I. Short Answer Questions: answer THREE of the following questions
1. Using the production possibility frontier, show that if a society decides to produce more capital goods relative to consumption goods in year 1, then in year 2 there will be more consumption goods.
2. How are economic theories created in neoclassical economics?
3. What is lexicographic preference ordering?
4. What are the implications for a consumer’s preferences and her/his indifference curves if the axiom of transitivity does not hold?
5. What is a strongly separable utility function?
6. From a heterodox perspective, the household is rarely indifferent when considering the benefits of two bundles of goods. Why?
7. What is the implication for utility maximization if the axiom of dominance does not hold?
II. Consumer Demand Curve: answer ALL the questions
1. Consider a consumer with the following utility function: U = 3y1y2 + 5
a. Assume y2 = 1, derive the marginal utility schedule for y1. What direction is it
b. Derive indifference curves for U = 23 and for U = 59.
c. Assume money income = $18.00, p1 = $6.00, and p2 = $2.00, find the consumer
equilibrium position using the above indifference curves.
d. Assume money income = $18.00, p1 = $2.00, and p2 = $2.00, find the consumer
equilibrium position using the above indifference curves.
e. Using the results from (c) and (d):
(1) derive the consumer demand curve for good 1.
(2) how much was the increase in demand for good 1 due to the substitution effect? How much was due to the income effect?
(3) determine whether goods 1 and 2 are substitutes, complements, or
(4) derive the price elasticity of demand and state whether it is elastic, inelastic, or
(5) Assume that money income increases from $18.00 to $30.00 while prices remain constant at p1 = $6.00 and p2 = $2.00. Find the new consumer equilibrium position. Using the results just obtained, classify goods 1 and 2 according to whether they are superior, normal, or inferior goods.
2. What is the relationship between the Engel curve and the income effect?
3. Under what conditions will the “general law of demand” not hold?
III. Short Essay Questions: answer any THREE questions.
1. What is meant by an interdependent economy? Illustrate it using an input-output table and model.
2. What is the heterodox explanation of the social provisioning process?
3. Neoclassical economists argue that goods have only a subjective (or personal) use-value
dimension; heterodox economists argue that goods have both use-value and social dimensions. Discuss.
4. What reasons do heterodox economists employ to argue that the quantity demanded of a good is a not a function of its price but of the family’s (consumer’s) income?
5. For heterodox economists, household choice is not about maximizing utility but maintaining and enhancing social relationships. Discuss.
6. Describe the methodological procedure called comparative statics. What does this procedure
imply about the nature of the consumer demand curve?
MICROECONOMICS Professor F. S. Lee
The Business Enterprise: Production and Costs
I. Short Answer Questions: Answer THREE of the following questions
1. Why are factor input demand functions used to construct cost functions?
2. Neoclassical production theory has marginal products and heterodox production theory does not. Why?
3. Are there any limits or constraints on the enterprise’s ability to grow and change?
4. If a variable input is not a scarce input, then at maximum output what would be its marginal product?
5. Why does the factor input demand function always slope downward?
6. Using isoquants and isocost lines, show graphically that an increase in y will result in a reduction in the quantity demanded of x1.
7. Using isoquants and isocost lines, show graphically that an increase in the price of x1 will result in a reduction in the quantity demanded of x1.
II. Neoclassical Production and Costs: Answer ALL of the following questions
1. Consider the following production function: y = 2x1.5 + 3x2.5
a. Assume x2 = 16, derive the marginal product schedule for x1. What direction is it
b. What returns to scale does the production function exhibit?
c. Let p1 = $4.00, p2 = $2.00, and x2 = 16; for the given values of y determine average
fixed costs, average variable costs, average total costs, and marginal costs:
y x2 x1 AFC AVC ATC MC
d. Define the law of variable proportions and show that the marginal cost curve slopes upward because the marginal product of x1 declines.
2. What are three properties of a variable proportions production function that ensures that it
permits profit maximization and cost minimization.
3. What are the stages of production and in which stage will production take place and why?
4. What is the relationship between short run and long run costs?
III. Short Essay Questions: Answer any TWO questions.
1. From the heterodox approach, what options does the enterprise have to produce more output? What impact do these options have on its cost structure?
2. Neoclassical production and cost theory is more realistic than heterodox production and cost theory. Discuss.
3. Is Eiteman and Guthrie’s empirical evidence on the shape of the average total cost curve consistent with heterodox cost theory? Discuss.
4. From a neoclassical perspective, what impact does the separation of ownership from control have on the motivation of the business enterprise?
5. In terms of heterodox economics, what implications does technical change and vintage technology have for the cost structure of the business enterprise?
MICROECONOMICS Professor F. S. Lee
Competition and the Business Enterprise
I. Short Answer Questions: Answer FOUR of the following questions. (15 minutes)
1. Why is it important in perfect competition for the firm to have a U-shaped average total cost
curve in long period market equilibrium?
2. Why is constant returns to scale incompatible with perfect competition?
3. Assume that a perfectly competitive firm has the following long period average total cost and
marginal cost curves: ATC = 500 – 5y and MC = 500 – 10y. If the market price is $10.00, how much will the firm produce and what will its economic profits?
4. Under monopolistic competition, the long period firm demand curve is theoretically
problematical because of interdependency. How is this problem resolved?
5. Describe a barometric price leadership model.
6. What are three reasons why cartels might fail?
7. How is the dominant firm’s demand curve derived from the market demand curve?
8. What are false trades?
9. Describe target rate of return pricing.
10. Why does the Walrasian procedure for the determination of the short period market price produce a stable equilibrium?
11. From a heterodox approach, describe three pricing objectives of business enterprises.
II. Answer ALL of the following questions. (60 minutes)
1. A perfectly competitive market consists of 60 firms, each with a total cost function of
TC = 10y2 + 80 and a marginal cost function of MC = 20y. The market demand function is
ymd = 600 – 7py.
a. If the market price is $80.00, how much will the firm produce and what will be its
b. Derive the market supply curve.
c. If the Walrasian auctioneer calls out a market price of $20.00, will the market be in
equilibrium? Why or why not?
d. Determine the market equilibrium price and quantity.
2. A perfectly competitive market in the long period:
firm A: ATC = y2 4y + 12 and MC = 3y2 – 8y + 12
firm B: ATC = y2 4y + 10 and MC = 3y2 – 8y + 10
firm C: ATC = y2 4y + 8 and MC = 3y2 – 8y + 8
market demand curve: ym = 200 20py
a. Assume that the minimum ATC for each of the firms occurs when they produce two units of output. If the auctioneer calls out a market price of $6.00, which firm will have to leave the market and why.
b. Determine the long period equilibrium market price, equilibrium market output, and the number of firms in the market.
c. If the market demand curve shifted to the right and becomes 300 – 15py what would be the new equilibrium market price and market output?
d. Do the results in (b) and (c) support a supply and demand determination of the market price? Explain.
3. Assume that the total cost curve for a monopolist is given by TC = 3y2 + 800 and its marginal
cost curve is given as MC = 6y. Also suppose it faces a market demand curve of py = 280 - 4y and a marginal revenue curve of MR = 280 – 8y.
a. Determine the monopolist’s profit maximizing price and quantity and its economic
b. Determine the price elasticity of demand at the profit maximizing price.
c. Assume that the monopolist’s demand curve has shifted and in the new equilibrium
position the price elasticity of demand is 5 and the profit maximizing quantity
produced is 25, what does this imply about the existence of a firm supply curve under
monopoly and why?
III. Essay Questions: Answer any THREE questions. (45 minutes)
1. There is a short period perfectly competitive theory of prices but not a long period perfectly
competitive theory of prices. Is this because that in the long period we are dead? Discuss.
2. “It has to be recognized that a general abandonment of the assumption of perfect competition,
a universal adoption of the assumption of monopoly, must have very destructive consequences for economic theory.” Discuss.
3. Under what conditions can monopolistic competition and oligopoly explain stable prices?
4. Compare and contrast the assumptions of monopolistic competition with perfect competition
5. From a heterodox perspective, why do business enterprises prefer administered prices as opposed to highly flexible prices?
6. Compare the costing and pricing procedures of heterodox pricing procedures to the procedures used in neoclassical microeconomics to set prices. In what ways are heterodox prices different from neoclassical prices?
7. From a heterodox perspective, why does destructive price competition drive enterprises to
establish market institutions that would eliminate price competition?