By Frederic S. Mishkin
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Extra resources for Economics - The Basics
If we assume that the supplier aims to maximise profits in this competitive situation, we can deduce that output will expand so long as each additional unit produced adds more to revenue earned than it does to costs. That is, production can continue so long as selling prices are maintained above costs – but, as we have seen, costs eventually begin to rise. Profits will thus be maximised where the cost of the very next bag of coffee/tea rises to just equal its price. To produce beyond this point incurs a loss on each additional unit sold.
Given this opportunity set, the individual thus chooses that combination of goods which best maximises his utility. Let that be at point x where he would consume a2 of coffee and b70 of all other goods. He could have chosen any other point along his budget constraint AB, such as y or z, but we have said that combination x represents the highest level of satisfaction for this individual. 1). 1 Consumption alternatives: coffee and other goods. 1 Mapping individual preferences: indifference curves Economists have invented a unique way to map an individual’s tastes and preferences on a two dimensional diagram.
It all depends on individual tastes. The combination points of goods, C to G, remain unchanged here. 3, the preference map of a coffee lover who is indifferent between points C and D. Only by increasing coffee consumption to point E or F (again he is indifferent as to which) does his level of utility rise. G in this case represents the highest level of satisfaction illustrated. Returning to the original case discussed here, where the consumer has an opportunity set constrained by his budget to 0AB, of all the possible combinations of goods that the consumer can choose between, which one will the individual choose?
Economics - The Basics by Frederic S. Mishkin