Is it true that in a short-run production process, the marginal cost curve eventually slopes upward because firms have to pay workers a higher wage rate as they produce more output? Explain your answer.


The marginal product of labor is the increase in output resulting from a one-unit increase in the amount of labor employed. In my own opinion, the statement can be true in the sense that, as the firm produces more and more the cost of production has to come down first; that becomes constant or minimum and then starts to increase. The marginal cost is also a U-shaped curve that first falls then reaches a minimum and starts rising. The reason for rising marginal costs in the short term will only be an increase in the wages as the only factor which is variable in the short-run is labor whereas all factors are kept fixed, so the fixed costs will keep coming down. If you increase labor, you are going to suffer from diminishing marginal returns. And in the long-run, one will suffer diminishing returns from both input factors, labor, and capital.

The short-run cost relationship between the marginal product of labor and the marginal cost, the labor is variable. We have already established that there are diminishing marginal returns because the labor decreases. To increase output in the short-run, a firm must increase the amount used of a variable input. The marginal product reduces, not because consecutive workers are lesser, but because more workers are being used relative to the amount of equipment that is available, what they have left to work with. An example; if a clinic has only one dentist on duty and several assistants are available and we have a lot of patients waiting to see that doctor, the number of patients served by this office cannot increase without limit. The excess assistants will not be able to increase the number of patients in the office, not because they are not reliable or good enough, but because they cannot perform the doctor's job, and there is only one doctor in the office.


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Joshua Stredder
Joshua StredderLv10
28 Sep 2019

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