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Supply Function

Last updated date: 24th Feb 2024
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Definition of Supply Function

A supply function is a tool used by economists to measure the relationship between price and quantity of goods supplied. The supply function describes the effect that changes in one variable have on another. Supply function can be described with three variables: Price, Quantity Supplied, and Marginal Cost. The supply function is also known as Supply Curve. The Supply Curve is a graphical representation of the Law of Supply. It shows the relationship between price and quantity supplied at a given point in time. The curve slopes upward because as price increases, producers are able to sell more units of the good or service. The marginal cost curve intersects the supply curve at the equilibrium point. This is where quantity supplied equals quantity demanded. The marginal cost curve measures the change in total costs associated with producing one more unit of output. At the equilibrium point, marginal cost is equal to price.

Importance of Supply function

The supply function is important to study because it shows the relationship between two variables. The supply function can be used to illustrate how demand changes when the price is altered, and vice versa. Supply functions are often depicted graphically with a supply curve that slopes upward because as prices increase producers will be able to sell more units of goods or services. Supply curves serve an important role in economic theory by showing what happens to overall production levels based on current market conditions such as supply & demand trends, technology improvements, etc.

Supply Function is Applied in Various Fields

  1. Supply function is an integral part of microeconomics, which deals with the behavior and decision-making process of individuals and firms in society. The supply function is used to measure price elasticity demand for goods & services. The concept helps economists predict how much quantity will be produced by producers when prices change.

  2. Supply function is also used in macroeconomics, which deals with the performance, structure, and behavior of an economy as a whole. Supply functions help policymakers understand how shocks to the economy (such as changes in tax rates or government spending) will impact things like employment levels and inflation.

  3. Supply function is used in business, to help managers understand how costs and prices impact their production levels. The supply curve can be helpful in forecasting future sales and making pricing decisions.

  4. Supply function is also used in agricultural economics, which deals with land usage and food production. Supply functions can help assess how policies impact the price of crops or livestock over time.

  5. Supply function is also used in natural sciences, for example, to determine the effect of temperature changes on tiny organisms or chemicals. Supply functions can help scientists understand how biological specimens react when they are exposed to new conditions such as heat or cold.

Here are Some Tips to Study the Supply Chain

  1. Know the Basics- It is important to know the basics of the Supply chain. You should understand what is Supply, Demand and what determines the Price. Which will give you a better understanding of the Supply function. You should also be aware that Supply Function has three variables: Price, Quantity Supplied, and Marginal Cost. You need to know how these variables are related to each other in order to understand the Supply chain.

  2. Practice- Once you understand the basics, it is important to practice. Supply function can be a difficult concept to understand. The best way to learn it is by doing exercises and practicing problems.

  3. Appear for Mock Tests- Supply function is an important topic for Economics exams. appearing for mock tests will help you assess your level of understanding and give you a better idea about the areas that need more focus.

  4. Avoid Cramming- The supply function is a topic that can be learned gradually. Don't try to cram everything in one day. It will only lead to confusion and you will not be able to remember anything.

  5. Learn the Rules- The supply function follows certain rules. It is important to learn these rules and understand how they work. This will help you apply the Supply function in different scenarios.

FAQs on Supply Function

1. Define the Law of Supply.

The law of supply or supply function is based on a changing amount of materials available to satisfy a specific demand.  It states that a higher price will cause producers to supply a higher quantity to the market. Supply is an output of economic activity.  It can be applied to measure demand—oversupply results in loss of producers. For example : 

If ten people want to buy a phone, and there is only one phone, then the trade will be based on the level of demand for the phone. The supply function requires more phones, which produces more production to match demand.

2. Explain Why the Rates of Agricultural Commodities are Volatile.

The rates of agricultural commodities are volatile because of the inelasticity of supply and demand. People start ordering more just because the price is less. Farmers still have to trade off their Agri products at any price (perishable goods). If crops fail, farmers have nothing to trade, and the farmers will suffer income loss. However, even when there are bumper crops, farmers' income still reduces, and the farmers suffer in both cases. This all means that irrespective of the supply being less or more, the perishability component of agricultural commodities inserts inherent volatility to the rates of these commodities.

3.  How much time does it take to prepare for exams? Is it difficult?

Supply function is a topic that covers microeconomics, macroeconomics, and business. It can be challenging to cover all these topics in the given time frame. The supply function requires at least one month of preparation for exams. Supply function involves understanding concepts like Market equilibrium, Price elasticity, etc., which are not easy to understand immediately if you haven't studied them before or have very little knowledge about them

4. What are the best ways to study supply function?

Supply function is a topic that can be studied in many different ways. One way to study Supply Function involves using examples from texts and case studies, Another method would be self-study by reading books on Supply chain or microeconomics. It is important to find the best methods for you and stick to them. Supply function can be learned gradually with practice and patience

5. What are the different types of Supply functions?

A Supply Function is a relationship that shows how price affects quantity supplied in an economy, business, or industry overtime when all other variables remain unchanged. There are two types of Supply Functions- Price Elasticity Supply (PES) Supply Curve which is also known as Law of the supply curve is where the relationship between Quantity Supplied & its determinants like Price per unit, Total Spending on Product, etc., Marginal Cost - this explains the impact of one additional factor i.e., change in Variable cost due to production/manufacturing process on the total cost for producing output by considering all factors fixed e.

6. What are some of the most common mistakes/misconceptions students have while studying Supply Chain?

Some of the most common misconceptions include confusing supply with demand, thinking that only businesses face problems due to the change in price, etc., Supply chain has no direct impact on day-to-day activities so it might seem less relevant at first but it helps us understand more about our business environment and the economy as a whole. The supply function is used to understand how price affects quantity supplied, business environment, and other factors in an industry or market.

7. What are the benefits of learning Supply Chain?

Supply chain is an important topic that helps us understand how businesses and economies work. It covers microeconomics, macroeconomics, and business which can be applied in our day-to-day lives. Supply function is a difficult topic but it is worth the effort to learn as it provides a better understanding of how price affects quantity supplied in an economy or market. There are many different ways to study the supply chains so find what works best for you and stick to it!

8. What resources (books/articles) do you recommend for studying Supply Function?

Some recommended books include The Economics of Supply and Demand by David Begg, Paul Krugman, Stanley Fischer, etc., Microeconomics by Paul Krugman, Robin Wells, and Kathryn Graddy. Recommended articles include Supply Function- Microeconomic Theory & Demand for Supply Chain Professionals.

9. How Does Supply Function Relate to Economics?

The supply function relates to economics by measuring how much suppliers are willing and able to produce at different prices. The supply function is used to understand how price affects quantity supplied, business environment, and other factors in an economy or market. It covers microeconomics, macroeconomics, and business which can be applied in our day-to-day lives. The supply chain is an important topic that helps us understand how businesses and economies work.