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Chapter 2: Trade-offs, Comparative Advantage, and the Market System

Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall · Microeconomics · R. Glenn Hubbard, Anthony Patrick O’Brien, 3e. 1 of 34
Chapter 2: Trade-offs, Comparative Advantage, and the Market System

Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall · Microeconomics · R. Glenn Hubbard, Anthony Patrick O’Brien, 3e. 2 of 34
CHAPTER 2

Trade-offs,
Comparative
Chapter 2: Trade-offs, Comparative Advantage, and the Market System

Advantage, and
the Market System

To compete in the
automobile market,
the managers of
BMW must make
many strategic
decisions, such as
whether to introduce
new car models.
Prepared by:
Fernando Quijano

Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall · Microeconomics · R. Glenn Hubbard, Anthony Patrick O’Brien, 3e. 3 of 34
CHAPTER 2
Chapter Outline and
Trade-offs, Learning Objectives

Comparative 2.1 Production Possibilities Frontiers


Chapter 2: Trade-offs, Comparative Advantage, and the Market System

and Opportunity Costs


Advantage, and Use a production possibilities
frontier to analyze opportunity
the Market System costs and trade-offs.
2.2 Comparative Advantage and Trade
Understand comparative
advantage and explain how it is the
basis for trade.
2.3 The Market System
Explain the basic idea of how a
market system works.

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Trade-offs, Comparative Advantage, and the
Market System

Scarcity A situation in which


Chapter 2: Trade-offs, Comparative Advantage, and the Market System

unlimited wants exceed the limited


resources available to fulfill those
wants.

Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall · Microeconomics · R. Glenn Hubbard, Anthony Patrick O’Brien, 3e. 5 of 34
2.1 LEARNING OBJECTIVE
Production Possibilities Frontiers Use a production possibilities
frontier to analyze opportunity
and Opportunity Costs costs and trade-offs.

Production possibilities frontier (PPF)


Chapter 2: Trade-offs, Comparative Advantage, and the Market System

A curve showing the maximum attainable


combinations of two products that may be
produced with available resources and current
technology.

Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall · Microeconomics · R. Glenn Hubbard, Anthony Patrick O’Brien, 3e. 6 of 34
2.1 LEARNING OBJECTIVE
Production Possibilities Frontiers Use a production possibilities
frontier to analyze opportunity
and Opportunity Costs costs and trade-offs.

Graphing the Production Possibilities Frontier


FIGURE 2-1
BMW’s Production
Possibilities Frontier
Chapter 2: Trade-offs, Comparative Advantage, and the Market System

BMW faces a trade-off: To build


one more roadster, it must build
one less SUV. The production
possibilities frontier illustrates the
trade-off BMW faces.
Combinations on the production
possibilities frontier—like points A,
B, C, D, and E—are technically
efficient because the maximum
output is being obtained from the
available resources.
Combinations inside the frontier—
like point F—are inefficient
because some resources are not
being used.
Combinations outside the
frontier—like point G—are
unattainable with current
resources.

Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall · Microeconomics · R. Glenn Hubbard, Anthony Patrick O’Brien, 3e. 7 of 34
2.1 LEARNING OBJECTIVE
Production Possibilities Frontiers Use a production possibilities
frontier to analyze opportunity
and Opportunity Costs costs and trade-offs.

Graphing the Production Possibilities Frontier

Opportunity cost The highest-valued


Chapter 2: Trade-offs, Comparative Advantage, and the Market System

alternative that must be given up to


engage in an activity.

Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall · Microeconomics · R. Glenn Hubbard, Anthony Patrick O’Brien, 3e. 8 of 34
2.1 LEARNING OBJECTIVE
Use a production possibilities
Solved Problem 2-1 frontier to analyze opportunity
costs and trade-offs.
Drawing a Production Possibilities
Frontier for Rosie’s Boston Bakery
HOURS SPENT MAKING QUANTITY MADE
CHOICE CAKES PIES CAKES PIES
A 5 0 5 0
Chapter 2: Trade-offs, Comparative Advantage, and the Market System

B 4 1 4 2
C 3 2 3 4
D 2 3 2 6
E 1 4 1 8
F 0 5 0 10

Moving from choice D to choice E


increases Rosie’s production of
pies by 2 but lowers her
production of cakes by 1.
Therefore, her opportunity cost of
making 2 more pies is making 1
less cake.

YOUR TURN: For more practice, do related problem 1.9 at the end of this chapter.

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2.1 LEARNING OBJECTIVE
Making Use a production possibilities
the
Facing the Trade-offs in frontier to analyze opportunity

Connection Health Care Spending


costs and trade-offs.

Although the consequences of being


Chapter 2: Trade-offs, Comparative Advantage, and the Market System

uninsured can be severe, particularly if


someone develops a serious illness,
economists are not surprised that
higher prices for health insurance lead
to less health insurance being
purchased: Faced with limited
incomes, people have to make choices
among the goods and services they
buy.

Spending more on health care


means spending less on other
goods and services.

YOUR TURN: Test your understanding by doing related problems 1.10, 1.11,
1.12, and 1.13 at the end of this chapter.
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2.1 LEARNING OBJECTIVE
Production Possibilities Frontiers Use a production possibilities
frontier to analyze opportunity
and Opportunity Costs costs and trade-offs.

Increasing Marginal Opportunity Costs

FIGURE 2-2
Increasing Marginal
Chapter 2: Trade-offs, Comparative Advantage, and the Market System

Opportunity Costs
As the economy moves down
the production possibilities
frontier, it experiences increasing
marginal opportunity costs
because increasing automobile
production by a given quantity
requires larger and larger
decreases in tank production.
For example, to increase
automobile production from 0 to
200—moving from point A to
point B—the economy has to
give up only 50 tanks.
But to increase automobile
production by another 200
vehicles— moving from point B
to point C—the economy has to
give up 150 tanks.

Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall · Microeconomics · R. Glenn Hubbard, Anthony Patrick O’Brien, 3e. 11 of 34
2.1 LEARNING OBJECTIVE
Production Possibilities Frontiers Use a production possibilities
frontier to analyze opportunity
and Opportunity Costs costs and trade-offs.

Economic Growth
Economic growth The ability of the
economy to increase the production of
goods and services.
FIGURE 2-3
Chapter 2: Trade-offs, Comparative Advantage, and the Market System

Economic Growth

Panel (a) shows that as more economic resources become available and technological change occurs, the economy can
move from point A to point B, producing more tanks and more automobiles.
Panel (b) shows the results of technological change in the automobile industry that increases the quantity of vehicles
workers can produce per year while leaving unchanged the maximum quantity of tanks that can be produced. Shifts in the
production possibilities frontier represent economic growth.
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2.2 LEARNING OBJECTIVE
Comparative Advantage and Trade Understand comparative advantage and
explain how it is the basis for trade.
Chapter 2: Trade-offs, Comparative Advantage, and the Market System

Trade The act of buying and selling

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2.2 LEARNING OBJECTIVE
Comparative Advantage and Trade Understand comparative advantage and
explain how it is the basis for trade.

Specialization and Gains from Trade


FIGURE 2-4
Production Possibilities for You
and Your Neighbor, without Trade
Chapter 2: Trade-offs, Comparative Advantage, and the Market System

The table in this figure shows how many pounds of apples and how many pounds of cherries you and your neighbor can
each pick in one week.
Panel (a) shows your PPF. If you devote all your time to picking apples and none of your time to picking cherries, you can
pick 20 pounds. If you devote all your time to picking cherries, you can pick 20 pounds.
Panel (b) shows that if your neighbor devotes all her time to picking apples, she can pick 30 pounds. If she devotes all her
time to picking cherries, she can pick 60 pounds.
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2.2 LEARNING OBJECTIVE
Comparative Advantage and Trade Understand comparative advantage and
explain how it is the basis for trade.

Specialization and Gains from Trade


FIGURE 2-5
Gains from Trade
Chapter 2: Trade-offs, Comparative Advantage, and the Market System

If you specialize in picking apples, you can pick 20 pounds. If your neighbor specializes in picking cherries, she can pick
60 pounds. If you trade 10 pounds of your apples for 15 pounds of your neighbor’s cherries, you will be able to
consume 10 pounds of apples and 15 pounds of cherries— point B in panel (a).
Your neighbor can now consume 10 pounds of apples and 45 pounds of cherries—point D in panel (b). You and your
neighbor are both better off as a result of trade.

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2.2 LEARNING OBJECTIVE
Comparative Advantage and Trade Understand comparative advantage and
explain how it is the basis for trade.

Specialization and Gains from Trade

TABLE 2-1
A Summary of the Gains from Trade
Chapter 2: Trade-offs, Comparative Advantage, and the Market System

YOU YOUR NEIGHBOR


APPLES CHERRIES APPLES CHERRIES
(IN POUNDS) (IN POUNDS) (IN POUNDS) (IN POUNDS)
Production and consumption
without trade 8 12 9 42
Production with trade 20 0 0 60
Consumption with trade 10 15 10 45
Gains from trade (increased
consumption) 2 3 1 3

Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall · Microeconomics · R. Glenn Hubbard, Anthony Patrick O’Brien, 3e. 16 of 34
2.2 LEARNING OBJECTIVE
Comparative Advantage and Trade Understand comparative advantage and
explain how it is the basis for trade.

Absolute Advantage versus Comparative Advantage


Chapter 2: Trade-offs, Comparative Advantage, and the Market System

Absolute advantage The ability of


an individual, a firm, or a country to
produce more of a good or service
than competitors, using the same
amount of resources.

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2.2 LEARNING OBJECTIVE
Comparative Advantage and Trade Understand comparative advantage and
explain how it is the basis for trade.

Absolute Advantage versus Comparative Advantage

TABLE 2-2
Opportunity Costs of
Chapter 2: Trade-offs, Comparative Advantage, and the Market System

Picking Apples and Cherries

OPPORTUNITY COST OF PICKING OPPORTUNITY COST OF PICKING


1 POUND OF APPLES 1 POUND OF CHERRIES

YOU 1 pound of cherries 1 pound of apples

YOUR NEIGHBOR 2 pounds of cherries 0.5 pound of apples

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2.2 LEARNING OBJECTIVE
Comparative Advantage and Trade Understand comparative advantage and
explain how it is the basis for trade.

Absolute Advantage versus Comparative Advantage


Chapter 2: Trade-offs, Comparative Advantage, and the Market System

Comparative advantage The ability


of an individual, a firm, or a country to
produce a good or service at a lower
opportunity cost than competitors.

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2.2 LEARNING OBJECTIVE
Comparative Advantage and Trade Understand comparative advantage and
explain how it is the basis for trade.

Comparative Advantage and the Gains from Trade

The basis for trade is comparative


Chapter 2: Trade-offs, Comparative Advantage, and the Market System

advantage, not absolute advantage.

Individuals, firms, and countries are better


off if they specialize in producing goods and
services for which they have a comparative
advantage and obtain the other goods and
services they need by trading.

Don’t Let This Happen to YOU!


Don’t Confuse Absolute Advantage and Comparative Advantage
YOUR TURN: Test your understanding by doing related problem 2.7 at the end of
this chapter.
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall · Microeconomics · R. Glenn Hubbard, Anthony Patrick O’Brien, 3e. 20 of 34
2.2 LEARNING OBJECTIVE
Understand comparative advantage and
Solved Problem 2-2 explain how it is the basis for trade.

Comparative Advantage
and the Gains from Trade

CANADA UNITED STATES


HONEY MAPLE SYRUP HONEY MAPLE SYRUP
(IN TONS) (IN TONS) (IN TONS) (IN TONS)
Chapter 2: Trade-offs, Comparative Advantage, and the Market System

0 60 0 50
10 45 10 40
20 30 20 30
30 15 30 20
40 0 40 10
50 0

BEFORE TRADE AFTER TRADE

HONEY MAPLE SYRUP HONEY MAPLE SYRUP


(IN TONS) (IN TONS) (IN TONS) (IN TONS)
CANADA 30 15 30 20
UNITED STATES 10 40 20 40

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2.2 LEARNING OBJECTIVE
Understand comparative advantage and
Solved Problem 2-2 (continued) explain how it is the basis for trade.

Comparative Advantage
and the Gains from Trade
Chapter 2: Trade-offs, Comparative Advantage, and the Market System

YOUR TURN: For more practice, do related problems 2.5 and 2.6 at the end of
this chapter.
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall · Microeconomics · R. Glenn Hubbard, Anthony Patrick O’Brien, 3e. 22 of 34
2.3 LEARNING OBJECTIVE
The Market System Explain the basic idea of how
a market system works.

Market A group of buyers and sellers of a


good or service and the institution or
arrangement by which they come together
to trade.
Chapter 2: Trade-offs, Comparative Advantage, and the Market System

Product markets Markets for goods—


such as computers—and services—such
as medical treatment.

Factor markets Markets for the factors of


production, such as labor, capital, natural
resources, and entrepreneurial ability.

Factors of production The inputs used to


make goods and services.

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2.3 LEARNING OBJECTIVE
The Market System Explain the basic idea of how
a market system works.

Factors of production are divided into four broad categories:

• Labor includes all types of work, from the part-time labor of


teenagers working at McDonald’s to the work of top managers in
large corporations.
Chapter 2: Trade-offs, Comparative Advantage, and the Market System

• Capital refers to physical capital, such as computers and


machine tools, that is used to produce other goods.

• Natural resources include land, water, oil, iron ore, and other raw
materials (or “gifts of nature”) that are used in producing goods.

• An entrepreneur is someone who operates a business.


Entrepreneurial ability is the ability to bring together the other
factors of production to successfully produce and sell goods and
services.

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2.3 LEARNING OBJECTIVE
The Market System Explain the basic idea of how
a market system works.

The Circular Flow of Income

Two key groups participate in markets:


Chapter 2: Trade-offs, Comparative Advantage, and the Market System

• A household consists of all the individuals in a home.

• Firms are suppliers of goods and services.

Circular-flow diagram A model that


illustrates how participants in markets
are linked.

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2.3 LEARNING OBJECTIVE
The Market System Explain the basic idea of how
a market system works.

The Circular Flow of Income


FIGURE 2-6
The Circular-Flow Diagram
Households and firms are linked together in a
Chapter 2: Trade-offs, Comparative Advantage, and the Market System

circular flow of production, income, and spending.


The blue arrows show the flow of the factors of
production. In factor markets, households supply
labor, entrepreneurial ability, and other factors of
production to firms. Firms use these factors of
production to make goods and services that they
supply to households in product markets.
The red arrows show the flow of goods and
services from firms to households.
The green arrows show the flow of funds. In factor
markets, households receive wages and other
payments from firms in exchange for supplying the
factors of production. Households use these
wages and other payments to purchase goods and
services from firms in product markets. Firms sell
goods and services to households in product
markets, and they use the funds to purchase the
factors of production from households in factor
markets.

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2.3 LEARNING OBJECTIVE
The Market System Explain the basic idea of how
a market system works.

The Gains from Free Markets

Free market A market with few


government restrictions on how a
Chapter 2: Trade-offs, Comparative Advantage, and the Market System

good or service can be produced or


sold or on how a factor of production
can be employed.

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2.3 LEARNING OBJECTIVE
The Market System Explain the basic idea of how
a market system works.

The Market Mechanism

Individuals usually act in a rational, self-


interested way. Adam Smith understood
Chapter 2: Trade-offs, Comparative Advantage, and the Market System

that people’s motives can be complex.

In a famous phrase, Smith said that firms


would be led by the “invisible hand” of the
market to provide consumers with what
they wanted.

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2.3 LEARNING OBJECTIVE
Making A Story of the Market Explain the basic idea of how
a market system works.
the System in Action: How
Connection Do You Make an iPod?

All told, an iPod contains about 450 parts,


Chapter 2: Trade-offs, Comparative Advantage, and the Market System

designed and manufactured by firms


around the world. Many of these firms are
not even aware of which other firms are
also producing components for the iPod.

The invisible hand of the market has led


these firms to contribute their knowledge
and resources to the process that ultimately
results in an iPod available for sale in a
store in the United States.

The market coordinates the


activities of the many people
spread around the world who
contribute to the making of an iPod.

YOUR TURN: Test your understanding by doing related problem 3.8 at the end of
this chapter.
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall · Microeconomics · R. Glenn Hubbard, Anthony Patrick O’Brien, 3e. 29 of 34
2.3 LEARNING OBJECTIVE
The Market System Explain the basic idea of how
a market system works.

The Role of the Entrepreneur

Entrepreneur Someone who


operates a business, bringing together
Chapter 2: Trade-offs, Comparative Advantage, and the Market System

the factors of production— labor,


capital, and natural resources—to
produce goods and services.

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2.3 LEARNING OBJECTIVE
The Market System Explain the basic idea of how
a market system works.

The Legal Basis of a Successful Market System

Protection of Private Property


Chapter 2: Trade-offs, Comparative Advantage, and the Market System

Property rights The rights individuals


or firms have to the exclusive use of
their property, including the right to buy
or sell it.

Enforcement of Contracts and Property Rights

If property rights are not well enforced,


fewer goods and services will be
produced. This reduces economic
efficiency, leaving the economy inside
its production possibilities frontier.

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2.3 LEARNING OBJECTIVE
Making Property Rights in Explain the basic idea of how
a market system works.
the Cyberspace: YouTube,
Connection Facebook, and MySpace
Chapter 2: Trade-offs, Comparative Advantage, and the Market System

Controlling unauthorized
copying is more difficult today
than it was when “copying”
meant making a physical copy
of a book, CD, or DVD.
The popularity of YouTube and
MySpace highlights the
problem of unauthorized
copying of videos and music.

Some recording artists worry that


the copyrights for their songs are
not being protected on the Internet.

YOUR TURN: Test your understanding by doing related problem 3.14 at the end
of this chapter.
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AN INSIDE LOOK
>> Detroit Challenges Hybrids
with New Technology
Gas Engines Get Upgrade in
Challenge to Hybrids
Chapter 2: Trade-offs, Comparative Advantage, and the Market System

Choosing between producing hybrids and producing direct-injection cars.

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KEY TERMS

Absolute advantage Free market


Circular-flow diagram Market
Chapter 2: Trade-offs, Comparative Advantage, and the Market System

Comparative advantage Opportunity cost


Economic growth Product markets
Entrepreneur Production possibilities frontier (PPF)
Factor markets Property rights
Factors of production Scarcity
Trade

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