CHAPTER 7 CONSUMERS, PRODUCERS, AND THE EFFICIENCY OF MARKETS 153 The amount paid by buyers equals the amount received by sellers, so the middle two terms in this expression cancel each other. As a result, we can write total sur-plus as Total surplus ± Value to buyers ² Cost to sellers. Total surplus in a market is the total value to buyers of the goods, as measured by their willingness to pay, minus the total cost to sellers of providing those goods. If an allocation of resources maximizes total surplus, we say that the allocation exhibits efficiency. If an allocation is not efficient, then some of the gains from trade among buyers and sellers are not being realized. For example, an allocation is inefficient if a good is not being produced by the sellers with lowest cost. In this case, moving production from a high-cost producer to a low-cost producer will lower the total cost to sellers and raise total surplus. Similarly, an allocation is in-efficient if a good is not being consumed by the buyers who value it most highly. In this case, moving consumption of the good from a buyer with a low valuation
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