consumers surplus

Consumers'surplusclick for a larger image
Fig. 32 Consumers'surplus. (a) At the EQUILIBRIUM PRICE OP, utility from the marginal unit of the good is just equal to its price; all previous units yield an amount of utility that is greater than the amount paid by the consumer, insofar as consumers would have been prepared to pay more for these intramarginal units than the market price. The total consumer surplus is represented by the shaded area PEP1 .

(b) The loss of consumers’ surplus because of monopoly.

consumers’ surplus

the extra satisfaction or UTILITY gained by consumers from paying an actual price for a good that is lower than that which they would have been prepared to pay. See Fig. 32 (a) . The consumers’ surplus is maximized only in PERFECT COMPETITION, where price is determined by the free play of market demand and supply forces and all consumers pay the same price. Where market price is not determined by demand and supply forces in competitive market conditions but is instead determined administratively by a profit-maximizing MONOPOLIST, then the resulting restriction in market output and the increase in market price cause a loss of consumer surplus, indicated by the shaded area PPm XE in Fig. 32 (b). If a DISCRIMINATING MONOPOLIST were able to charge a separate price to each consumer that reflected the maximum amount that the consumer was prepared to pay, then the monopolist ould be able to appropriate all the consumer surplus in the form of sales revenue.

Business strategists can use the concept of the consumers’ surplus to increase the firm's profit (see VALUE-CREATED MODEL). To illustrate: you are a Manchester United football fan; tickets for a home game are currently priced at £50 but you would be willing to pay £75. Hence, you have ‘received’ as a consumer ‘perceived benefit’ or ‘surplus’ of £25 over and above the price actually charged. Manchester United, however, instead of charging a single price of £50 could segment its market by charging different prices for admission to different parts of the ground (see PRICE DISCRIMINATION, MARKET SEGMENTATION) in order to ‘capture’ more of the consumers’ surplus for itself. Thus, it could continue to charge the ‘basic’ price of £50 for admission to certain parts of the ground, £75 for seating in the main stand and £120 for an ‘executive box’ seat. Compare PRODUCERS’ SURPLUS.


Collins Dictionary of Economics, 4th ed. © C. Pass, B. Lowes, L. Davies 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
It does not affect the consumers surplus when firms choose the price commitment.
Instead, with quality commitment strategy, firms charge lower price in period 2 and higher price in period 1, and the variety seeking may increase the consumers surplus rather than than the habit formation.
Under price commitment, the presence of variety seeking reduces firm profits and does not change the consumers surplus. Although the habitual consumption has no effect on consumers surplus, it reduces the loss results of variety seeking.
In the presence of variety seeking, although the quality levels will be decreased, the average price is decreased more, and thus the consumers surplus is increased and the total profit is decreased.
With price commitment, our results show that although variety seeking does not affect the firms' pricing and the average consumers surplus, the quality in period 2 will be improved and in period 1 will be decreased, the total profits of the market will be less than that without variety seeking, we can conclude that the firms need to pay the cost for the potential loss of market share resulting from variety seeking, and the habit formation will benefit firms, and we can explain that consumers need to pay for their inertial.
For preventing variety seeking, our results suggest that the firms will prefer price commitment to quality commitment, under price commitment, the consumers do not gain additive consumers surplus by variety seeking or habitual consumption, and thus it may decrease the incentive for variety seeking.
Thus, we study a regulator that may have different sensibilities with respect to firms' profits and consumers surplus; the higher the value of a is the higher the consideration of corporate profits is.
The lack of liberalization and deregulation of such markets has negative effects for the consumers, in terms of reducing the consumers surplus on such markets due to high prices and much lower quantities, compared to ones consumers would be paying in another, more competitive market.
The statistical significance of the change in consumers surplus can be examined with a t-test on the difference between the actual and hypothetical intercepts.
Define the symbol [Delta]W to mean the difference between the incremental consumers surplus and the loss in producers' surplus.

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