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Chapter 2 Notes for Econ 1A

Absolute advantage – Person A has an absolute advantage over Person B if A takes fewer hours
to perform a task than Person B

Comparative advantage – Person A has a comparative advantage over Person B, if A’s

opportunity cost is lower than Person B’s

Opportunity cost – the value you have to give up in order to undertake the activity

Production possibilities curve – a graph that describes the max amount of one good that can be
produced for every possible level of production of the other goods

Attainable point – any combination of goods that can be produced using currently available

Inefficient point – any combination of goods for which currently available resources enable an
increase in the production of one good without reduction in producing the other good

Gains from specialization and exchange - increases total output

Facts that shift the economy’s PPC

-In the short run, to increase one good, the other good decreases
-in the long run, production of all goods can be increased

factors that enhance long-run economy growth will shift the PPC outward
-population growth
-invest in new capital goods (like machines or factories)
-improvement in knowledge and technology

benefit of free trade – specialization increases total output among natives

-as a result – the amount of goods and services available to
consumers will increase
some oppose free trade because – specialization causes less productive domestic industries may
-workers in declining industries may lose their jobs

Chapter 3 Notes on Econ 1A

- the prices and quantities of goods and services are determined by interactions in the market

-demand curve graphs the quantity of a good that buyers wish to buy at each price

-why demand curve is downward sloping?

-buyer’s reaction to a price change
-substitution effect
-the change in quantity demanded because buyers switch to or from
substitutable goods when the prices changes
-income effect
-the change in quantity demanded (Qd) because change in price changes
the buyer’s purchasing power)
-difference in buyer’s reservation prices
-consumers are different in terms of how much they are willing to pay for the

-buyer’s reservation prices – the largest dollar amount the buyer is willing to pay for the goods

-seller’s reservation price – the smallest dollar amount the seller would be willing to charge for
an additional unit of the good

-interpretations of demand curves

-horizontal interpretation
-start from the vertical axis (P) to the horizontal axis (Q)
-how much of the good is demanded at a given price?
-vertical interpretation
-start from the horizontal axis to the vertical axis
-how much the buyer wants to pay at a given quantity?
-the reservation price of the marginal buyer at a given quantity

-interpretation of supply curves

-horizontal interpretation
-at a certain level of price, how many products sellers wish to sell
-vertical interpretation
-the seller’s reservation price at a given level of Qs

-when the market is in equilibrium, no incentive to move away from the equilibrium

-Changes in demand
-when there is an increase in demand, the demand curve shifts to the right
-when there is a decrease in demand, the demand curve shifts to the left

-6 factors that shift demand curve

-change in price of a complementary good
-2 goods are “complements” if a price of one good decreases, demand for the
other good increases (or price of one good increases, demand for the other good

-change in price of a substitutable good

-two goods are “substitutes” if increase in price of one good, demand for the good
decreases (demand decrease, price decreases, and quantity decreases)

-change in buyer’s income

-normal good – increase in buyer’s income causes demand for normal good to
-(Equilibrium Price increases and Equilibrium Quantity
-inferior good – increase in buyer’s income causes demand for inferior good to

-change in buyer’s preference or taste

-demand increases which causes price and quantity to increase

-change in population of potential buyers

-demand increases the price and quantity increases

-an expectation of price change in future

-decrease in demand causes decrease in prices and quantity

-changes in supply
- when there is an increase in supply, the supply curve shifts to the right
- when there is a decrease in supply, the supply curve shifts to the left

-5 factors that shift the supply curve

-change in the cost of inputs used for production (capital or labor)
-wage of workers increase causes costs to increase which causes decrease in
-causes price of goods to increase and quantity of goods to decrease

-improvement in technology (less costly to produce)

-causes supply to increase which causes price to decrease, and quantity to increase

-change in weather (agriculture)

-if there is sunny weather for oranges then the supply increases which causes the
price to decrease and the quantity to increase

-change in the number of suppliers

-if the number of suppliers increases it causes the supply curve to shift to the right
-causes the equilibrium price to decrease and the equilibrium quantity to
-an expectation of price change in future
-due to a bad weather, bad crops of wheat are expected
-suppliers may withhold sale of wheat because they expect an increase in
price due to shortage of wheat
-supply decreases which causes equilibrium price to increase and
equilibrium quantity to decrease

-what if both supply and demand curves shift simultaneously?

-if increase in supply is relatively bigger than decrease in demand
-equilibrium price decreases, and equilibrium quantity increases
-if decrease in demand is relatively bigger than increase in supply
-equilibrium price decreases and equilibrium quantity decreases

Chapter 4 Notes on Econ 1A

-Price changes as Qd changes along the demand curve

-price elasticity tells you how strongly buyers (Qd) react to a price change
-slope of the demand curve (∆P/∆Qd)

-Price elasticity= E = (∆Q/Q) / (∆P/P)

-E is measured in absolute terms
-demand for a good is called:
-elastic if E is greater than 1
-unit elastic if E is equal to 1
-inelastic if E is between 0 and 1

-determinants of price elasticity of demand

-substitution possibilities
-if easy to find substitute then it is elastic
-if difficult to find substitute then it is inelastic
-budget share
-cheap then it is inelastic
-if expensive then it is elastic
-time horizon
-goods tend to have more elastic demand in the long run
-price of gas rises
-in the short run, Qd decreases only slightly
-in the long run the Qd for gas decreases substantially
-Price Elasticity changes along the demand curve (straight line)
- in general assume the demand curve is a straight line
-near the top of the demand curve E >1
-near bottom of the demand curve E<1
-Two special cases
-if it is a horizontal curve then E=infinity
-if it is a vertical curve then E=0
The total expenditure is the P*Q

-Price Elasticity of supply

-in general, E changes along the supply curve
-‘a special case’- if supply curve goes through the origin (vertical intercept is zero), E is
always zero
-special cases
-if supply curve is vertical then it is perfectly inelastic
-if supply curve is horizontal then it is perfectly elastic

-determinants of supply elasticity

-flexibility of sellers to change the amount of production
-if price increases it affects the Quantity supplied
-supply is more elastic in the long run than in the short run
-in the long run, firms can build or close factories to adjust Quantity
-in the short run, firms cannot change the size of factories