The Solution to ‘What to Produce’: Equilibrium Prices

Table of Content

1. Solution of ‘what to produce’:

What to produce means what commodities and what quantity of each chosen commodities will be produced and in what quantity is decided by what buyers prefer to buy. The preference of the buyers affects equilibrium prices of goods. The equilibrium prices serve as guide to firms to decide which commodities and what quantity of different goods is produced. In a free market economy firms want to maximize profits. Those commodities will be produced more whose demand is more and vice- versa. When the demand of particular goods increases, its price will increase. Other thing remaining same, a rise in the price of goods will result in more profit. The increase in profit will induce the producer to increase the production of that commodity. On the other hand fall in the demand of goods will reduce its price. The fall in price will reduce the profits or may cause lose. Therefore, the producer will reduce the production of those goods and will transfer the resources in the production of those commodities whose prices have raised to cam more profits. For example, if the demand for automobiles increases, the prices of automobiles will rise in the market. This will be a signal for the producer to transfer factors inputs in the production of automobiles. If the demand for cotton garments falls, the production of cotton garments would decrease

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2. Solution of ‘how to produce’:How to produce refers to the choice of technique of production. Again the aim of firms is to maximize their profits. Profits are the difference between the revenue receipts and cost of production. Incurred profits are maximized when a producer produces the goods and services at least cost combination, i.e., the cost of production is minimized. Which technique of production or which combination of factor inputs will minimize the cost of production of a given level of output depends on the relative prices of factor inputs. The prices of factor inputs are determined by price mechanism, that is, by the forces of demand and supply of factor inputs in the factor market. If labour is relatively cheaper than capital, producer will prefer labour-intensive technique of production and vice-versa. In order to achieve least cast combination of factors of production, the producer will combine the factor inputs in such combination that: VMPn/ Pn = VMPk /PK Where VMPN is value of marginal productivity of labour and VMPk is the value of marginal product of capital. PN is the price of labour and PK is the price of capital out of fear of competition and to earn maximum profits. All the producers in capitalist economy try to use most efficient and economical technique of production. Competition throws the inefficient firms out of market.

3. Solving for ‘whom to produce’:

It is essentially a problem of distribution of national output among factors of production. In fact, goods are produced for those who have purchasing power and the desire to buy. Purchasing power depends on money income. Money income of household depends on the rewards of factors of production on the one hand and amount of ownership of resources on the other hand. Price of factors of production are determined by the interaction of their demand and supply. In other words price mechanism determines factor prices. Thus, the distribution of national income among people is determined by the ownership of factor inputs and prices of factor inputs.

This, is turn, determines for whom to produce. But the demand for factor services depends upon the technique of production. Thus, in a sense the problem for whom to produce is related to the problem of how to produce. The factors that are in more demand will be paid higher price and vice-versa. Thus, price mechanism decides the problem relating for whom to produce Elasticity of damand

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