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ECONOMICS Twelfth Edition, Global Edition Chapter 6 Government Actions in Markets Copyright 2016 Pearson Education, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Chapter Outline and Learning Objectives 6.1 Explain how rent ceilings create housing shortages Explain the influences on demand 6.2 Explain how minimum wage

laws create unemployment 6.3 Explain the effects of a tax 6.4 Explain the effects of production quotas and subsidies 6.5 Explain how markets for illegal goods work Copyright 2016 Pearson Education, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. A Housing Market with a Rent Ceiling (1 of 10) A price ceiling or price cap is a regulation that makes it illegal to charge a price higher than a specified level.

When a price ceiling is applied to a housing market it is called a rent ceiling. If the rent ceiling is set above the equilibrium rent, it has no effect. The market works as if there were no ceiling. But a rent ceiling set below the equilibrium rent creates A housing shortage Increased search activity A black market Copyright 2016 Pearson Education, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. A Housing Market with a Rent Ceiling (2 of 10)

Housing Shortage Figure 6.1 shows the effects of a rent ceiling that is set below the equilibrium rent. The equilibrium rent is $1,000 a month. A rent ceiling is set at $800 a month. So the equilibrium rent is in the illegal region. Copyright 2016 Pearson Education, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. A Housing Market with a Rent Ceiling

(3 of 10) At the rent ceiling, the quantity of housing demanded exceeds the quantity supplied. There is a shortage of housing. Copyright 2016 Pearson Education, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. A Housing Market with a Rent Ceiling (4 of 10)

Because the legal price cannot eliminate the shortage, other mechanisms operate: Increased search activity A black market With the shortage, someone is willing to pay up to $1,200 a month. Copyright 2016 Pearson Education, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. A Housing Market with a Rent Ceiling (5 of 10)

Increased Search Activity The time spent looking for someone with whom to do business is called search activity. When a price is regulated and there is a shortage, search activity increases. Search activity is costly and the opportunity cost of housing equals its rent (regulated) plus the opportunity cost of the search activity (unregulated). Because the quantity of housing is less than the quantity in an unregulated market, the opportunity cost of housing exceeds the unregulated rent. Copyright 2016 Pearson Education, Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

A Housing Market with a Rent Ceiling (6 of 10) A Black Market A black market is an illegal market that operates alongside a legal market in which a price ceiling or other restriction has been imposed. A shortage of housing creates a black market in housing. Illegal arrangements are made between renters and landlords at rents above the rent ceilingand generally above what the rent would have been in an unregulated market. Copyright 2016 Pearson Education, Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

A Housing Market with a Rent Ceiling (7 of 10) Inefficiency of a Rent Ceiling A rent ceiling set below the equilibrium rent leads to an inefficient underproduction of housing services. The marginal social benefit from housing services exceeds its marginal social cost and a deadweight loss arises. Figure 6.2 illustrates this inefficiency. Copyright 2016 Pearson Education, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. A Housing Market with a Rent Ceiling

(8 of 10) A rent ceiling decreases the quantity of housing supplied to less than the efficient quantity. A deadweight loss arises. Producer surplus shrinks. Consumer surplus shrinks. There is a potential loss from increased search activity.

Copyright 2016 Pearson Education, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. A Housing Market with a Rent Ceiling (9 of 10) Are Rent Ceilings Fair? According to the fair rules view, a rent ceiling is unfair because it blocks voluntary exchange. According to the fair results view, a rent ceiling is unfair because it does not generally benefit the poor. A rent ceiling decreases the quantity of housing and the scarce housing is allocated by Lottery First-come, first-served

Discrimination Copyright 2016 Pearson Education, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. A Housing Market with a Rent Ceiling (10 of 10) A lottery gives scarce housing to the lucky. A first-come, first served gives scarce housing to those who have the greatest foresight and get their names on the list first. Discrimination gives scarce housing to friends, family members, or those of the selected race or sex. None of these methods leads to a fair outcome.

Copyright 2016 Pearson Education, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. A Labor Market with a Minimum Wage (1 of 7) A price floor is a regulation that makes it illegal to trade at a price lower than a specified level. When a price floor is applied to labor markets, it is called a minimum wage. If the minimum wage is set below the equilibrium wage rate, it has no effect. The market works as if there were no minimum wage. If the minimum wage is set above the equilibrium wage rate, it

has powerful effects. Copyright 2016 Pearson Education, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. A Labor Market with a Minimum Wage (2 of 7) Minimum Wage Brings Unemployment If the minimum wage is set above the equilibrium wage rate, the quantity of labor supplied by workers exceeds the quantity demanded by employers. There is a surplus of labor. The quantity of labor hired at the minimum wage is less than the quantity that would be hired in an unregulated labor market.

Because the legal wage rate cannot eliminate the surplus, the minimum wage creates unemployment. Copyright 2016 Pearson Education, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. A Labor Market with a Minimum Wage (3 of 7) The equilibrium wage rate is $6 an hour. The minimum wage rate is set at $7 an hour. So the equilibrium wage rate is in the illegal region. The quantity of labor employed

is the quantity demanded. Copyright 2016 Pearson Education, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. A Labor Market with a Minimum Wage (4 of 7) The quantity of labor supplied exceeds the quantity demanded and unemployment is created. With only 20 million hours demanded, some workers are willing to supply the last hour demanded for $5.

Copyright 2016 Pearson Education, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. A Labor Market with a Minimum Wage (5 of 7) Is the Minimum Wage Fair? A minimum wage rate in the United States is set by the federal governments Fair Labor Standards Act. In 2009, the federal minimum wage rate was raised to $7.25 an hour and has remained at $7.25 an hour through 2014. Some state governments have set minimum wages above the federal minimum wage rate. Most economists believe that minimum wage laws increase the unemployment rate of low-skilled younger workers.

Copyright 2016 Pearson Education, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. A Labor Market with a Minimum Wage (6 of 7) Inefficiency of a Minimum Wage A minimum wage leads to an inefficient outcome. The quantity of labor employed is less than the efficient quantity. The supply of labor measures the marginal social cost of labor to workers (leisure forgone). The demand for labor measures the marginal social benefit from labor (value of goods produced). Figure 6.4 illustrates this inefficient outcome.

Copyright 2016 Pearson Education, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. A Labor Market with a Minimum Wage (7 of 7) A minimum wage set above the equilibrium wage decreases the quantity of labor employed. A deadweight loss arises. The potential loss from increased job search decreases both workers surplus and firms surplus. The full loss is the sum of the

red and gray areas. Copyright 2016 Pearson Education, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Taxes (1 of 21) Everything you earn and most things you buy are taxed. Who really pays these taxes? Income tax and the Social Security tax are deducted from your pay, and state sales tax is added to the price of the things you buy, so isnt it obvious that you pay these taxes? Isnt it equally obvious that your employer pays the employers contribution to the Social Security tax? Youre going to discover that it isnt obvious who pays a tax and that lawmakers dont decide who will pay!

Copyright 2016 Pearson Education, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Taxes (2 of 21) Tax Incidence Tax incidence is the division of the burden of a tax between buyers and sellers. When an item is taxed, its price might rise by the full amount of the tax, by a lesser amount, or not at all. If the price rises by the full amount of the tax, buyers pay the tax. If the price rises by a lesser amount than the tax, buyers and sellers share the burden of the tax. If the price doesnt rise at all, sellers pay the tax.

Copyright 2016 Pearson Education, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Taxes (3 of 21) Tax incidence doesnt depend on tax law! The law might impose a tax on buyers or sellers, but the outcome will be the same. To see why, we look at the tax on cigarettes in New York City. On July 1, 2002, New York City raised the tax on the sales of cigarettes from almost nothing to $1.50 a pack. What are the effects of this tax? Copyright 2016 Pearson Education, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Taxes (4 of 21)

A Tax on Sellers Figure 6.5 shows the effects of this tax. With no tax, the equilibrium price is $3.00 a pack. A tax on sellers of $1.50 a pack is introduced. Supply decreases and the curve S + tax on sellers shows the new supply curve. Copyright 2016 Pearson Education, Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Taxes (5 of 21) The market price paid by buyers rises to $4.00 a pack and the quantity bought decreases. The price received by the sellers falls to $2.50 a pack. So with the tax of $1.50 a pack, buyers pay $1.00 a pack more and sellers receive 50 a pack less. Copyright 2016 Pearson Education, Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Taxes (6 of 21) A Tax on Buyers Again, with no tax, the equilibrium price is $3.00 a pack. A tax on buyers of $1.50 a pack is introduced. Demand decreases and the curve D tax on buyers shows the new demand curve. Copyright 2016 Pearson Education, Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Taxes (7 of 21) The price received by sellers falls to $2.50 a pack and the quantity decreases. The price paid by buyers rises to $4.00 a pack. So with the tax of $1.50 a pack, buyers pay $1.00 a pack more and sellers receive 50 a pack less. Copyright 2016 Pearson Education, Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Taxes (8 of 21) Equivalence of Tax on Buyers and Sellers So, exactly as before when sellers were taxed: Buyers pay $1.00 of the tax. Sellers pay the other 50 of the tax. Tax incidence is the same regardless of whether the law says sellers pay or buyers pay.

Copyright 2016 Pearson Education, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Taxes (9 of 21) Tax Incidence and Elasticity of Demand The division of the tax between buyers and sellers depends on the elasticities of demand and supply. To see how, we look at two extreme cases. Perfectly inelastic demand: Buyers pay the entire tax. Perfectly elastic demand: Sellers pay the entire tax. The more inelastic the demand, the larger is the buyers share of the tax. Copyright 2016 Pearson Education, Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Taxes (10 of 21) Perfectly Inelastic Demand Demand for this good is perfectly inelasticthe demand curve is vertical. When a tax is imposed on this good, buyers pay the entire tax. Copyright 2016 Pearson Education, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Taxes (11 of 21) Perfectly Elastic

Demand The demand for this good is perfectly elasticthe demand curve is horizontal. When a tax is imposed on this good, sellers pay the entire tax. Copyright 2016 Pearson Education, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Taxes (12 of 21) Tax Incidence and Elasticity of Supply To see the effect of the elasticity of supply on the division of

the tax payment, we again look at two extreme cases. Perfectly inelastic supply: Sellers pay the entire tax. Perfectly elastic supply: Buyers pay the entire tax. The more elastic the supply, the larger is the buyers share of the tax. Copyright 2016 Pearson Education, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Taxes (13 of 21) Perfectly Inelastic Supply The supply of this good is perfectly inelasticthe

supply curve is vertical. When a tax is imposed on this good, sellers pay the entire tax. Copyright 2016 Pearson Education, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Taxes (14 of 21) Perfectly Elastic Supply The supply of this good is perfectly elasticthe supply curve is horizontal. When a tax is imposed on this good, buyers pay the

entire tax. Copyright 2016 Pearson Education, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Taxes (15 of 21) Taxes in Practice Taxes usually are levied on goods and services with an inelastic demand or an inelastic supply. Alcohol, tobacco, and gasoline have inelastic demand, so the buyers of these items pay most of the tax on them. Labor has a low elasticity of supply, so the sellerthe worker pays most of the income tax and most of the Social Security tax.

Copyright 2016 Pearson Education, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Taxes (16 of 21) Taxes and Efficiency Except in the extreme cases of perfectly inelastic demand or perfectly inelastic supply when the quantity remains the same, imposing a tax creates inefficiency. Figure 6.10 shows the inefficiency created by a $20 tax on MP3 players. Copyright 2016 Pearson Education, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Taxes (17 of 21) With no tax, marginal

social benefit equals marginal social cost. Total surplus (the sum of consumer surplus and producer surplus) is maximized. The market is efficient. The tax decreases the quantity, raises the buyers price, and lowers the sellers price. Copyright 2016 Pearson Education, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Taxes (18 of 21)

Marginal social benefit exceeds marginal social cost and the tax is inefficient. The tax revenue takes part of the total surplus. The decreased quantity creates a deadweight loss. Copyright 2016 Pearson Education, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Taxes (19 of 21) Taxes and Fairness

Economists propose two conflicting principles of fairness to apply to a tax system: The benefits principle The ability-to-pay principle Copyright 2016 Pearson Education, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Taxes (20 of 21) The Benefits Principle The benefits principle is the proposition that people should pay taxes equal to the benefits they receive from the services provided by government. This arrangement is fair because it means that those who

benefit most pay the most taxes. Copyright 2016 Pearson Education, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Taxes (21 of 21) The Ability-to-Pay Principle The ability-to-pay principle is the proposition that people should pay taxes according to how easily they can bear the burden of the tax. A rich person can more easily bear the burden than a poor person can. So the ability-to-pay principle can reinforce the benefits principle to justify high rates of income tax on high incomes.

Copyright 2016 Pearson Education, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Production Quotas and Subsidies (1 of 6) Intervention in markets for farm products takes two main forms: Production quotas Subsidies A production quota is an upper limit to the quantity of a good that may be produced during a specified period. A subsidy is a payment made by the government to a producer. Copyright 2016 Pearson Education, Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Production Quotas and Subsidies (2 of 6) Production Quotas With no quota, the price is $30 a ton and 60 million tons a year are produced. With the production quota of 40 million tons a year, quantity decreases to 40 million tons a year. The market price rises to $50 a ton and marginal cost falls to $20 a ton. Copyright 2016 Pearson Education, Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Production Quotas and Subsidies (3 of 6) Inefficiency At the quantity produced: Marginal social benefit equals the market price, which has increased. Marginal social cost has decreased. Production is inefficient and producers have an incentive to cheat.

Copyright 2016 Pearson Education, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Production Quotas and Subsidies (4 of 6) Subsidies With no subsidy, the price is $40 a ton and 40 million tons a year are produced. With a subsidy of $20 a ton, marginal cost minus subsidy falls by $20 a ton and the new supply curve is S subsidy. Copyright 2016 Pearson Education, Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Production Quotas and Subsidies (5 of 6) The market price falls to $30 a ton and farmers increase the quantity to 60 million tons a year. But farmers marginal cost increases to $50 a ton. With the subsidy, farmers receive more on each ton soldthe price of $30 a ton plus the subsidy of $20 a ton, which is $50 a ton.

Copyright 2016 Pearson Education, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Production Quotas and Subsidies (6 of 6) Inefficient Overproduction At the quantity produced: Marginal social benefit equals the market price, which has fallen. Marginal social cost has increased and exceeds marginal social benefit. Copyright 2016 Pearson Education, Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Markets for Illegal Goods (1 of 8) The U.S. government prohibits trade of some goods, such as illegal drugs. Yet, markets exist for illegal goods and services. How does the market for an illegal good work? To see how the market for an illegal good works, we begin by looking at a free market and see the changes that occur when the good is made illegal. Copyright 2016 Pearson Education, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Markets for Illegal Goods (2 of 8) A Free Market for a Drug

Figure 6.13 shows the market for a drug such as marijuana. Market equilibrium is at point E. The price is PC and the quantity is QC. Copyright 2016 Pearson Education, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Markets for Illegal Goods (3 of 8) Penalties on Sellers If the penalty on the seller is the amount HK, then the

quantity supplied at a market price of PC is QP. Supply of the drug decreases to S + CBL. The new equilibrium is at point F. The price rises and the quantity decreases. Copyright 2016 Pearson Education, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Markets for Illegal Goods (4 of 8) Penalties on Buyers If the penalty on the buyer is the amount JH, the

quantity demanded at a market price of PC is QP. Demand for the drug decreases to D CBL. The new equilibrium is at point G. The market price falls and the quantity decreases. Copyright 2016 Pearson Education, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Markets for Illegal Goods (5 of 8) But the opportunity cost of buying this illegal good rises above PC because

the buyer pays the market price plus the cost of breaking the law. Copyright 2016 Pearson Education, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Markets for Illegal Goods (6 of 8) Penalties on Both Sellers and Buyers With both sellers and buyers penalized for trading in the illegal drug, both the demand for the drug and the supply of the

drug decrease. Copyright 2016 Pearson Education, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Markets for Illegal Goods (7 of 8) The new equilibrium is at point H. The quantity decreases to QP. The market price is PC. The buyer pays PB and the seller receives PS. Copyright 2016 Pearson Education, Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Markets for Illegal Goods (8 of 8) Legalizing and Taxing Drugs An illegal good can be legalized and taxed. A high enough tax rate would decrease consumption to the level that occurs when trade is illegal. Arguments that extend beyond economics surround this choice. Copyright 2016 Pearson Education, Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

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