Firms devote substantial resources to their decisions around pricing. Large firms often have individuals or even whole departments whose key job is to do pricing decisions. Consulting firms specialize in providing advice to firms around the prices that they should charge. Some companies, such together airlines, have committed software to assist them make these decisions. That isn’t tough to understand why firms pay so much attention come the prices they charge. More than noþeles else, price determines the profits that a for sure earns.

You are watching: What is the goal of the firm

Economists space prone come talk about the decisions and objectives of a firm, and we often use the same shorthand. A firm, though, is just a legit creation—a repertoire of individuals who use some kind of technology. A firm takes labor, raw materials, and other inputs and turns castle into commodities that world want come buy. Some of the human being in a firm—the managers—decide how many workers it should hire, what prices it should set, and so on.

To understand pricing, we start with the goal of a firm (that is, the managers). If a firm’s supervisors are law their tasks well, they should be making decision to offer the interests of the owners of that firm. The owners of a firm space its shareholders. If friend buy a share in a firm, climate you own a fraction (your share) of the firm, which offers you the right to a portion of the firm’s earnings. Shareholders, for the most part, have one reason for buying and owning shares: to knife income. For this reason the managers, if they space doing their work well, desire a certain to do as much money as possible. We need to be careful, though. What matters is not the full amount of money got by a firm, but how lot is easily accessible to be spread to the owners. The owners of a firm hope to earn as high a return as possible on their shares.


Toolkit: ar 17.15 "Pricing with market Power"

The money that is obtainable for circulation to the shareholder of a for sure is called a this firm profits. A firm payment money because that raw materials, energy, and also other supplies, and it pays salaries to the workers. These costs are a firm’s expenses of production. When it selling the product(s) it has actually produced, a firm earns revenues. Accountants analyze these revenues and also costs in an ext detail, yet in the finish all the monies that flow in and out the a firm deserve to be classified as either earnings or costs. Thus

earnings = profits − costs.

Consider, then, a marketing manager who wants to collection the finest price for a product—such together Ellie picking the price for her company’s blood press medication. She desires to find the price that will certainly yield the most profits to she company. In perfect world, a marketing manager might have access to a spreadsheet table, such as number 6.1 "A Spreadsheet That would certainly Make Pricing decisions Easy", which displays a that company monthly profits for different possible prices that it might set. Then Ellie’s task would it is in easy: she would certainly just need to look in ~ the table, find the cabinet in column B with the greatest number, and collection the equivalent price. In this case, she would set a price the $15.


Figure 6.1 A Spreadsheet That would certainly Make Pricing decision Easy

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But the truth of company is different. The is very challenging and expensive—perhaps also impossible—to gather details such as that in number 6.1 "A Spreadsheet That would Make Pricing decisions Easy". You can imagine the a firm can experiment, trying different prices and also seeing what profitsRevenues minus costs. It earned. Unfortunately, this would be really costly due to the fact that most of the moment a firm would earn much reduced profits 보다 it could. Experimenting could even create losses. For example, mean that, one September, Ellie made decision to try a price that $2 per pill. The firm would certainly lose almost $6 million—the tantamount of about six months’ profits even at the very best price. Ellie would certainly rapidly discover herself feather for one more job.

It is clear the trial and error—choosing different prices in ~ random and also seeing how much benefit you get—could bring about costly mistakes, and there is no guarantee that you would ever discover the ideal price. By adding some structure to a trial-and-error process, though, there is a an easy strategy because that finding the finest price: begin by slightly increasing the that company price. If revenues increase, climate you are on the ideal track. Keep elevating the price, little by little, till profits avoid increasing. Top top the various other hand, if revenues decrease when you raise the price, climate you should try lowering the price instead. If earnings increase, then store lowering the price small by little.

Figure 6.2 "A readjust in Price leads to a adjust in Profits" shows exactly how a adjust in price translates right into a readjust in profits. A readjust in a this firm price leader to a readjust in the quantity demanded. As a result, the revenuesWhat a firm receives for offering its output, i beg your pardon is same to the price got per unit sold times the number of units sold. And costsThe payments a firm makes for that is inputs, together as earnings for that is workers. That a for sure change, as execute its profits. Figure 6.3 "The revenues of a Firm" mirrors the profits a firm will earn at various prices. Ours pricing strategy just says the following. You space trying to get to the highest point of the benefit hill in figure 6.3 "The earnings of a Firm", and also you will obtain there at some point if you constantly walk uphill. In ~ the really top that the hill, the change in profits is zero.

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Figure 6.2 A adjust in Price leads to a readjust in Profits

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If a firm alters its price, climate there will be a readjust in demand. This climate leads to transforms in revenues and also costs, which transforms in the profits of a firm.


Figure 6.3 The earnings of a Firm

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We could end the chapter appropriate here. However we want to dig deeper and also uncover some principles that call us more about exactly how pricing works. Climate we deserve to learn what information Ellie and other supervisors like her have to make much better pricing decisions—and how they have the right to make this decisions effectively. Our beginning point is our previously observation that

profits = profits − costs.

Checking your Understanding

If the manager of a firm chose a price come maximize sales, what would certainly that price be? What would earnings be at the price?