Monopoly and Marginal Cost

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Practice Questions and Answers from Lesson III-3: Monopoly Practice Questions and Answers from Lesson III-3: Monopoly The following questions practice these skills:  Explain the sources of market power.  Apply the quantity and price affects on revenue of any movement along a demand curve.  Find the profit maximizing quantity and price of a single-price monopolist.  Compute deadweight loss from a single-price monopolist.  Compute marginal revenue.  Define the efficiency of P = MC.  Find the profit-maximizing quantity and price of a perfect-price-discriminating monopolist.  Find the profit-maximizing quantity and price of an imperfect-price-discriminating monopolist. Question: Each of the following firms possesses market power. Explain its source. a. Merck, the producer of the patented cholesterol-lowering drug Zetia b. Chiquita, a supplier of bananas and owner of most banana plantations c. The Walt Disney Company, the creators of Mickey Mouse Answer to Question: a. Merck has a patent for Zetia. This is an example of a government-created barrier to entry, which gives Merck market power. b. Chiquita controls most banana plantations. Control over a scarce resource gives Chiquita market power. c. The Walt Disney Company has the copyright over animations featuring Mickey Mouse. This Is another example of a government-created barrier to entry that gives the Walt Disney Company market power. Question: Skyscraper City has a subway system, for which a one-way fare is $1.50. There is pressure on the mayor to reduce the fee by one-third, to $1.00. The mayor is dismayed, thinking that this will mean Skyscraper City is losing one-third of its revenue from sales of subway tickets. The mayor’s economic adviser reminds her that she is focusing only on the price effect and ignoring the quantity effect. Explain why the mayor’s estimate of a one-third loss of revenue is likely to be an overestimate. Illustrate with a diagram. Answer to Question: A reduction in fares from $1.50 to $1.00 will reduce the revenue on each ticket that is currently sold by one-third; this Is the price effect. But a reduction in price will lead to more tickets being sold at the lower price of $1.00, which creates additional revenue; this is the quantity effect. The price effect is the loss of revenue on all the currently sold tickets. The quantity effect is the increase in revenue from increased sales as a result of the lower price. Question: Consider an industry with the demand curve (D) and marginal cost curve (MC) shown in the accompanying diagram. There is no fixed cost. If the industry is a single-price monopoly, the monopolist’s marginal revenue curve would be MR. Answer the following questions by naming the appropriate points or areas.

Practice Questions and Answers from Lesson III-3: Monopoly

a. If the industry is perfectly competitive, what will be the total quantity produced? At what price? b. Which area reflects consumer surplus under perfect competition? c. If the industry is a single-price monopoly, what quantity will the monopolist produce? Which price will it charge? d. Which area reflects the single-price monopolist’s profit? e. Which area reflects consumer surplus under single-price monopoly? f. Which area reflects the deadweight loss to society from single-price monopoly? g. If the monopolist can price-discriminate perfectly, what quantity will the perfectly price-discriminating monopolist produce? Answer to Question: a. In a perfectly competitive industry, each firm maximizes profit by producing the quantity at which price equals marginal cost. That is, all firms together produce a quantity S, corresponding to point R, where the marginal cost curve crosses the demand curve. Price will be equal to marginal cost, E. b. Consumer surplus is the area under the demand curve and above price. In part a, we saw that the perfectly competitive price is E. Consumer surplus in perfect competition is therefore the triangle ARE. c. A single-price...
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