COMPETITIVE LONG RUN INDUSTRY EQUILIBRIUM AND FACTOR‐PRICE UNCERTAINTY

SHOJI HARUNA

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In this paper we have considered competitive long run industry equilibrium with factor‐price uncertainty. We discussed the long run equilibrium output of firms with risk neutrality, output price and their responses to changes in uncertainty, factor price and industry demand. In the first part of this paper we have derived a result that, given risk neutrality, the firms operate at proper capacity, i.e. where expected long run marginal cost is equal to expected long run average cost, as shown in the case of output‐price uncertainty. This result is, however, different from that obtained from Sheshinski and Dréze (1976). From the comparative static analysis we first discovered that even under risk neutrality factor‐price uncertainty affects the long run industry equilibrium: that is, a mean preserving increase in uncertainty leads firm's to enter the industry, because they can decrease expected long run costs as the variability of factor price increases. Consequently, output price goes down. In contrast, firm size is kept invariable in response to its increase as long as the cost function is separable, i.e. the separability of the cost function holds when production functions are the Cobb‐Douglas and CES types used commonly in empirical work, although firm size might, generally, be affected by the increase. It is an interesting fact that firm size and industry size will express different responses to a change in risk. The result that the long run industry equilibrium with cost uncertainty is explicitly affected is a sharp contrast to the result under output‐price uncertainty and provides a new aspect for understanding about the behaviour of the industry with uncertainty. Secondly, increased factor‐price causes the number of firms in the industry to decline and output price to rise. In addition, firm's size will expand with its increase if that factor is inferior, while the effect on firm size is ambiguous if it is normal. The firm's output, i.e. firm size, is, however, kept constant if the cost function is separable. Thirdly, the long run equilibrium output of the firm remains intact but the number of firms increases as industry demand rises. This result holds, regardless of the firm's attitude towards risk. Finally, we find throughout the paper that the functional form of the cost function plays a significant role in determining the behaviour of the industry with factor‐price uncertainty.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-185
Number of pages11
JournalAustralian Economic Papers
Volume33
Issue number63
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Economics,Econometrics and Finance

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