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The sum of consumer surplus and producer surplus is social surplus    , also referred to as economic surplus    or total surplus    . In [link] , social surplus would be shown as the area F + G. Social surplus is larger at equilibrium quantity and price than it would be at any other quantity. This demonstrates the economic efficiency of the market equilibrium. In addition, at the efficient level of output, it is impossible to produce greater consumer surplus without reducing producer surplus, and it is impossible to produce greater producer surplus without reducing consumer surplus.

Inefficiency of price floors and price ceilings

The imposition of a price floor or a price ceiling will prevent a market from adjusting to its equilibrium price and quantity, and thus will create an inefficient outcome. But there is an additional twist here. Along with creating inefficiency, price floors and ceilings will also transfer some consumer surplus to producers, or some producer surplus to consumers.

Imagine that several firms develop a promising but expensive new drug for treating back pain. If this therapy is left to the market, the equilibrium price will be $600 per month and 20,000 people will use the drug, as shown in [link] (a). The original level of consumer surplus is T + U and producer surplus is V + W + X. However, the government decides to impose a price ceiling of $400 to make the drug more affordable. At this price ceiling, firms in the market now produce only 15,000.

As a result, two changes occur. First, an inefficient outcome occurs and the total surplus of society is reduced. The loss in social surplus that occurs when the economy produces at an inefficient quantity is called deadweight loss    . In a very real sense, it is like money thrown away that benefits no one. In [link] (a), the deadweight loss is the area U + W. When deadweight loss exists, it is possible for both consumer and producer surplus to be higher, in this case because the price control    is blocking some suppliers and demanders from transactions they would both be willing to make.

A second change from the price ceiling    is that some of the producer surplus is transferred to consumers. After the price ceiling is imposed, the new consumer surplus is T + V, while the new producer surplus is X. In other words, the price ceiling transfers the area of surplus (V) from producers to consumers. Note that the gain to consumers is less than the loss to producers, which is just another way of seeing the deadweight loss.

Efficiency and price floors and ceilings

The two graphs show how equilibrium is affected by price floors and price ceilings.
(a) The original equilibrium price is $600 with a quantity of 20,000. Consumer surplus is T + U, and producer surplus is V + W + X. A price ceiling is imposed at $400, so firms in the market now produce only a quantity of 15,000. As a result, the new consumer surplus is T + V, while the new producer surplus is X. (b) The original equilibrium is $8 at a quantity of 1,800. Consumer surplus is G + H + J, and producer surplus is I + K. A price floor is imposed at $12, which means that quantity demanded falls to 1,400. As a result, the new consumer surplus is G, and the new producer surplus is H + I.

Questions & Answers

what product market?
Gayflor Reply
explain demand
Bless Reply
what is economics
Murali
Economics is the social science that studies the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services.Economics focuses on the behaviour and interactions of economic agents and how economies work.
Preeti
ok
SAGAR
Pls what is national income?
Ishmael
what is deadweightloss
francis Reply
hi
Bless
deadweight loss is the allocative inefficiency.... when the equilibrium for good or services is not achived.
Azhar
hi
Azhar
hi
azaloo
hii too
Jackson
Hello
Micah
how are you all?
Azhar
I am here been sick but here
Amanda
may you get well soon Amanda
Azhar
What are the implications of classical Economics?
Micah
What are the implications of classical Economics school of thought?
Micah
Dead weight loss is an inefficient allocation of resources, especially through taxation or restrictions.
Ezeigwe
Classical Economics had an influenced by ancient economic principle and theory.
Ezeigwe
yec
Yasinta
nice
Amanda
hello please what is localization of industry
Bless Reply
price is tantalisingly the only factor determining demand which can be analyze the view
Sinit Reply
Price is tantalizingly the only factor determining demand which can be analyze the view
Sinit
what is scarcity
Sharkdanny Reply
the state of being scarce or in short supply; shortage.
Abdirahin
what is meant by an abnormal demand curve?
Samuel Reply
what is microeconomics
Berun Reply
micronomics can be define as that part of Economics that deals with small scale business. e.g. House hold stuff
Amodu
Micro economics is the study of individuals, households and firms' behavior un decision making and allocation of resources
Christian
what is underemployment
Xornam Reply
It is the situation where the available resources are not used to it optimum
Bless
state the law of diminishing returns
Bless
Bless, the law of diminishing returns state that one point, adding a single worker will result in a decrease of production.
David
it is a situation where by people are employ but work under their potential
Akua
David please go into details kk
Bless
Akua pls when you say people alone? what about facilities?
Bless
Definition of underemployment. 1 : the condition in which people in a labor force are employed at less than full-time or regular jobs or at jobs inadequate with respect to their training or economic needs
Boahen
OK that is good
Set
I am new here
Taimoor
what does law of demand says?
Samuel
with a diagram explain fairy elastic demand
Samuel
comprehensive answer for public finance is the money that a government has available to spend from taxes and borrowing.
wilflay Reply
what then comprises of public opinion
Raphael
what is macro economics
SAGAR Reply
Definition of demand and supply
oyebanji Reply
whatd is name of economic scholars defined classic view
Ahmed Reply
Whole Classical view is based on J.B.Say's Law of Marker demand
abhinav
the science of economic has both positive and normative aspect,discuss.
Mkiwa Reply
simplified definition of a production possibility curve
Rose Reply
This is call the PFF curve .
Sumowoui
A country can produce lots of guns, or lots of butter. But, they cannot produce lots of both. The solution to this is called comparative advantage. Comparative advantage is that different countrys specialize in different areas, and then trade.
David
this is call the. pff curve
Murali
It is defind as a curve which shows various combinations of two goods produced with given resources
Shahid
it means a country with a given level of technology and available resources can produce two goods only if the technology or resources are efficiently utilize. In d process of utilization you will produce one goods more than the other that is why the downward slope of a PPC curve indicates opp cost
Odion
Shows all the possible combination of two goods or services
Christian

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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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