Labor Markets

 

Department of Economics                                                                                                Prof. Andrew J. Buck

Temple University                                                                                                            Economics 201

Name

 

A.  Computer Programming

 

For your own use you should have a piece of graph paper as you go through this problem set.

 

Jane Pixel is employed as a computer programmer for Micro$oft.  She can work as many hours per week as she chooses at a constant wage per hour (R); her nonwage income is zero.  Each week she sleeps for 68 hours and then divides the remaining 100 hours between work (W) and leisure (L).  Her utility level in any given week depends on her income (Y) and hours of leisure.

After long hours of observation the researchers at Murky Research have developed the following table showing Jane's utility for different combinations of  Y and L:

Indifference Curves

 

 

 

I 1

 

I2

 

I3

 

 

-------------------

 

-------------------

 

-------------------

 

 

Y

L

 

Y

L

 

Y

L

 

 

--------

--------

 

--------

--------

 

--------

--------

 

 

1000

7.5

 

1500

2.5

 

1400

25

 

 

800

10

 

1100

5

 

1100

30

 

 

450

25

 

900

15

 

900

40

 

 

300

40

 

700

30

 

650

65

 

 

250

60

 

550

50

 

600

75

 

 

245

80

 

500

70

 

550

100

 

 

A1.   Carefully plot three of her indifference curves (I1, I2, and I3) in your graph using the data given above.  Put income on the vertical axis and hours of leisure on the horizontal axis.  Make each unit on the vertical axis equal $50, and each unit on the  horizontal axis equal 5 hours.

 

A2.  Write the equation showing how Janeís weekly income varies with her wage rate (R) and the amount of time she devotes to leisure (L) (i.e., her income-leisure budget constraint).

 

                                   Y =  

 

Plot this relationship for R = 5 in your graph.

 

A3 What is the vertical intercept of the line you have just drawn?      

 

A4.   Interpret this number by choosing one phrase.  

    Reservation wage    Maximum Hours of Work   Maximum Income  Maximum Leisure

 

A5.   What is the horizontal intercept?     

 

A6.   Interpret this number by choosing one phrase.

    Reservation Wage   Maximum Hours of Work   Maximum Income    Maximum Leisure

 

A7.  How does Jane divide her 100 waking hours between work and leisure if R = 5?

 

                      W =              L =

 

Plot her income-leisure budget constraints for R = 10 and R= 15 in your graph.

 

A8.  If  R = 10, what is her weekly income?     

 

Draw in her wage consumption line in your graph.

 

Using the information contained in your graph, plot Janeís labor supply curve in a new graph. Put her hours of work supplied on the horizontal and her wage rate on the vertical.

 

A9.  Check all the boxes that describe the appearance of Jane's labor supply curve:

 

    Straight line (no bends)   Concave Convex    Negative slope   Positive slope

      

A10.  Between R = 10 and R = 15, which effect is greater, the income effect or the substitution effect?     Explain your answer.

                Income effect is greater       Substitution effect is greater

 

B.  Nursing

 

            The market for nurses in Metropolis, a large city with many health care facilities,  is perfectly competitive with the following daily supply and demand equations:

 

                  Supply:   QL = 100R - 1000             Demand:    QL = 1640 - 20R.

 

R is the hourly wage and QL is the quantity of labor measured in person-hours.   All employed nurses in Metropolis work 8 hours per day.

 

Plot these relationships in graph of your own.  Your graph will not be graded.  It is for your use only.

 

B1.   What is the nursing supply choke price, i.e., that wage below which no nurse will offer to work? 

 

B2.  What are equilibrium price and quantity?  Price =   Quantity =   

 

B3.  What is the aggregate daily income of nurses as a group in this equilibrium?  

 

B4.  How many nurses are employed?  

 

Suppose now that the nurses in Metropolis form a union and bargain for a minimum wage of $25 per hour.    Draw a horizontal line through your C at this wage rate.

 

B5.  At this wage, how many person-hours of nursing services will be demanded by area

       employers? 

 

B6.  How many person-hours will area nurses want to supply?        

 

B7.  How many nurses will be unemployed in the minimum wage equilibrium?  (Remember that nurses work 8 hours per day and that an unemployed person wants to work at the prevailing wage but canít find a job.)

 

B8.  How many nurses will lose their jobs as a result of the imposition of the minimum?  (Hint: Compare the competitive equilibrium with the minimum wage equilibrium.) 

 

B9.  Is the daily income of nurses as a group bigger or smaller as a

        result of the imposition of the minimum?          Bigger        Smaller