Questions tagged [microeconomics]

Microeconomics is a branch of economics that studies the market behavior of individual actors (usually firms and consumers) and the aggregation of their actions in different institutional frameworks (usually the market).

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
9
votes
5answers
1k views

Are terrorists rational?

Terrorism in general, and suicidal terrorism in particular, is popularly seen as “irrational,” but many economists and political scientists argue otherwise. This quote is from Terrorism: The ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

Why don't Burgers cost 5 cents?

In this blog post, economist Bob Murphy raises a puzzle involving the principle that in a competitive market, the price equals the marginal cost: There’s a general principle from intro to ...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

Why absolute value in elasticities and marginal rate of substitution?

This is a point I find very confusing and very hard to justify to students. Depending on the books, one finds many different conventions regarding the sign of elasticities and marginal rate of ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Thin indifference curves

If a consumer follows the rationality axiom of continuity (i.e. no jumps in his preferences), the indifference curves of a utility function are said to be thin. Why does continuity ($x \succeq y \...
9
votes
2answers
4k views

Why is Roy's Identity so important?

I've been reviewing some of my microeconomics theory and have been reading up on Roy's Identity. Recall that Roy's identity is defined as: $$x^*_{i}(\text{p},m)=-\frac{\frac{\partial v}{\partial p_{i}...
9
votes
3answers
12k views

How to show that a homothetic utility function has demand functions which are linear in income

A homothetic utility function is one which is a monotonic transformation of a homogeneous utility function. I am asked to show that if a utility function is homothetic then the associated demand ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

When can one safely talk about decreasing marginal utility?

One thing I hear a lot is talk of decreasing marginal utility—the idea being that additional units of a good become progressively less attractive the more units of that good one has already. However, ...
9
votes
3answers
428 views

Why wouldn't competition prevent “usurious” payday loan rates?

The current Wiki page on "Payday Loans" claims loans are priced above marginal cost. The justification is that If a lender chooses to innovate and reduce cost to borrowers in order to secure a ...
9
votes
1answer
412 views

For what demand function is a monopoly most harmful?

Consider a firm with zero marginal cost. If it gives the product for free, then all the demand is satisfied and the social welfare increases by the maximum possible amount; call this increase $W$. ...
9
votes
1answer
101 views

Weakly monotone preferences with singleton indifference curves: do any of them admit a utility representation?

Inspired by this question. The original question was answered by Amit with some nice examples. I would like to know the generalized answer: Suppose we have a preference ordering $\succeq$, which is ...
9
votes
1answer
266 views

eBay economics - total revenue impact from expanding ecosystem by 1 seller

While I think my question is straight forward, I'm guessing the answer to it is anything but. Thanks in advance for any insight you may be able to offer, even if it's just a directional assist. Here'...
9
votes
0answers
121 views

Queuing Discipline and Lipschitz Continuity

I was reading a paper by Platz and Østerdal (2014) titled "The curse of the first-in-first-out queue discipline". I was wondering about a particular section of it, particularly the part about last-in-...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Alternatives to Pigouvian tax

Two common drawbacks of Pigouvian subsidy mentioned in the literature are related to monetisation and measurement of social cost (Baumol) and reciprocity of social cost (Coase). What alternatives to ...
8
votes
1answer
3k views

Continuity Axiom in Expected Utility Theory

Take the following definition of continuity. The preference relation $\succsim$ over the space of lotteries $\mathcal L$ is continuous if for any $L,L',L''\in\mathcal L$, the sets $$S_1=\{\...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

Translog Preferences

What are translog preferences? The wikipedia article only clears up that it stands for transcendental logarithmic preferences, and that they are a generalization of Cobb-Douglas preferences. Do they ...
8
votes
2answers
6k views

What is the advantage and disadvantage to have a high value of USD for USA?

What is the advantage and disadvantage to have a high value of USD for USA? China and Japan always want to keep their currency low as oppose to USA.
8
votes
1answer
3k views

Are homothetic preferences monotonic?

I'm trying to understand intuitively what a homothetic preference is, and I am still not quite there. I understand the definition, that a homothetic preference implies that the slope of the ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

How can I draw an edgeworth box with 3 different goods?

If there are 3 types of goods(x,y,z) and 2 consumers (a,b) how can I draw the Edgeworth box? It must be 3 dimensional, right? Is there a software or online tool that I can use to draw a 3D Edgeworth ...
8
votes
2answers
174 views

Why don't public transport networks have more routes to each terminal in order to reduce the number of transfers?

When using public transport, we often need to transfer to a different route during of the journey. These transfers have costs – I can think of the following, but there may be more. If we're reading, ...
8
votes
3answers
538 views

Envelope Paradox

There are two envelopes. One contains $x$ money and the other contains $2x$ amount of money. The exact amount "$x$" is unknown to me, but I know the above. I pick one envelope and I open it. ...
8
votes
1answer
368 views

Muth exposition of the rational expectations hypothesis

I am reading in statistical decision theory and stumbled upon the rational expectations literature (rationality with incomplete information->dynamic problem->N.L Stokey->husband). The assumption that ...
8
votes
1answer
216 views

Example of an economy where Equilibria may not be efficient, where one agent is altruistic

I'm looking for a theoretic example of an economy where one agent is altruistic, while the others are not, that would make a walrasian equilibrium not efficient.
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Could leisure be considered a Giffen good?

One of my microeconomics fellow students asked this and it got me thinking. The leisure demand curve is a mirror of the labour supply curve. In the section where the Income Effect is greater than the ...
8
votes
1answer
86 views

Overlaping jurisdictions model, Alesina Spolaore: Proof of Lemma 1; The Size of Nations

I've been reading the book 'The Size of Nations' by Alberto Alesina and Enrico Spolaore (can be found on the net if you know where to look) and I'm having trouble following their "proof" of ...
8
votes
1answer
61 views

Perfect Substitution with a Continuum of goods?

Imagine I have a continuum of different goods indexed by $\omega \in [0,1]$. I have a household which consumes a quantity $C(\omega)$ of good $\omega$, and pays a price $P(\omega)$. The household has ...
8
votes
0answers
352 views

Local and Central Wage Bargaining: What Is the Difference?

Consider the following setting: Profit maximizing firms with production functions $\Pi(w,L)$, where $w$ is the wage and $L$ is employment. Unions who want to maximize the expected utility of their ...
7
votes
3answers
14k views

Intuition - Why does elasticity vary along a curve?

Source: p 96, Principles of Microeconomics, 7 Ed, 2014, by N Gregory Mankiw Even though the slope of a linear demand curve is constant, the elasticity is not. This is true because the slope is ...
7
votes
4answers
186 views

What are different ways of specifying utility and decision making?

This question is related to this question about the Machina paradox and about the expected utility model. In this question, I'd like to know a little more about various or even competing ways of ...
7
votes
2answers
374 views

Cobb-Douglas production function with expenditures rather than units

I want to estimate a standard Cobb-Douglas production function of the form $ Y=AK^{\alpha}L^{\beta}$. However, I only have data on labour expenditures, not units of labour. I don't have data on the ...
7
votes
3answers
688 views

Long Term Economic Profit for Perfectly Competitive market

When we consider a perfectly competitive market, in the short run we will run a firm if the total economic profit though negative till price is above shutdown point.In long run we will run at an ...
7
votes
4answers
4k views

Existence of utility representation of a rational but discontinuous preference

This is related to Do discontinuous preferences imply no continuous utility function? I think the title of the above-linked question is phrased in such a way that obscures a subtly different but more ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

Why does increasing the money supply decrease the interest rate in layman's terms?

If money supply increases, then I will have more money in my pocket to spend more. I imagine that prices will also increase over time to adjust to there being more money in circulation. Is it because ...
7
votes
2answers
124 views

What do game theorists think of behavioural economics?

Though behavioural economics has been popularized over the past decade in both industry and pop culture, it seems that not much has changed with regard to the standard economic definition of ...
7
votes
2answers
665 views

on economic growth and Second Welfare theorem

While I was studying eighth edition of Mankiw's Macroeconomics, in chapter 9 on Economic Growth(pg. 245), the author mentions : "Some economists have proposed increasing the incentive to save by ...
7
votes
2answers
329 views

Lee and Saez (2012): Pareto-Improvement?

I'm interested in the following quote that came up in this earlier answer. Second, when labor supply responses are along the extensive margin only, which is the empirically relevant case, the co-...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Elasticity of demand equals -1 but income decreases!

In my textbook, it's stated that: When $\epsilon < -1$, demand is elastic and raising price will result in smaller income, while lowering price will result in bigger income. When $\epsilon =...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Why do top professional sport players get usually paid so much?

I'd like to find an answer to this question as I can't see how something like this can be happening. I can see three reasons that they would earn that much but any of them if thought better is wrong. ...
7
votes
3answers
710 views

Are there any instances where short run demand/supply is more elastic than long run cases?

Conventionally both demand and supply for goods and services are both more elastic in the long run than in the short run. My Question Is there ever an instance where demand and/or supply for a given ...
7
votes
3answers
432 views

Destruction in Exchange Economies

I am reading about exchange economies and ran across something that is counter intuitive. How is it that in an exchange economy with no production that a person can make himself/herself better off by ...
7
votes
2answers
433 views

Optimal Random Bids

This question comes from this website that I peruse often. Two players go on a hot new game show called “Higher Number Wins.” The two go into separate booths, and each presses a button, and a ...
7
votes
2answers
488 views

Is elasticity purely an aggregate concept or can it be individualized

First question here. I am not an economist by training, but I do quite a bit of econometric analysis in my job (my background is maths). I often get asked about elasticity, and I am familiar with ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

Convexity of the Market Demand Function

The market demand function can be either concave or convex. I am looking for conditions under which a general market demand function can be considered convex. For example would convex preferences or a ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Quasilinear Utility: Pareto Optimality Implies Total Utility Maximization?

I read that if we have quasilinear utility for all consumers, then any pareto optimal allocation maximizes the sum of utility levels of all consumers. That is: $\textbf{What we know:}$ $$1)\quad u^i(...
7
votes
3answers
769 views

Can a monopoly INCREASE the market surplus compared with a competitive market?

Monopolies are often blamed for DWLs(Dead Weight Losses), while competitive markets believed to work without DWLs (assuming zero taxes/subsidies and zero externalities). But I think I found an ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

Why don't consumers subsidize monopolies?

Monopolies don't maximize welfare because they set prices above the equilibrium price, leading to dead-weight loss. It is possible for the government to provide a per unit subsidy to a monopoly until ...
7
votes
2answers
382 views

Why should the statistical value of life exist?

In areas such as insurance pricing and government policy analysis, it is often necessary to assign human life a monetary amount in order to compare it with other monetary amounts. So economists have ...
7
votes
2answers
138 views

Can't Derive Expectation in Second Price Auction

I'm working on a SPA where we solve: $\max_{\beta \ge 0} Pr\{Winning\}[v - \mathbb{E}(b^{[2]} \ | \ b^{[2]} \le \beta)]$ We assume all beliefs on bids are independently and identically distributed ...
7
votes
1answer
253 views

How to determine the price a monopolist will set when the demand curve the firm faces isn't known?

I'm reviewing the following question from my microeconomics course notes. I don't understand how to do part (b). A firm faces a perfectly elastic demand curve because the product it sells has a ...
7
votes
1answer
10k views

Understanding Envelope Theorem

Can someone please verify whether or not my knowledge is accurate. From what I understand, the intent of the envelope theorem is to make a shortcut from indirect utility to the expenditure function. ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

Which utility function yields a constant price elasticity of demand function?

How do I know which utility function I can use to find an isoelastic demand function, e.g., $x(p)=Ap^a$? And similarly, which cost function can I use to find an isoelastic supply function? Does it ...

1
2
3 4 5
42