In economics an isocost line shows all combinations of inputs which cost the same total amount The isocost line is combined with the isoquant map to determine the optimal production point at any given level of output. Specifically, the point. Isocost-isoquant analysis: theory of production: The production function: a figure known as an isoquant diagram (Figure 1). In the graph, goldsmith-hours per. Isoquants: An isoquant (equal quantity) is a curve that shows the combinations of certain inputs such as Labor (L) and Capital (K) that will produce a certain.

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In this equationPL is the price of labour and Pk is the price of capital. Curves OA and OB are the ridge lines and in between them economically feasible units of capital and labour can be employed to produce, and units of the product. The second condition is that at the point of tangency, the isoquant curve must he convex to the origin.

If in order to secure equal increases in output, both factors are increased in larger proportionate units, there are decreasing returns to scale. He could do so using the iwocost represented by points A, B or C in Fig.

An indifference curve is the locus of points indicating particular combinations of goods from which the consumer derives the same If all points of tangency like LMN are joined by a line, iosquant is known as an output- factor curve or least-outlay curve or the expansion path of a firm.

Isocost-isoquant analysis | economics |

Since K 2 L 2 is closer to origin as compared to the iso-cost line K 3 L3, it represents relatively lower cost. A line joining tangency points of isoquants and isocosts with input prices held constant is called the expansion path.

In the case of an isoquant the product can be measured in physical units. Cost minimisation occurs when an isoquant is just tangent to but does not cross an isocost line.


The firm can produce units of output at point A on this curve by having a combination of 9 units of capital and isoquaant units of labour. Isoquants are typically drawn as being convex to the origin because of the isiquant substitutability of inputs. This is because the marginal rate of substitution between two factors diminishes. For example, suppose, the price of labour is Re. An isoquant shows what a firm is desirous of producing.

Top 14 Peculiarities of Labour Production Economics. See all related question in B. The second condition is that the isoquant curve must be convex to the origin at the point of tangency with the isocost line, as explained above in terms of Figure The portion of the isoquant that lies outside the ridge lines, the marginal product of that factor is negative.

This is an isoquant. Starting from the curve IQ which yields units of product, the curve IQ 1shows units and the IQ 2 curve units of the product which can be produced with altogether different combinations of the two factors. Therefore, a horizontal isoquant cannot be an equal product curve. It is known as the actual rate of factor substitution, the rate at which the firm can substitute labour by capital in the market place.

Views Read View source View history. The firm can maximize its profits either by maximizing the level of output for a given cost or by minimizing the cost of producing a given output.

In the third combination, the loss of 2 units of capital is compensated for by 5 more units of labour, and so on. The decision to supply an extra unit depends on the marginal cost of producing that unit. The significance of factors of productive resources is that, any two factors are substitutable e.

MRTS is the loss of certain units of capital which will just be compensated for by additional units of labour at that point. The relation between diminishing returns to scale and return to a variable factor is explained with the help of Figure Community Community portal Web chat Mailing list. The returns to scale are constant when internal economies enjoyed by a firm are neutralised by internal diseconomies so that output increases in the same proportion.


Explain a firm’s equilibrium with the help of isoquants and isocost line.

By clicking “Sign up” you indicate that you have read and agree to the privacy policy and terms of service. At this point, the firm is minimising its cost for producing units. When a large number of firms are concentrated at one place, skilled labour, credit and transport facilities are easily available. Isoquant indicates various combinations of two factors of production which give the same level of output per unit of time. The conditions for the equilibrium of the firm are the same, as discussed above.

This is a logical absurdity for OL units of labour alone are incapable of producing anything. On the incomes they have earned themselves.

The behaviour of the law of variable proportions or of the short-run production function when one factor is constant and the other variable can also be explained in terms of the isoquant analysis.

According to Hibbdon, Economic Rent is the difference between the actual payment to a factor and its supply price Work can be divided into small tasks and workers can be concentrated to narrower range of processes. The isocosts are straight lines because factor prices remain the same whatever the outlay of the firm on the two factors.

When this happens the ratio of the prices of factors is the same as the ratio of their marginal products.

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