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[link] (b) shows a price floor example using a string of struggling movie theaters, all in the same city. The current equilibrium is $8 per movie ticket, with 1,800 people attending movies. The original consumer surplus is G + H + J, and producer surplus is I + K. The city government is worried that movie theaters will go out of business, reducing the entertainment options available to citizens, so it decides to impose a price floor of $12 per ticket. As a result, the quantity demanded of movie tickets falls to 1,400. The new consumer surplus is G, and the new producer surplus is H + I. In effect, the price floor    causes the area H to be transferred from consumer to producer surplus, but also causes a deadweight loss of J + K.

This analysis shows that a price ceiling, like a law establishing rent controls, will transfer some producer surplus to consumers—which helps to explain why consumers often favor them. Conversely, a price floor like a guarantee that farmers will receive a certain price for their crops will transfer some consumer surplus to producers, which explains why producers often favor them. However, both price floors and price ceilings block some transactions that buyers and sellers would have been willing to make, and creates deadweight loss. Removing such barriers, so that prices and quantities can adjust to their equilibrium level, will increase the economy’s social surplus.

Demand and supply as a social adjustment mechanism

The demand and supply model emphasizes that prices are not set only by demand or only by supply, but by the interaction between the two. In 1890, the famous economist Alfred Marshall wrote that asking whether supply or demand determined a price was like arguing “whether it is the upper or the under blade of a pair of scissors that cuts a piece of paper.” The answer is that both blades of the demand and supply scissors are always involved.

The adjustments of equilibrium price and quantity in a market-oriented economy often occur without much government direction or oversight. If the coffee crop in Brazil suffers a terrible frost, then the supply curve of coffee shifts to the left and the price of coffee rises. Some people—call them the coffee addicts—continue to drink coffee and pay the higher price. Others switch to tea or soft drinks. No government commission is needed to figure out how to adjust coffee prices, which companies will be allowed to process the remaining supply, which supermarkets in which cities will get how much coffee to sell, or which consumers will ultimately be allowed to drink the brew. Such adjustments in response to price changes happen all the time in a market economy, often so smoothly and rapidly that we barely notice them.

Think for a moment of all the seasonal foods that are available and inexpensive at certain times of the year, like fresh corn in midsummer, but more expensive at other times of the year. People alter their diets and restaurants alter their menus in response to these fluctuations in prices without fuss or fanfare. For both the U.S. economy and the world economy as a whole, markets—that is, demand and supply—are the primary social mechanism for answering the basic questions about what is produced, how it is produced, and for whom it is produced.

Why can we not get enough of organic?

Organic food is grown without synthetic pesticides, chemical fertilizers or genetically modified seeds. In recent decades, the demand for organic products has increased dramatically. The Organic Trade Association reported sales increased from $1 billion in 1990 to $35.1 billion in 2013, more than 90% of which were sales of food products.

Why, then, are organic foods more expensive than their conventional counterparts? The answer is a clear application of the theories of supply and demand. As people have learned more about the harmful effects of chemical fertilizers, growth hormones, pesticides and the like from large-scale factory farming, our tastes and preferences for safer, organic foods have increased. This change in tastes has been reinforced by increases in income, which allow people to purchase pricier products, and has made organic foods more mainstream. This has led to an increased demand for organic foods. Graphically, the demand curve has shifted right, and we have moved up the supply curve as producers have responded to the higher prices by supplying a greater quantity.

In addition to the movement along the supply curve, we have also had an increase in the number of farmers converting to organic farming over time. This is represented by a shift to the right of the supply curve. Since both demand and supply have shifted to the right, the resulting equilibrium quantity of organic foods is definitely higher, but the price will only fall when the increase in supply is larger than the increase in demand. We may need more time before we see lower prices in organic foods. Since the production costs of these foods may remain higher than conventional farming, because organic fertilizers and pest management techniques are more expensive, they may never fully catch up with the lower prices of non-organic foods.

As a final, specific example: The Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” list of fruits and vegetables, which test high for pesticide residue even after washing, was released in April 2013. The inclusion of strawberries on the list has led to an increase in demand for organic strawberries, resulting in both a higher equilibrium price and quantity of sales.

Consumer surplus is the gap between the price that consumers are willing to pay, based on their preferences, and the market equilibrium price. Producer surplus is the gap between the price for which producers are willing to sell a product, based on their costs, and the market equilibrium price. Social surplus is the sum of consumer surplus and producer surplus. Total surplus is larger at the equilibrium quantity and price than it will be at any other quantity and price. Deadweight loss is loss in total surplus that occurs when the economy produces at an inefficient quantity.

Questions & Answers

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
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
it is d intersection of two different variables
Odion Reply
what is equilibrium ?
James Reply
the quantity of demanded for a good is equal to its quantity supplied. Qdd=Qss
Podol
in economics, an equilibrium is situation in which : 1. qd=qd 2.no tendency or quantity to change 3. the market just clears without surplus/shortage
Podol
it is the intersection between two variables. Because you did not specify the equilibrium you talking about is it consumer or market forces
Odion
A state in which opposing forces or influences are balanced
Preeti
Equilibrium refers to the economic situation where supply and demand for a certain goods and services in market is equal, which represents a stable market price to purchase and sell.
Preeti
curve d and s intersection
Podol
yes jahan par demand and supply intersect karte hai wahi par equilibrium hota hai
Preeti
Equilibrium is when two variables intersect.
Akolo
equilibrium is a point where demand and supply meet with out shortages or surplus.
Sumowoui
Hmm scholars
Odion
am new here I want to know more about economics
Mansur
Micro and macro
Mansur
What do you think?
Yussif
can someone explain demand and supply
Mansur
demand is a quantity of a commodity which could be offer for sales at a particular price. !!!!...And supply is also a quantity of a commodity which could be brought by a consumer at a given price and time.
Rosemary
m also new want to know more about economics
Gift
kk
Rosemary
txup rose
Gift
hi
Rosemary
u gud
Gift
yes nd u? by d way who are u!!
Rosemary
m gift wer u from?
Gift
Ibadan
Rosemary
nd u
Rosemary
wer s the place o wic country?
Gift
Nigeria
Rosemary
lusaka
Gift
ooooh
Rosemary
wats yo username?
Gift
RaviKumar
Ravi

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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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