Intermediate Microeconomics Ch20 notes

# Intermediate Microeconomics Ch20 notes - Ch 20 Cost...

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1 Ch 20. Cost Minimization This chapter examines how to minimize the cost of producing any given level of output, and then we will study how to choose the most profitable level of output. Combining both these problems enables the firm to solve its profit-maximization problem in a competitive environment. 20.1 Cost Minimization A firm purchases two factors ( x 1 , x 2 ) at prices ( w 1 , w 2 ) to produce a given level of output y . The cheapest way to produce is to choose ( * 2 * 1 , x x ) that solves the following problem: () = + = y x x f t s x w x w C x x 2 1 2 2 1 1 , , ___ : . . _ min 2 1 The optimal choices of inputs that minimize costs for the firm are called the conditional factor demand functions (or derived factor demands ), which measure the relation between the demand for factors and their prices conditional on output y to be produced. That is, () y w w x x i i , , 2 1 * = . By contrast, the profit-maximizing factor demands take the form of () p w w x x i i , , 2 1 * = , as shown in Ch 19. The minimum cost necessary to achieve the given level of output is known as the cost function : () () () ( ) y C y w w C y w w x w y w w x w C = = + = , , , , , , 2 1 2 1 2 2 2 1 1 1 * We now use a graph to illustrate the problem-solving. First, define an isocost line that contains all the combinations of inputs that have some given level of cost C: C x w x w = + 2 2 1 1 . Then, change this equation to have a function for the isocost line: 1 2 1 2 2 x w w w C x = The line has a slope of 2 1 / w w and a vertical intercept of C / w 2 . As changing C, we get a family of isocost lines. Higher isocost lines are associated with greater costs.

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## This note was uploaded on 04/05/2009 for the course ECIF ECIF201 taught by Professor Gu during the Spring '09 term at University of Manchester.

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Intermediate Microeconomics Ch20 notes - Ch 20 Cost...

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