What is the difference between indifference curve and isoquant?

difference between indifference curve and isoquant
difference between indifference curve and isoquant

We start by studying how to calculate it, then move on to use it in order to correctly draw isoquant curves and, finally, we analyse the MRTS for various sorts of isoquants. As with indifference curves, two isoquants can never cross. Also, every possible combination of inputs is on an isoquant. Finally, any combination of inputs above or to the right of an isoquant results represents a higher level of output, and vice versa. A firm can determine the least cost combination of inputs to produce a given output, by combining isocost curves and isoquants, and adhering to First Order Conditions. The least cost combination is where the ratio of marginal products is equal to the ratio of factor prices.

  • This shape is a consequence of the fact that if a producer uses more of capital or more of labour or more of both than is necessary, the total product will eventually decline.
  • It means beyond OL3 units of labour, their marginal productivity will become negative causing total output to be less than 60 quintals.
  • The slope of the curve at any given point represents utility for any combination of two goods.
  • Therefore as seen in figure 9, IQ and IQ1 cannot be isoquants.

It tells the firm how much capital is needed to replace a unit of labor to maintain the output. An isoquant curve is a concave line plotted on a graph, showing all of the various combinations of two inputs that result in the same amount of output. Most typically, an isoquant shows combinations of capital and labor and the technological trade-off between the two. Here you can find the meaning of What is the difference between indifference curve and isoquant curve ?


This form is also called activity analysis isoquant or linear programming isoquant, because it is basically used in linear programming. Eleven at level B, the marginal rate of technical substitution is AS/SB, t point G, it’s BT/TG and at H, it is GR/RH. Thus, an Iso-product or Iso-quant curve is that curve which exhibits the different combos of two elements yielding the same complete product.

The indifference curve analysis is indicated with a graphical representation. Where the X-axis indicates one commodity and Y-axis refers to another good . Combinations of two goods on the curve provide Jack with the same level of satisfaction . The producer increases the output from one hundred models to 200 items by growing the amount combination of each the X and Y. The combination of OC of capital and OL of labor yield one hundred units of manufacturing. The manufacturing may be increased to 200 models by rising the capital from OC to OC1 and labor from OL to OL1.

This shape is a consequence of the fact that if a producer uses more of capital or more of labour or more of both than is necessary, the total product will eventually decline. The firm will produce only in those segments of the isoquants which are convex to the origin and lie between the ridge lines. The iso-product map looks like the indifference of consumer behaviour analysis.

Marginal rate of substitution is the willingness of a consumer to replace one good for another, as long as the new good is equally satisfying. This allows firms to determine the most efficient factors of production. The rate of technical substitution between factors may have variations. Indifference curve is defined in economics as a graph which shows combination of two things.

Many core principles of microeconomics appear in indifference curve analysis, including individual choice, marginal utility theory, income, substitution effects, and the subjective theory of value. Indifference curve analysis emphasizes marginal rates of substitution and opportunity costs. Indifference curve analysis typically assumes that all other variables are constant or stable. The term "isoquant," broken down in Latin, means “equal quantity,” with “iso” meaning equal and “quant” meaning quantity. Essentially, the curve represents a consistent amount of output.

Hence, a consumer prefers to reach the tallest line to attain a higher utility level. But there are some budget constraints due to the low income of the consumer. Solutions for What is the difference between indifference curve and isoquant curve ?

Iso-Quant Curve: Definitions, Assumptions and Properties

The dotted segments of an isoquant are the waste- bearing segments. In the up dotted portion, more capital and in the lower dotted portion more labour than necessary is employed. Hence GH, JK, LM, and NP segments of the elliptical curves are the isoquants. 3 shows that when the amount of labour is increased from OL to OL1, the amount of capital has to be decreased from OK to OK1, The iso-product curve is falling as shown in the figure.

Various indifference curves can never cross or overlap. The minimum efficient scale is the point on a cost curve when a company can produce its product cheaply enough to offer it at a competitive price. For example, in the graph of an isoquant where capital (represented with K on its Y-axis and labor on its X-axis, the slope of the isoquant, or the MRTS at any one point, is calculated as dL/dK. This indicates that factors of production may be substituted with one another. The increase in one factor, however, must still be used in conjunction with the decrease of another input factor.

difference between indifference curve and isoquant

Indifference is conceptually incompatible with real-life economic action. Every action that people take indicates a preference, not indifference. Furthermore, people’s relative preferences have been found to change over time and depending on their social context.

Production thus, will be done on the segment below point ‘D’, ‘E’ and ‘F’. Spending the money on both labour and capital, he can choose between various possible combinations of labour and capital such as etc. Spending all the money on the capital difference between indifference curve and isoquant he may buy 5 units of capital. Under the given technique, factors of production can be used with maximum efficiency. If a consumer purchases two goods, the budget limitation can be displayed with the help of a budget line on a graph.

Isoquants are sometimes mixed with isocost strains so as to remedy a cost-minimization drawback for given degree of output. An isoquant is a curve that’s derived from varied combinations of any two of the four elements of production and represents same degree of output. Though combinations of two components change alongside the curve, the output remains constant. Thus, an isoquant helps a enterprise to decide on the best cost-efficient combination of things of production. It shows that larger output may be secured by growing the quantity combos of both the components X and Y.

Indifference Curve and Budget Line

Moreover, since the lines OA, OB and OC are straight lines passing through the origin, the ratio between labour and capital remains same along each one of these lines. As a result, firm’s new iso-cost-line shifts to the right as CD. New iso-cost line CD will be parallel to the initial iso-cost line. CD touches IQ1 at point E1 which will constitute the new equilibrium point.

That is, production function is of ‘variable proportion’ type rather than fixed proportion. As proven within the tabular example of MRTS, the ratio by which the enter items of capital is substituted by labor units diminishes with more and more substitution of labor for capital. This might be additional defined beneath the idea of marginal price of technical substitution .

Meaning and Significance of Foreign Exchange Rate

A budget line reveals all the possibilities in combinations of two goods a consumer can purchase with limited income. It allows the consumer to buy within a given budget, i.e., within their current income. It makes the consumer indifferent to any of the combinations of goods shown as points on the curve. Also, it means the consumer cannot prefer one bundle over another on the same graph. The desk additional exhibits that as the producer uses more of 1 issue enter, labour in the desk, it reduces the usage of other factor. In figure 5, for every increase in labor items by (ΔL) there’s a corresponding decrease in the items of capital (ΔK).

Indifference curves operate under many assumptions; for example, each indifference curve is typically convex to the origin, and no two indifference curves ever intersect. Consumers are always assumed to be more satisfied when achieving bundles of goods on indifference curves that are farther from the origin. The marginal rate of technical substitution is the rate at which a factor must decrease and another must increase to retain the same level of productivity. Curves that intersect are incorrect and produce results that are invalid, as a common factor combination on each of the curves will reveal the same level of output, which is not possible. The isoquant curve assists companies and businesses in making adjustments to inputs to maximize production, and thus profits. It represents combination of two good / commodity.5.It provide economic and uneconomic information region of production.

An isoquant curve is a graph drawn through the set of points at which the same quantity of output is produced while changing two or more inputs. It occurs when additional application of the variable factor i.e., labour increases total output at increasing rate. 17 explains the situation of increasing returns to a factor. Returns to a factor refers to the behavior of output in response to changing application of one factor of production while other factors remaining constant. As in the case of returns to scale, there are three different aspects of returns to a factor, viz., increasing returns, constant returns and diminishing returns.

For example, in the graph below, Factor K represents capital, and Factor L stands for labor. The curve shows that when a firm moves down from point to point and it uses one additional unit of labor, the firm can give up four units of capital and yet remain on the same isoquant at point . If the firm hires another unit of labor and moves from point to , the firm can reduce its use of capital by three units but remain on the same isoquant. The line CD represents the price ratio of capital and labour. Figure 13 shows three iso-cost curves each represents a total outlay of 50, 75 and 100 respectively. The firm can hire OC of capital or OD of labour with Rs. 75.


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