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# Theory of Costs

Maximization of profit is an
the firm
Profit = Revenue- Cost
Thus to know the profitability of
any decision we need to
understand the costs

## DTA- Managerial Economics

Total cost(TC) =Total Fixed Cost(TFC)
+Total variable costs (TVC)
• Total Fixed costs are the costs that do not vary
with the level of output.
• For eg., Cost incurred on account of fixed plant
• Total fixed cost is the total cost of all the fixed
inputs employed in a production process( it
remains unchanged at all levels of output)

## DTA- Managerial Economics

Variable costs
• Variable costs represent those costs that
change directly with the change in output.
• Examples are cost of raw materials, Direct
labour, electricity charges, fuel charges
etc.

## DTA- Managerial Economics

Total Fixed, Variable and Total Cost Curves

Cost
Total Cost Curve

Total Variable
Cost Curve

TFC

TFC
Quantity

## DTA- Managerial Economics

TVC- Inverse S- shape
• Total Variable Cost has an inverse S-shape-
reflecting the law of variable proportions( Law of
diminishing marginal returns)
• As per the law, at the initial stages of production
in a particular plant as more of the variable
factor (labour)is employed its productivity
increases initially( MP increases ) and the
average variable cost falls.

Short run costs

## Inputs Output Total Cost

Capital Labour TFC TVC TC
10 1 43 100 20 120
10 2 160 100 40 140
10 3 351 100 60 160
10 4 600 100 80 180
10 5 875 100 100 200
10 6 1152 100 120 220
10 7 1372 100 140 240
10 8 1536 100 160 260
10 9 1656 100 180 280
10 10 1750 100 200 300
10 11 1815 100 220 320
100
10 12 1860 100 240 340

## DTA- Managerial Economics 6

Short run average Costs
• Cost per unit or average costs are more
• Average Fixed Costs(AFC):
• AFC is the total fixed cost divided by the number
of units of output produced.
• AFC= TFC/Output
• It is always falling as output increases, as fixed
costs are being spread over larger units of
output.
DTA- Managerial Economics
Average Costs
• Average Total Costs is calculated as total
cost divided by the number of units
produced.

## DTA- Managerial Economics

Average and marginal costs
Output Average Cost Marginal Cost
AFC AVC ATC MC
43 2.326 0.465 2.791 0.465
160 0.625 0.250 0.875 0.171
351 0.285 0.171 0.456 0.105
600 0.167 0.133 0.300 0.080
875 0.114 0.114 0.228 0.073
1152 0.087 0.104 0.191 0.072
1372 0.073 0.102 0.175 0.091
1536 0.065 0.104 0.169 0.122
1656 0.060 0.109 0.169 0.167
1750 0.057 0.114 0.171 0.213
1815 0.055 0.121 0.176 0.308
1860 0.054 0.129 0.183 0.444

## DTA Managerial Economics 9

Average fixed costs

0.8

0.6
COST

0.4 AFC

0.2

0
0 500 1000 1500 2000
OUTPUT

## DTA Managerial Economics 10

Average total Cost (ATC) and
Average variable costs(AVC)

0.8

0.6
COST

AVC
0.4
ATC

0.2

0
0 400 800 1200 1600 2000
OUTPUT

11
DTA-Managerial Economics
Marginal costs

0.8

0.6
AVC
COST

0.4 ATC
MC
0.2

0
0 500 1000 1500 2000
OUTPUT

## DTA Managerial Economics 12

The supply schedule

##  The firm’s supply schedule shows the quantities that

the firm is willing to offer at each market price

##  Since a firm is presumed to operate for profits, then it

will only offer output when the market price is greater
than the cost of producing the last unit offered.

##  Therefore, the firm’s supply schedule is also the

firm’s marginal cost curve, above the average
variable cost(when MC > AVC)

## DTA Managerial Economics 13

Shut down of production

AC/AR

MC ATC

A (Rs.150)
AVC
BE (Rs.51)

B (Rs.45)
C (Rs.34)
Shut down
point
AFC
OUTPUT

## DTA- Managerial Economics 14

Shut down – Analysis of graph
 A(Rs.150); B (Rs.45); C(Rs.34) are the price/Average
revenue earned by the firm when the market price is
A, B or C.
 The minimum ATC is (Rs.51) and the minimum AVC
is (Rs.34) the firm is able to achieve (at a production
level of 180 units).
 The firm can cover its variable and fixed costs (that is
the total costs) if price is Rs.51; This is when
AR/Price is at least equal to the Average Total
Cost(ATC curve)
 The AR/Price should at least cover the Average
Variable Cost(AVC) for the firm to continue supply
in the short-run. If Price falls below AVC then the firm
will Shut-down. Hence if price is below Rs.34, firm
will not produce.
DTA- Managerial Economics 15
Productivity and costs in the long
run
 In the long run both capital and labour are variable

##  Firms can change the amount of machines or office

space that they use

##  Therefore, the law of diminishing returns does not

determine the productivity of a firm in the long run

##  In the long run productivity and costs are driven by

returns to scale

16
DTA-Managerial Economics
Implications of factor substitution
(1)
COST

SRATC1

SRATC2

AC1
AC2
AC3

Q1 Q2 OUTPUT

## DTA- Managerial Economics 17

• When a firm substitutes labour with
machinery, and the investment makes the
firm more efficient, then the average cost
curve would move down to the right as in
the previous slide.
• If investment does not increase
productivity and does not change average
costs then the cost curve does not
change.
Implications of factor substitution
(2)

COST

SRATC1 SRATC2

AC1

Q1 Q2 OUTPUT

## DTA- Managerial Economics 19

Long run average cost curve
• The long run average cost curve is simply
a collection of short run average cost
curves, illustrating how average costs
change as fixed inputs (plant size, type
and number of machines etc) change.
The long run average cost curve

COST
PER UNIT
ATC3
ATC2
ATC1

LRAC

x1 x2 x3 OUTPUT

## DTA- Managerial Economics 21

LAC/ Envelope Curve
• The LAC is also called the planning curve
because it is a guide to the entrepreneur
for planning the future expansion of the
firm and choosing the optimal scale or
plant size for the production.
Long run averagre cost curves

COST PER
UNIT
LRAC

attainable
c1

c2

unattainable

Q1 OUTPUT

Returns to scale

##  Returns to scale measures the change in output for a

given change in inputs

##  Increasing returns to scale exist when output grows

at a faster rate than inputs

##  Decreasing returns exist when inputs grow at a faster

rate than outputs

##  Constant returns to scale exist when inputs and

outputs grow at the same rate
DTA- Managerial Economics 24
Returns to scale

COST
PER UNIT

LRAC

ng
inc

asi
rea

cre
sin

de
g

constant
MES
OUTPUT
Qm

## DTA- Managerial Economics 25

Importance of minimum efficient
scale (MES)
 MES is the size of operation with the lowest average
cost. If a factory operate at an output size where it is not
achieving MES, it would be incurring higher average
costs which would finally make it uncompetitive.
 MES is the size beyond which no significant economies
of scale can be achieved

##  Firms may diversifyDTA- Managerial Economics

to avoid low cost competition
26
Examples of economies of
scale

 Production techniques:
Maruthi Suzuki and Rolls Royce

 By-products

## DTA- Managerial Economics 27

Costs in the Long Run
All inputs that are under the firm’s
control can be varied  there are no
fixed costs ( all inputs are flexible)

horizon

## Firms plan for the long run, but they

produce in the short run

## DTA- Managerial Economics 28

Long-Run Planning Curve

## DTA- Managerial Economics 29

Firm’s Long-Run Planning Curve

## DTA- Managerial Economics 30

Economies of Scale

## Notice that the long-run average curve is

U-shaped, a result of economies and
diseconomies of scale

## Economies of scale imply that long-run

average costs decline as output expands
while diseconomies of scale imply that
long-run average costs increase as output
increases 31
DTA- Managerial Economics
Economies of Scale

##  A larger size often allows for larger, more

efficient machines and allows workers a greater
degree of specialization  Production
techniques such as the assembly line can be
utilized only if the rate of output is large
enough

##  Typically, as the scale of the firm increases,

capital substitutes for labor and complex
machines substitute for simpler machines
DTA- Managerial Economics 32
Diseconomies of Scale

## As a firm expands, diseconomies of scale,

eventually take over: long-run average
cost increase as output expands