Q.4. Show how producers’ equilibrium is achieved with isoquants and isocost curves. Answer.
PRODUCERS EQUILIBRIUM (Optimum factor combination or least cost combination).: The optimal combination of factor inputs may help in either minimizing cost for a given level of output or maximizing output with a given amount of investment expenditure. In order to explain producer’s equilibrium, we have to integrate Iso-quant curve with that of Iso-cost line. Iso-product curve represent different alternative possible combinations of two factor inputs with the help of which a given level of output can be produced. On the other hand, Iso-cost line shows the total outlay of the producer and the prices of factors of production. The intention of the producer is to maximize his profits. Profits can be maximized when he is producing maximum output with minimum production cost. Hence, the producer selects the least cost combination of the factor inputs. Maximum output with minimum cost is possible only when he reaches the position of equilibrium. The position of equilibrium is indicated at the point where Iso-Quant curve is tangential to Iso-Cost line. The following diagram explains how the producer reaches the position of equilibrium. It is quite clear from the diagram that the producer will reach the position of equilibrium at the point E where the Iso-quant curve IQ and Iso-cost line AB is tangent to each other. With a given total out lay of Rs. 5,000 the producer will be producing the highest output, i.e. 500 units by employing 25 units of factors X and 50 units of factor Y. (assuming Rs. 2,500 each is spent on X and Y) The price of one unit of factor X is Rs.100-00 and that of Y is Rs. 50-00.. Rs.100 x 25 units of 2500 – 00 and Rs. 50 x 50 units of Y = 2500 – 00. He will not reach the position of equilibrium either at the point E1 and E2 because they are on a higher Iso-cost line. Similarly, he cannot move to the left side of E, because they are on a lower Iso-Cost line and he will not be able to produce 500 units of output by any combinations which lie to the left of E. Thus, the point at which the Iso-Quant is tangent to the Iso-Cost line represents the minimum cost or optimum factor combination for producing a given level of output. At this point, MRTS between the two points is equal to the ratio between the prices of the inputs. ISO-Quants and ISO-Costs
The prime concern of a firm is to workout the cheapest factor combinations to produce a given quantity of output. There are a large number of alternative combinations of factor inputs which can produce a given quantity of output for a given amount of investment. Hence, a producer has to select the most economical combination out of them. Iso-product curve is a technique developed in recent years to show the equilibrium of a producer with two variable factor inputs. It is a parallel concept to the indifference curve in the theory of consumption. Meaning and Definitions
The term “Iso – Quant” has been derived from ‘Iso’ meaning equal and ‘Quant’ meaning quantity. Hence, Iso – Quant is also called Equal Product Curve or Product Indifference Curve or Constant Product Curve. An Iso – product curve represents all the possible combinations of two factor inputs which are capable of producing the same level of output. It may be defined as – “ a curve which shows the different combinations of the two inputs producing the same level of output .” Each Iso – Quant curve represents only one particular level of output. If there are different Iso–Quant curves, they represent different levels of output. Any point on an Iso – Quant curve represents same level of output. Since each point indicates equal level of output, the producer becomes indifferent with respect to any one of the combinations. Equal Product Combination
| Factor X (Labor)
| Factor Y Capital
| Total Output in units
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