No Bull Economics Lessons

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How do you graph a positive externality?

Posted on April 18, 2014 at 9:20 AM

An externality occurs when a third party (someone other than the buyer or seller) is affected by a market transaction. This is known as a market failure. Externalities can be positive or negative.

A positive externality occurs when the marginal social benefit (MSB) is greater than the marginal social cost (MSC). Society is benefitting from the production of the good. However, there is a misallocation of economic resources and deadweight loss. Markets underproduce goods that generate positive externalities.

The No Bull Review graph below illustrates a good that creates positive externalities (MSB>MSC). The area of deadweight loss (inefficiency) is the purple triangle. P1 and Q1 is socially optimal, however the market generates a price of P and quantity of Q. Society is getting too little of the good at too low of a price.

AP Microeconomics Unit 4 Role of Government

Categories: AP Microeconomics, Micro Unit 4 Role of Government

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