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concept of revenue

Concepts of Revenue
Total Average and Marginal Revenue
            The revenue of a firm jointly with its costs ascertains profits. Now let us discuss the concepts of revenue. The term revenue denotes to the receipts obtained by a firm from the scale of definite quantities of a commodity at various prices. The revenue concept relates to total revenue, average revenue and marginal revenue.
  1. Total Revenue – It is the total sale proceeds of a firm by selling a commodity at a given price. If a firm sells 3 units of an article at $ 24, its total revenue is 3 x 24. Thus total revenue is price per unit proliferated by the number of nits sold, i.e. TR = P x Q, where TR is the total revenue, P the price and Q the quantity.
  1. Average Revenue – It is the average receipts from the sale of certain units of the commodity. It is obtained by dividing the total revenue by the number of units sold. The average revenue of a firm is in fact the price of the commodity at each level of output since TR = P x Q, therefore, AR = TR / Q = P x Q / Q = P.
  1. Marginal Revenue MR – In addition to total revenue as a result of a small hike in the sale of a firm. Algebraically it is the total revenue earned by selling N units of the commodity instead of N-1 i.e., MRn = TRn – TRn-1.
Relation Between AR and MR Curves
  1. Under Ideal Rivalry – The average revenue curve is a horizontal straight line parallel to X axis and the marginal revenue curve coincides with it. This is since under ideal rivalry the number of firms selling an identical product is very huge. The price is determined the market forces of supply and demand so that only one price tends to prevail for the whole industry.
      In the diagram 1, each firm can sell as much it wishes at the market price OP. Thus the demand for the firm’s product becomes infinitely elastic.

      In the diagram 2, since the demand curve is the firm’s average revenue curve, the shape of AR curve is horizontal to the X axis at price OP and the MR curve coincides with it. Any change in the demand and supply circumstances will change the market price of the product and consequently the horizontal AR curve of the firm.

  1. Under Monopoly or Imperfect Competition, the average revenue curve is the downward inclining industry demand curve and its related marginal revenue curve lies below it. The marginal revenue is lower than the average revenue. Given the demand for his product the monopolist can increase his sales by lowering the price, marginal revenue also falls but the rate of fall in marginal revenue is greater than that in average revenue.          
                  In the diagram 3, the MR curve falls below the AR curve and lie half a way on the perpendicular drawn from AR to Y axis. This relation will always exist amidst straight line downward sloping AR and MR curves.

                   In diagram 4, AR curve is convex to the origin, the MR curve will cut any perpendicular from a point on the AR curve at more than half –way to he Y axis. MR passes to the left of the mid point B on the CA.                                                                         
Alternatively, if the AR curve is concave to the origin, MR will cut the perpendicular at less than half way towards y axis, in the diagram 5, MR passes to the right of the mid point B on the CA.
  1. Monopolistic Competition – The relationship between AR and MR is the same as under monopoly. But there is an exclusion that the AR curve is more elastic and it is represented in the diagram 6. This is since products are close substitutes under monopolistic competition. The firm can hikes sales by a reduction in its price.
  1. Under Oligopoly – The average and marginal revenue cures do not have a smooth downward slope under oligopoly. They acquire kinks. As the number of sellers under oligopoly is small, the effect a price cut or price hikes on the par of one seller will be followed by some changes in the behaviour of the other firms. If a seller raises the price of his product, the other seller will experience a fall in demand for his product.
              His average revenue curve is represented in the diagram 7 becomes elastic after K and its consequent MR curve rises discontinuously from a to b and then persists its course at the new higher level.
              Alternatively, if the oligopolistic seller reduces the price of his product, his rival also follows him in reducing the prices of their products so that he is not able to enhance his sales. His AR curve becomes less elastic from K onwards and it is represented in the diagram 8. The consequent MR curve falls vertically from a to b and then slopes at a lower level.
Importance of Revenue Costs
            The AR and MR curves form significant tool for economic analysis.
  • Profit Determinants – The A curve is the price line for the producer in all market situations. By relating the AR curve to the AC curve of a firm, it can ascertain whether it is earning supernormal or normal profits or incurring losses. If the AR curve is tangent to the AC curve at the point of equilibrium, the firm earns normal profits. If the AR curve is above AC curve, it makes super normal profits. In case, AR curve is below the AC curve at the equilibrium point, the firm incurs losses.

  • Determination of Full capacity – It can also be known from their relationship whether the firm is producing at is full capacity or under capacity. If the AR curve is tangent to the AC curve at its minimum point, under perfect rivalry, the firm produces its full capacity. Where it is not so, under monopolistic competition, the firm posses idle capacity.

  • Equilibrium Determination – The MR curve when intersected by the MC curve determines the equilibrium position of the firm under all market conditions. Their point of intersection in fact determines price, output, and profit and loss of a firm.

  • Factor Pricing Determination – The use of the average marginal revenue helps in determining factor prices. In factor pricing they are inverted U shaped and the average and marginal revenue curves become the average revenue productivity and marginal revenue productivity curves ARP and MRP, also they are useful device in describing the equilibrium of the firm under different market conditions.

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