
Pele
Percentage change in quantity demanded over the percentage change in price
Nobert
if the local pizzeria raises the price of a medium pizza from Rd.60to 100 & quantity demanded falls from 700 pizzas a night to 100 pizzas at night , the price elasticity of demand for pizzas is:
Lakshmi Reply
1.2. Measurement of price Elasticity of demand
Lakshmi
0.11
Nobert
Lakshmi tell me how wrong am I coz I see you've got different answer from mine?
Nobert
_1.28
Melvis
explain how price and output are determind by a discriminating monopolist
Hiraj Reply
price and output determined through interaction between demand curve and supply curve...
Ajay
how do I view the graphs
Patricia Reply
how do I open the links
Patricia
what is the markert
Ester Reply
A market is any place where buying and selling can take place.
Landing
20. Why is a football game on ESPN a quasi-public good but a game on the NBC, CBS, or ABC is a public good?
Brigam Reply
how people make decision?
Xafsa Reply
what is supply and demand
Xafsa Reply
Demand refers to how much (quantity) of a product or service is desired by buyers. The quantity demanded is the amount of a product people are willing to buy at a certain price.
Landing
thank you very much
Xafsa
list and briefly explain the three principles that describe how the economy as whole works?
Xafsa
what is algebra?
ibiflower Reply
what is the relationship between price and demand
Evans Reply
the relation ship between price and demand is the income and Utility means when you are satisfied and you can buy it then you have to demand it.Thanks
Abdulkadir
who thought u that? you are not answering this as an economist
Evans
alright, but can you tell how the economist will be answered
Abdulkadir
alright, but can you tell me how the economist will be answered
Abdulkadir
Law of demanded  states: As price  of a good increases, the quantity demanded  of the good falls, and as the price  of a good decreases, the quantity demanded of the good rises.
Lewis
So, there is an inverse relationship between price and demand.
Lewis
lewis answered it perfectly
Evans
I want for market value for price. or cleance
Samantha
time ticket of value market down so double be self 1.09 but I 10 chesse for 1.09 bugger
Samantha
hi
Langanani
Without scarcity there would be no subject call Economics. Explain why?
Landing
because economics is the study of scarcity of resources and the satisfaction of basic human need
Pele
give an example of some action that has both amonetary and nonmonetary apportunity cost?
Aisha Reply
any action can be argued to have both. For instance, being in class has the opportunity cost of time you could be spent earning wages, or time that could've been spent leisurely.
DASRAT
absolutely
Abdulkadir
Really
DASRAT
there is no any action that hasn't both a monetary and non-monetary as said Mr Dasrat
Abdulkadir
thanks
Aisha
u Welcome
Abdulkadir
describe an important trade-off you recently faced?
Aisha Reply
Financial issues and careerPersonal life and work lifeMost people don't like the work they do. The interest they have is something different from the work they do and eventually forgo their interest. These are the three most important tradeoffs I have come across, yet there may be many in number.
DASRAT
still
Abdulkadir
Yah still
DASRAT
yes
Abdulkadir
why people make the choices they make and how economist go about explaining those choices
Asim Reply
what is tradeoffs
Asim
giving up one thing to have another
Shriyash

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Source:  OpenStax, Microeconomics. OpenStax CNX. Aug 03, 2014 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11627/1.10
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