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Home Price and Output Determination Under Perfect Competition Equilibrium of the Firm


Equilibrium of the Firm Under Perfect Competition or Marginal Revenue = Marginal Cost (MR = MC) Rule:


Definition and Explanation:


A firm under perfect competition faces an infinitely elastic demand curve or we can say for an individual firm, the price of the commodity is given in the market. The firm while making changes in the amounts of variable factor evaluates the extra cost incurred on producing extra unit MC (Marginal Cost).


It also examines the change in total receipts which results from the sale of extra unit of production MR (Marginal Revenue). So long as the additional revenue from the sale of an extra unit of product (MR) is greater than the additional cost (MC) which a firm has to incur on its production, it will be in the interest of the firm to increase production.


In economic terminology, we can say, a firm will go on expanding its output so long as the marginal revenue of any unit is greater than its marginal cost. As production increases, marginal cost begins to increase after a certain point. When both marginal revenue and marginal cost are equal, the firm is in equilibrium. The firm at this equilibrium point is cither ensuring maximum profit or minimizing losses. This is shown with the help of a diagram below:





In the figure (15.2) quantity of output is measured along OX axis and marginal cost and marginal revenue on OY axis. The marginal cost curve cuts the marginal revenue curve at two points K and T.


The competitive firm is in equilibrium, at both these points as marginal cost equals marginal revenue. The firm will not produce OM quantity of good because for OM output, the marginal cost is higher than marginal revenue. Marginal cost curve cuts the marginal revenue curve from above. The firm incurs loss equal to the black shaded area for producing 50 units (OM) of output.


As production is increased from 50 units to 350 units (from OM to OS) marginal cost decreases at early levels of output and then increases thereafter. The marginal cost curve cuts the marginal revenue curve from below at point T. The shaded portion between M to S level of output shows profit on production. When a firm produces OS quantity of output; it earns maximum profit. The point T where MR = MC is the point of maximum profit.


In case, the firm increases the level of output from OS, the additional output adds less to Its revenue than to its cost. The firm undergoes losses as is shown in the shaded area.


Summing up, profit maximization normally occurs at the rate of output at which marginal revenue equals marginal cost. This golden rule holds good for all market structures. As regards the absolute profits and losses of the firm, they depend upon the relation between average cost and average revenue of the firm.

Relevant Articles:

Market Structure
Perfect Competition
Equilibrium of the Firm
Short Run Equilibrium of the Price Taker Firm
Short Run Supply Curve of a Price Taker Firm
Short Run Supply Curve of the Industry
Long Run Equilibrium of the Price Taker Firm
Long Run Supply Curve For the Industry
Price Determination Under Perfect Competition
Market Price
Determination of Short Run Normal Price
Long Run Normal Price and the Adjustment of Market Price to the Long Run Normal Price
Distinction/Difference Between Market Price and Normal Price
Interdependent Prices
Joint Supply
Fixation of Railway Rates

Composite or Rival Demand


Principles and Theories of Micro Economics
Definition and Explanation of Economics
Theory of Consumer Behavior
Indifference Curve Analysis of Consumer's Equilibrium
Theory of Demand
Theory of Supply
Elasticity of Demand
Elasticity of Supply
Equilibrium of Demand and Supply
Economic Resources
Scale of Production
Laws of Returns
Production Function
Cost Analysis
Various Revenue Concepts
Price and output Determination Under Perfect Competition
Price and Output Determination Under Monopoly
Price and Output Determination Under Monopolistic/Imperfect Competition
Theory of Factor Pricing OR Theory of Distribution
Principles and Theories of Macro Economics
National Income and Its Measurement
Principles of Public Finance
Public Revenue and Taxation
National Debt and Income Determination
Fiscal Policy
Determinants of the Level of National Income and Employment
Determination of National Income
Theories of Employment
Theory of International Trade
Balance of Payments
Commercial Policy
Development and Planning Economics
Introduction to Development Economics
Features of Developing Countries
Economic Development and Economic Growth
Theories of Under Development
Theories of Economic Growth
Agriculture and Economic Development
Monetary Economics and Public Finance

History of Money

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