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PERFECT COMPETITION, LOSS MINIMIZATION: A perfectly competitive firm is presumed to produce the quantity of output that minimizes economic losses, if price is greater than average variable cost but less than average total cost. This is one of three short-run production alternatives facing a firm. The other two are profit maximization (if price exceeds average total cost) and shutdown (if price is less than average variable cost).

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Lesson 10: Utility and Demand | Unit 3: Complex Choices Page: 9 of 21

Topic: How Much Of Each? <=PAGE BACK | PAGE NEXT=>

  • No Constraints

  • To maximize total utility from both activities, I need to spend 6 or 7 hours at the beach and 5 or 6 hours at the amusement park.

  • A Time Constraint

  • Suppose for some reason I cannot spend more than 7 hours engaged in this two activities.

  • Clearly I can't spend the 11 hours (6 hours at the beach and 5 hours at the amusement park) that would maximize utility with no constraints.

  • The best of the choices is 4 hours at the amusement park and 3 hours at the beach.


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PERFECT COMPETITION, REVENUE DIVISION

The marginal approach to analyzing a perfectly competitive firm's short-run profit maximizing production decision can be used to identify the division of total revenue among variable cost, fixed cost, and economic profit. The U-shaped cost curves used in this analysis provide all of the information needed on the cost side of the firm's decision. The demand curve facing the firm (which is also the firm's average revenue and marginal revenue curves) provides all of the information needed on the revenue side.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time lost in your local discount super center hoping to buy either a T-shirt commemorating the 2000 Presidential election or a really, really exciting, action-filled video game. Be on the lookout for florescent light bulbs that hum folk songs from the sixties.
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Helping spur the U.S. industrial revolution, Thomas Edison patented nearly 1300 inventions, 300 of which came out of his Menlo Park "invention factory" during a four-year period.
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