hetero - Heterogeneity Revisited Clarification for...

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Heterogeneity Revisited Clarification for EEP101/Econ125 The following handout is intended to clarify the concept of heterogeneity among producers and the effect of particular policy interventions in this context. I will be using the same example that I attempted to present in section last week. Setup The story goes as follows: There are three firms, each with different demands for pollution. This is a strange way of looking at the world, but it might be helpful to think of pollution as an input to the production process. In this case, the marginal benefit for each firm to produce one more unit of pollution is like the extra amount of profit that they earn by imposing one more unit of pollution on society. If you consider figure 1 (attached, since I can’t figure out how to draw it on the computer), you’ll see a three firm example. Note that firm 1 produces less pollution at any given price. This means that he (probably she) is more efficient. The big MB is just the horizontal sum of all of the firms marginal benefits curves, and the area under it represents the total benefits (profits) to the industry from producing at point Q. As always, the socially optimal point is found be setting marginal benefits equal to marginal social cost. We can reach this point in one of several ways: by taxing, subsidizing, a uniform standard, or through tradable permits. We will go through these cases, but first, let’s set up the math so that we can go back and forth between algebra and graphs. The three marginal benefits are given by: mb 1 = 75 - (5/4)q 1 mb 2 = 75 - q 2 mb 3 = 75 - (3/4)q 3 Remember, q represents the amount of pollution here. To figure out MB, we need to sum these things horizontally. This requires taking the inverse of these functions, i.e., solving q in terms of mb. The inverses are: q 1 = 60 - (4/5)mb 1 q 2 = 75 - mb 2 q 3 = 100 - (4/3)mb 3 If you sum them up, you get the big Q of pollution for the whole industry. Q = 235 - (47/15)MB
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This note was uploaded on 08/01/2008 for the course ECON 101 taught by Professor Wood during the Spring '07 term at Berkeley.

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hetero - Heterogeneity Revisited Clarification for...

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