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ME Problem Set III

PGP 2015-17
(Solutions)
1.
(a)
Before the drop in export demand, the market equilibrium price is found by
setting total demand equal to domestic supply:
3244 - 283P = 1944 + 207P, or
P = $2.65.
Export demand is the difference between total demand and domestic demand: Q
= 3244 - 283P minus QD = 1700 - 107P. So export demand is originally Qe =
1544 - 176P. After the 40 percent drop, export demand is only 60 percent of the
original export demand. The new export demand is therefore, Qe = 0.6Qe =
0.6(1544 - 176P) = 926.4 - 105.6P. Graphically, export demand has pivoted
inward as illustrated in the figure below.
The new total demand becomes
Q = QD + Qe = (1700 - 107P) + (926.4 - 105.6P) = 2626.4 - 212.6P.
Equating total supply and the new total demand,
1944 + 207P = 2626.4 - 212.6P, or
P = $1.63,
which is a significant drop from the original market-clearing price of $2.65 per
bushel. At this price, the market-clearing quantity is about Q = 2281 million
bushels. Total revenue has decreased from about $6609 million to $3718 million,
so farmers have a lot to worry about.

P
8.77

Qe
926.4

1544

(b) With a price of $3.50, the market is not in equilibrium. Quantity demanded and
supplied are
Q = 2626.4 - 212.6(3.50) = 1882.3, and
QS = 1944 + 207(3.50) = 2668.5.
Excess supply is therefore 2668.5 - 1882.3 = 786.2 million bushels. The government must
purchase this amount to support a price of $3.50, and will have to spend $3.50(786.2 million) =
$2751.7 million.

2.
(a) Both demand curves are downward sloping and linear. For the general public, Dgp, the
vertical intercept is 100 and the horizontal intercept is 500. For the students, Ds, the
vertical intercept is 50 and the horizontal intercept is 200. When the price is $35, the
general public demands Qgp = 500 - 5(35) = 325 tickets and students demand
Qs = 200 - 4(35) = 60 tickets.
Price

Demand Curves for Tickets

100
75
50

$35

25

Ds
100

200

Dgp
300

(b) The elasticity for the general public is egp =

400

500

Tickets

-5(35)
= -0.54 and the elasticity for
325

-4(35)
= -2.33 . If the price of tickets increases by ten percent then the
60
general public will demand 5.4% fewer tickets and students will demand 23.3% fewer
tickets.

students is egp =

(c) No he is not maximizing revenue because neither of the calculated elasticities is equal
to 1. The general publics demand is inelastic at the current price. Thus the director
could increase the price for the general public, and the quantity demanded would fall
by a smaller percentage, causing revenue to increase. Since the students demand is
elastic at the current price, the director could decrease the price students pay, and their
quantity demanded would increase by a larger amount in percentage terms, causing
revenue to increase.

(d) To figure this out, use the formula for elasticity, set it equal to 1, and solve for price
and quantity. For the general public:

-5P
= -1
Q
5P = Q = 500 - 5P

egp =

P = 50
Q = 250.
For the students:

-4P
= -1
Q
4P = Q = 200 - 4P

es =

P = 25
Q = 100.
These prices generate a larger total revenue than the $35 price. When price is
$35, revenue is (35)(Qgp + Qs) = (35)(325 + 60) = $13,475. With the separate
prices, revenue is PgpQgp + PsQs = (50)(250) + (25)(100) = $15,000, which is an
increase of $1525, or 11.3%.

3. (a)

QUd = 10000 - 100(300) + 99(300)


QUd = 9700
Using PU = 300 and QUd = 9700 gives
300
= -3.09
9700

e Q , P = -100

(b) Market demand is given by Q d = QUd + QAd . Assuming the airlines charge the same price
we have
Q d = 10000 - 100 PU + 99 PA + 10000 - 100 PA + 99 PU
Q d = 20000 - 100 P + 99 P - 100 P + 99 P
Q d = 20000 - 2 P

When P = 300 , Q d = 19400 . This implies an elasticity equal to


300
= -.0309
19400

e Q , P = -2

4.
Ms. Pampereds initial budget constraint is the line AC, allowing her to purchase at most 50
burgers or at most 100 pizzas. The $60 cash certificate shifts out her budget constraint
without changing the maximum number of burgers that she can buy. The new budget
constraint is ABD and she can now buy a maximum of 120 pizzas.
Hamburgers

60
55
50

B
A

20

C
100

D
120

Pizza

Initially, Ms. Pampereds optimal basket contains all burgers and no pizza, at point A where
(P, H) = (0, 50), because MUH /PH = 4/6 > MUP / PP = 1/3. Her utility level at point A is U(0,
50) = 200. When she gets the gift certificate, her optimal basket is at point B, spending all of
her regular income on burgers and the $60 gift certificate on pizza. So point B is where (P,
H) = (20, 50) with a utility of U (20, 50) = 220.
However, she could also achieve a utility of 220 by consuming 220/4 = 55 burgers. To buy
the extra 5 burgers she would require 5*6 = $30. So, if she had received a cash gift of $30 it
would have made her exactly as well off as the $60 gift certificate for pizzas.

5.
When demand surges temporarily, putting upward pressure on price, the quantity supplied
expands along the short-run supply curve SS, as shown in the figure below. If demand
increases by the identical rate, but the increase is permanent, the industry would expand along
the long-run supply curve LS. The long-run supply curve is likely to be more price elastic
than the short-run supply curve. If the demand increase and the resulting upward pressure on
price is temporary, producers may be able to do very little to increase supply except to utilize
their existing production facilities more intensively (perhaps by hiring some temporary
labor). If the demand increase is permanent, industry supply can increase in response to
upward pressure on price in a number of ways: existing firms can produce more output in
their existing facilities; existing firms can expand their plants; and new firms can enter the
industry and produce. Thus, over a longer horizon, the industrys supply response when
prices begin to rise is more flexible than it is over a shorter horizon.