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DEFINITION OF FIRM, PLANT AND INDUSTRY FIRM

    FIRM

    The firm is an independently administered business unit carrying out production, construction, or distribution activities. Examples of firms in Nigeria are Dangote Cement, Cadbury Nigeria Plc.

    PLANT

    This is the same as the factory. It consists of the tools, equipment, machines and buildings of a business concern. It is a business establishment or the actual place where production is organized. E.g. Aladja steel plant, etc.

    INDUSTRY

    An industry consists of a group of firms producing broadly similar commodities. Examples are the shoe industry, the transport industry, the cement industry, etc.

    FACTORS THAT DETERMINE THE SIZE OF A FIRM

    1. Capital Available
    2. Size of the market
    3. Ability of the entrepreneur
    4. Availability of raw material
    5. Level of technology
    6. Efficiency of management
    7. Policy of the government
    8. Nature of the product
    9. Stage of development

    CONCEPT OF TOTAL PRODUCT (TP), AVERAGE PRODUCT (AP) AND MARGINAL PRODUCT (MP)

    1. TOTAL PRODUCT (TP): Total product refers to the total quantity of goods produced at a particular time as a result of the use of all the factors of production.

    Point of diminishing returns

    total

    output                                                                            Total product

    0                                                                      unit of labour

    Symbolically written as TP = AP X Q

    1. AVERAGE PRODUCT (AP): Average product is defined as the output per unit of the variable factor (labour or capital) employed. This is obtained by dividing the total output by the number of labour or capital employed.

    Y

    AP

    AP

    Unit of Labour                       X

    AP=TP/Q

    1. MAGINAL PRODUCT (MP): This is the additional product produced as a result of the application of additional unit of a variable factor when all other factors are fixed.

    Y

     

    MP

     

    Unit of Labour                                     X

     

    Symbolically written as MP = CHANGE IN TP/CHANGE IN VARIABLE FACTOR =

    TP1 – TPO

    Q1 –QO

    TOTAL PRODUCT, AVERAGE PRODUCT AND MARGINAL PRODUCT

    VARIABLE UNIT           FIXED FACTOR       TOTAL PRODUCT   AVERAGE PRODUCT   MARGINAL PRODUCT

    OF LABOUR        hectares of land       (Kg)                              (Kg)                              (kg)

    1                                  3                      8                                  8                                  ……

    2                                  3                      18                                9                                  10

    3                                  3                      36                                12                                18

    4                                  3                      48                                12                                12

    5                                  3                      55                                11                                7

    6                                  3                      60                                10                                5

    7                                  3                      60                                86                                0

    8                                  3                      56                                7                                   -4

    RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN TOTAL PRODUCT, AVERAGE PRODUCT AND MARGINAL PRODUCT.

    The relationship between total products, average product and marginal product can be demonstrated by a graph. Both TP and MP initially rise. The TP curve remains at maximum point when MP is zero. TP declines after MP = 0 and MP afterwards assumes negative values.

    QUESTIONS

    1. Write short note on (a) firm (b) plant (c) industry

    Tonnes of fertilizer applied                      total product in bags              marginal product

    0                                              1000                                        …….

    1                                              1100                                        100

    2                                              1250                                        150

    3                                              1500                                        250

    4                                              ……..                                         400

    5                                              ……..                                         250

    6                                              …….                                          125

    7                                              2350                                        ……..

    8                                              2380                                        ……..

    9                                              2330                                        ……..

    1. What will be the total output of maize when no fertilizer is applied to the land? (2b) Calculate the total product after the application of the following quantities of fertilizer (i) 4 tonnes (ii) 5 tonnes (iii) 6 tonnes (c) calculate the marginal product after the application of the following quantities of fertilizer (i) 7 tonnes (ii) 8 tonnes (iii) 9 tonnes.

    See also

    SCALE OF PRODUCTION | SMALL, MEDIUM & LARGE

    DIVISION OF LABOUR: ADVANTAGES, DISADVANTAGES, LIMITATIONS & SPECIALISATION

    CAPITAL: TYPES OF CAPITAL, IMPORTANCE OF CAPITAL & ENTREPRENEUR

    LOCALISATION OF INDUSTRIES

    LOCATION OF INDUSTRY

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