Producer surplus | Consumer and producer surplus | Microeconomics | Khan Academy | Summary and Q&A

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January 9, 2012
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Producer surplus | Consumer and producer surplus | Microeconomics | Khan Academy

TL;DR

Producer surplus represents the excess value that producers receive above their opportunity cost in the supply curve.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What is producer surplus and how is it related to the supply curve?

Producer surplus is the excess value that producers receive above their opportunity cost in the supply curve. It represents the additional profit they make from selling a product at a higher price than their cost of production.

Q: How does the quantity supplied affect the opportunity cost for producers?

As the quantity supplied increases, producers have to allocate resources from less suitable sources, which increases their opportunity cost. This means they would require a higher price to continue supplying additional quantities.

Q: Why do producers require a minimum price equal to their opportunity cost to produce?

Producers have alternative uses for their resources, and they will only produce a certain quantity if they can earn at least the same amount as they would from those alternative uses. Paying them less would result in them choosing other profitable opportunities.

Q: How is producer surplus calculated in the supply curve?

To calculate producer surplus, you find the area of the triangle formed by the price, quantity, and supply curve. It is equal to half of the base (price difference) multiplied by the height (quantity supplied).

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The supply curve represents the quantity of a product that producers are willing to supply at different prices.

  • Producers require a minimum price equal to their opportunity cost to produce a certain quantity of the product.

  • As the quantity supplied increases, the opportunity cost for producers also increases.

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