Tag Archives: economies of scale

Oligopoly Market System

28 Jul

   Oligopoly is a market system that is dominated by few big suppliers of homogeneous or differentiated products. Because there are few firms, oligopolists have great control over prices, but they should consider reaction of rivals after they change price of goods, output quantity and amount of money spent on advertising.
   The phrase “few large producers” is one necessary to describe this kind of market system. Some examples of oligopoly can be two or three zinc producers in Sweden, or five or six producers of auto parts in U.K. When you will read in some magazines at economics about Big Three, Big Four or Big Five, you may be sure that there is described an oligopoly.
 Homogeneous or Differentiated Products
   An oligopoly may be either homogeneous or differentiated one, since the firms in this kind of market system produce a standardized or differentiated product. Many industrial goods( aluminum, lead, cement) are standardized products that are supplied in oligopolies. However, other goods (like cigarettes, automobiles, breakfast cereals) are produced in differentiated oligopolies. Last kind of oligopoly engages in non-price competition by heavy advertising.
   Price and mutual interdependence
   Since in oligopolies there are few firms, each one is a price-maker, like monopolists the y may set the price and output level for their goods, so that these firms control the revenue. However, unlike monopolists (since there are no competitors), oligopolists should consider the reaction of rivals to this changes in price, output, product’s characteristics and money spent on advertising. Thus Oligopolists are described by mutual interdependence: a situation in which firm’s profits doesn’t depend completely on its price and sales policy, but also on that of rivals. For example, before increasing the price of its drinks Pepsi should predict the response of other major producers, like Coca-Cola.
   Similar entry barriers created in pure monopoly are also created in oligopoly. Economies of scale are a factor that serves as barrier to entry in some oligopolistic industries, such as aircraft, car-producing, and cement industries. In this kind of industries three or four firms control the market supply, so that they have enough money to produce economies of scale, but other firms even if they will want to enter this market will have a small market share so that they won’t be able to have enough revenues to produce economies of scale. They would be high-cost producers, so that these firms won’t be able to survive in this industry.
   Ownership and control of raw materials are another explanation why it’s very difficult to enter in oligopolistic market system. Oligopolists also prevent the entry of new competitors by preemptive pricing and advertising strategies.
   Some oligopolies have started because of very fast growth of dominant firms in some industries. But other however, produced an oligopoly by merging with other competing firms. Merging or combination of two or more firms may increase their revenues and economies of scale, because of increased market share they got.
   Another explanation of “urge to merge” is the want for a higher monopolistic power, since larger firm has a greater control over market supply and on the price of its product. Also, because of higher economies of scale they get less costs on producing some goods and services than their rivals.
Is merge between google and facebook possible, but also profitable?Is merge between Google and Facebook possible and also profitable?


Long-Run Production Costs

8 Jul

Economies and diseconomies of scale

 Economies and Diseconomies of scale
     In the Long Run like in Short Run average total cost (ATC) is U shaped, but why? We can’t explain this by law of diminishing returns, because only in short run plant’s capacity is fixed. In long run all resources are variable. Since prices of the resources are constant we can explain the form of the ATC in terms of economies and diseconomies of scale:
   Economies of Scale or economies of production explain the down-sloping part of ATC curve. The following factors may lower ATC of production:
 Management Specialization
     Large-scale production also means the better us and specialization of management. A manager that can supervise 50 people will be used inefficiently when the firm will employ only 20. Small plants won’t use managers to their best advantage, because they will have to divide time among more functions. Greater production means that manager will do his job full time so a higher efficiency will be achieved. This may result in lower product price.
Labor Specialization
     Increased specialization of labor becomes more achievable when factor’s size is increased. Hiring more workers means that tasks can be divided and subdivided, so that each worker has its own function. In this case a worker will perform only one job instead of five. In a small firm some skilled machine operators won’t be used efficient since they will perform unskilled task, leading to higher production costs.
   Workers by performing fewer tasks will become more proficient at them. Also greater labor specialization eliminates the time loss needed for them to switch their job.
Efficient Capital
       Small businesses may not afford to buy the most efficient machineries.  Some of these machineries are available only for mass-production, so a high efficiency is achieved only when there is used a big amount or resources. So a small firm is in dilemma between choosing to produce at inefficient equipment or at efficient one but with small amount of resources, but in both cases output is inefficient and too costly.
Other Factors
   An example of factor that creates economies of scale is advertising. These costs for advertising are decreased as more units are sold. So if there is an increase in quantity of resources ex: 30% followed by a greater increase in quantity of output ex: 50% then this event  declines ATC and may be a factor of economies of scale.

Diseconomies of Scale
   While a firm is expanding, their ATC may increase, so the curve of it becomes up-sloping. The main factor of diseconomies of scale is the difficulty of controlling and operating a bigger firm. In small ones a single manager may make all decisions for plant’s operations.
   But as the firm grows there is need for more managers. One person can’t digest and understand all the information needed for decision making. Expansion of management hierarchy leads to problems of communication and cooperation. So decision making may be slowed down so that they fail to respond immediately to change in consumer’s demand.
   In massive production workers may feel free from their employers so that they care less about working efficiently. So if there is an increase in quantity of resources ex: 30% followed by a smaller increase in quantity of output ex: 20% then this event increases ATC and may be a factor of diseconomies of scale.

Constant Return Scale
     In some industries a wider range of output may exist between the output at which economies of scale end and output at which diseconomies of scale begin. This range is called constant return scale and may exist over a wide part of long-run curve in which average total cost (ATC) doesn’t change. So if there is quantity Q input there will be also quantity Q output.
Economies and Diseconomies of Scale

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