managerial economics

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MANAGERIAL ECONOMICS An Analysis of Business Issues :

1 MANAGERIAL ECONOMICS An Analysis of Business Issues Prepared by Anirudh lal (MBA Finance)

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2 Chapter 2: Business Objectives and Basic Models of the Firm Objectives: After studying the chapter, you should understand: 1. the assumptions of the neo-classical (or profit-maximising) model of the firm and the limitations of the model 2. the differences between the profit-maximising model and the managerial models of the firm 3. the differences between the profit-maximising model and the behavioural model of the firm

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3 The Assumptions of the Neo-classical Model of the Firm 1. The firm is a profit-maximiser - it optimises 2. The firm can be treated in a holistic way 3. There is perfect certainty

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4 Assumption 1: The firm is a profit-maximiser: it is assumed to make as much profit as possible. This means that the model is an ‘optimising’ model: the firm attempts to achieve the best possible performance, rather than simply seeking “feasible” performance which meets some set of minimum criteria.

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5 The profit-maxing assumption can be interpreted in two ways: 1. Maximisation of profit in the short-run i.e. the firm has a given set of plant and equipment and makes as much profit as it can with that 2. Long-run profit maximisation i.e. maximise the wealth of the shareholders In most situations these are consistent with each other. Shareholder wealth is maximised by selecting the most profitable set of plant and equipment and then operating it in the most profitable way. BUT THERE MAY BE EXCEPTIONS - making maximum short term profit might trigger entry or government intervention

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6 Assumption 2: It is a holistic model: the firm is a single entity which has objectives of its own and which can be said to take decisions.

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7 Assumption 3: It assumes perfect certainty. Cost and demand conditions are perfectly known. .

The Basic Model of the Firm:

8 The Basic Model of the Firm The neo-classical model The firm aims to maximise profit by choosing the level of output which gives the biggest difference between revenue and costs. STEP BY STEP TO THE MODEL Demand: Average Revenue $ Quantity Produced P1 P2 Q1 Q2

The Basic Model of the Firm:

9 The Basic Model of the Firm The neo-classical model The firm aims to maximise profit by choosing the level of output which gives the biggest difference between revenue and costs. STEP BY STEP TO THE MODEL Demand: Average Revenue Marginal Revenue $ Quantity Produced

The Basic Model of the Firm:

10 The Basic Model of the Firm The neo-classical model The firm aims to maximise profit by choosing the level of output which gives the biggest difference between revenue and costs. WHAT IS THE EQUILIBRIUM? Demand: Average Revenue Marginal Revenue Marginal Cost $ Quantity Produced Profit maximising output Profit maximising price

The Basic Model of the Firm:

11 The Basic Model of the Firm The neo-classical model The firm aims to maximise profit by choosing the level of output which gives the biggest difference between revenue and costs. MORE DETAIL ON THE EQUILIBRIUM Demand: Average Revenue Marginal Revenue Marginal Cost $ Quantity Produced Profit maximising output Profit maximising price Average Cost

What Can We Do With This Model?:

12 What Can We Do With This Model? Comparative Statics begin with an initial equilibrium position - the starting point change something identify the new equilibrium, e.g: When demand increases? When costs rise? When a fixed cost increases? This is the main purpose of the model -what it was designed to do Normative prescriptions it will cost me $30 per unit to supply something which will give me $20 per unit in revenue- should I do it? I must pay $20 billion to set up in my industry. Should I charge higher prices to get that money back? Positive and Normative are linked by “if?” IF the aim of the firm is to maximise profit what will it do/what should it do?

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13 The assumptions of profit-maximisation has been criticised in a number of ways; so we have: 1. The “ Managerial School ” 2. The “ Behavioural School ”

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14 ABC TELECOM Chief Executive Finance Director Director of Group Accounting Services & Property Director of Corporate Finance & Treasury Executive Director Customer Service Director of Customer Service Deputy Chief Executive Director of Inter- national Director of Regulatory Affairs Deputy Chief Executive Director of Corporate Market Director of Information Technology Director of Human Resources Director of Corporate Affairs Director of Regional Business Chief Representa- tive China Team

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15 What are the objectives of different divisions or departments? Are these objectives compatible? If not, how to resolve conflicts? Questions for Discussion:

“Managerial” Criticisms of the Profit-Maximising Model:

16 “Managerial” Criticisms of the Profit-Maximising Model Berle and Means (1932) firms are owned by shareholders but controlled by managers owners’ and managers’ interests are different managers have discretion to use the firm’s resources in their own interests

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17 The Managerial School argues that: 1. Ownership and control are in the hands of different groups of people. 2. The interests of owners (shareholders) and Controllers (managers) are different. 3. Managers have the power to let their interests over-ride those of the shareholders. 4. Therefore firms are run in the interests of the managers. In place of the profit-maximising model, the managerial school substitute a variety of alternatives - sometimes referred to as managerial discretion models Sales-revenue maximising ( Baumol ) Managerial utility maximising ( Williamson)

Managerial Discretion Models of the Firm:

18 Managerial Discretion Models of the Firm Baumol’s Sales Revenue Maximising Model managers’ rewards seem to be more closely linked to size than to profit therefore, firms aim to maximise sales revenue but subject to a profit constraint

Baumol’s Model:

19 Baumol’s Model TR TC Profit $ Level of Output

Comparison of Baumol’s Model with the Profit-Maximising::

20 Comparison of Baumol’s Model with the Profit-Maximising: A. The unconstrained version Price? Output? Profit? B. The constrained version depends where the constraint is note what happens if the constraint is so tight that maximum profit is required

Comparative Statics of Baumol’s Model:

21 Comparative Statics of Baumol’s Model What if demand rises? What if fixed costs change? What if variable costs change?

Williamson’s Managerial Utility maximising Model:

22 Williamson’s Managerial Utility maximising Model What do managers want? UTILITY = happiness, satisfaction What gives them utility? Utility = f(S, M, D)

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23 Williamson’s Managerial Utility Maximising Model Managers have “expense preferences”, maximisation of utility derived from a) amount spent on staff (S) b) additions to managers’ salaries and benefits in the form of “perks” (M) c) discretionary profit (D) which exceed the minimum required to satisfy the shareholders; available as a source of finance for “pet project”

Williamson’s Managerial Utility maximising Model:

24 Williamson’s Managerial Utility maximising Model How to solve the model? What gives them utility? Maths must be used, more complex What results does it give? The comparative statics?

Note the Common Characteristics Shared by Managerial Models and the Profit Maximising Model:

25 Note the Common Characteristics Shared by Managerial Models and the Profit Maximising Model Optimising the firm aims for a maximum “Holistic” the firm has purpose and takes decisions and actions as a single entity Deterministic full knowledge of market opportunities and costs is assumed

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26 Behavioural Model of the Firm [Simon (1959), Cyert and March (1963)] the firm hardly exists; it consists of a group of people with multiple objectives decision-makers exhibit “satisficing” behaviour; organisational slack/X-inefficiency problem-oriented search using rules of thumb, which are a function of the past experience of the firm and the people within it organisational learning: meeting all objectives; then raising aspiration levels. If cannot meet; then reducing aspiration levels

The Behavioural Approach:

27 The Behavioural Approach “organisations do not have objectives, only people have objectives” the firm does not exist - it is a set of shifting coalitions of individuals individuals and groups do not maximise - they “satisfice” information about the environment is very limited

The Behavioural Approach:

28 The Behavioural Approach If all aspirations are being met - everyone is satisfied - do nothing BUT then aspiration levels will rise until someone is not satisfied THEN rules of thumb used to find solutions to “the problem”

The Behavioural Approach:

29 The Behavioural Approach Aspiration levels, which adjust according to experience Problem-oriented ‘rules of thumb’ based on past experience A dynamic model not “holistic” not “deterministic” not optimising

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30 A comparison of alternative models of the firm

Which Approach is Most Useful?:

31 Which Approach is Most Useful? Behavioural approach is a more accurate description of what happens INSIDE the firm. BUT it tells us almost nothing about how the firm will respond to changes in the environment. To use it to make predictions about how the firm will react to changes in the environment we need to know everything about the individual firm. However, if shareholders are a powerful group and their aspiration level requires making maximum profit the firm will again behave in the same way as a profit-maximiser.

In Conclusion?:

32 In Conclusion? The behavioural approach is a useful complement to the profit-maximising and managerial approaches, not a substitute for them.

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