Principles of Economics- Mankiw (5th) 199

Principles of Economics- Mankiw (5th) 199 - consumer of the...

Info iconThis preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
CHAPTER 10 EXTERNALITIES 207 EXTERNALITIES AND MARKET INEFFICIENCY In this section we use the tools from Chapter 7 to examine how externalities affect economic well-being. The analysis shows precisely why externalities cause mar- kets to allocate resources inefficiently. Later in the chapter we examine various ways in which private actors and public policymakers may remedy this type of market failure. WELFARE ECONOMICS: A RECAP We begin by recalling the key lessons of welfare economics from Chapter 7. To make our analysis concrete, we will consider a specific market—the market for aluminum. Figure 10-1 shows the supply and demand curves in the market for aluminum. As you should recall from Chapter 7, the supply and demand curves contain important information about costs and benefits. The demand curve for aluminum reflects the value of aluminum to consumers, as measured by the prices they are willing to pay. At any given quantity, the height of the demand curve shows the willingness to pay of the marginal buyer. In other words, it shows the value to the
Background image of page 1
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: consumer of the last unit of aluminum bought. Similarly, the supply curve reflects the costs of producing aluminum. At any given quantity, the height of the supply curve shows the cost of the marginal seller. In other words, it shows the cost to the producer of the last unit of aluminum sold. In the absence of government intervention, the price adjusts to balance the supply and demand for aluminum. The quantity produced and consumed in the Equilibrium Quantity of Aluminum Price of Aluminum Q MARKET Demand (private value) Supply (private cost) Figure 10-1 T HE M ARKET FOR A LUMINUM . The demand curve reflects the value to buyers, and the supply curve reflects the costs of sellers. The equilibrium quantity, Q MARKET , maximizes the total value to buyers minus the total costs of sellers. In the absence of externalities, therefore, the market equilibrium is efficient....
View Full Document

This note was uploaded on 07/30/2010 for the course ECON 120 taught by Professor Abijian during the Spring '10 term at Mesa CC.

Ask a homework question - tutors are online