Assignment 1: Demand Estimation & Assignment 2: Operations Decision

Assignment 1: Demand Estimation
Due Week 3 and worth 200 points
Imagine that you work for the maker of a leading brand of low-calorie, frozen microwavable food that estimates the following demand equation for its product using data from 26 supermarkets around the country for the month of April.
For a refresher on independent and dependent variables, please go to Sophia’s Website and review the Independent and Dependent Variables tutorial, located at http://www.sophia.org/tutorials/independent-and-dependent-variables–3.
Option 1
Note: The following is a regression equation. Standard errors are in parentheses for the demand for widgets.
QD       =          – 5200 – 42P + 20PX + 5.2I + 0.20A + 0.25M
(2.002)  (17.5) (6.2)    (2.5)   (0.09)   (0.21)
R2 = 0.55           n = 26               F = 4.88
Your supervisor has asked you to compute the elasticities for each independent variable. Assume the following values for the independent variables:
Q          =          Quantity demanded of 3-pack units
P (in cents)       =          Price of the product = 500 cents per 3-pack unit
PX (in cents)     =          Price of leading competitor’s product = 600 cents per 3-pack unit
I (in dollars)       =          Per capita income of the standard metropolitan statistical area
(SMSA) in which the supermarkets are located = $5,500
A (in dollars)     =          Monthly advertising expenditures = $10,000
M                     =          Number of microwave ovens sold in the SMSA in which the
supermarkets are located = 5,000
Option 2
Note: The following is a regression equation. Standard errors are in parentheses for the demand for widgets.
QD       =          -2,000 – 100P + 15A + 25PX + 10I
(5,234)  (2.29)   (525)   (1.75)  (1.5)
R2 = 0.85           n = 120             F = 35.25
Your supervisor has asked you to compute the elasticities for each independent variable. Assume the following values for the independent variables:
Q          =          Quantity demanded of 3-pack units
P (in cents)       =          Price of the product = 200 cents per 3-pack unit
PX (in cents)     =          Price of leading competitor’s product = 300 cents per 3-pack unit
I (in dollars)       =          Per capita income of the standard metropolitan statistical area
(SMSA) in which the supermarkets are located = $5,000
A (in dollars)     =          Monthly advertising expenditures = $640
Write a four to six (4-6) page paper in which you:

Compute the elasticities for each independent variable. Note: Write down all of your calculations.
Determine the implications for each of the computed elasticities for the business in terms of short-term and long-term pricing strategies. Provide a rationale in which you cite your results.
Recommend whether you believe that this firm should or should not cut its price to increase its market share. Provide support for your recommendation.
Assume that all the factors affecting demand in this model remain the same, but that the price has changed. Further assume that the price changes are 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600 cents.

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Plot the demand curve for the firm.
Plot the corresponding supply curve on the same graph using the following MC / supply function Q = -7909.89 + 79.1P with the same prices.
Determine the equilibrium price and quantity.
Outline the significant factors that could cause changes in supply and demand for the low-calorie, frozen microwavable food. Determine the primary manner in which both the short-term and the long-term changes in market conditions could impact the demand for, and the supply, of the product.

Indicate the crucial factors that could cause rightward shifts and leftward shifts of the demand and supply curves for the low-calorie, frozen microwavable food.
Use at least three (3) quality academic resources in this assignment. Note: Wikipedia does not qualify as an academic resource.

Your assignment must follow these formatting requirements:

Be typed, double spaced, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all sides; citations and references must follow APA or school-specific format. Check with your professor for any additional instructions.
Include a cover page containing the title of the assignment, the student’s name, the professor’s name, the course title, and the date. The cover page and the reference page are not included in the required assignment page length.

The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:

Analyze how production and cost functions in the short run and long run affect the strategy of individual firms.
Apply the concepts of supply and demand to determine the impact of changes in market conditions in the short run and long run, and the economic impact on a company’s operations.
Use technology and information resources to research issues in managerial economics and globalization.

Write clearly and concisely about managerial economics and globalization using proper writing mechanics.

Assignment 2: Operations Decision
Due Week 6 and worth 300 points
Using the regression results and the other computations from Assignment 1, determine the market structure in which the low-calorie frozen, microwavable food company operates.
Use the Internet to research two (2) of the leading competitors in the low-calorie frozen, microwavable food industry, and take note of their pricing strategies, profitability, and their relationships within the industry (worldwide).
Write a six to eight (6-8) page paper in which you:

Outline a plan that will assess the effectiveness of the market structure for the company’s operations. Note: In Assignment 1, the assumption was that the market structure [or selling environment] was perfectly competitive and that the equilibrium price was to be determined by setting QD equal to QS. You are now aware of recent changes in the selling environment that suggest an imperfectly competitive market where your firm now has substantial market power in setting its own “optimal” price.
Given that business operations have changed from the market structure specified in the original scenario in Assignment 1, determine two (2) likely factors that might have caused the change. Predict the primary manner in which this change would likely impact business operations in the new market environment.
Analyze the major short run and long cost functions for the low-calorie, frozen microwaveable food company given the cost functions below. Suggest substantive ways in which the low-calorie food company may use this information in order to make decisions in both the short-run and the long-run.

TC = 160,000,000 + 100Q + 0.0063212Q2
VC = 100Q + 0.0063212Q2
MC= 100 + 0.0126424Q

Determine the possible circumstances under which the company should discontinue operations. Suggest key actions that management should take in order to confront these circumstances. Provide a rationale for your response. (Hint: Your firm’s price must cover average variable costs in the short run and average total costs in the long run to continue operations.)
Suggest one (1) pricing policy that will enable your low-calorie, frozen microwavable food company to maximize profits. Provide a rationale for your suggestion.

(Hints:

In Assignment 1, you determined your firm’s market demand equation. Now you need to find the inverse demand equation. Having found that, find the Total Revenue function for your firm (TR is P x Q). From your firm’s Total Revenue function, then find your Marginal Revenue (MR) function.
Use the profit maximization rule MR = MC to determine your optimal price and optimal output level now that you have market power. Compare these values with the values you generated in Assignment 1. Determine whether your price higher is or lower.)

Outline a plan, based on the information provided in the scenario, which the company could use in order to evaluate its financial performance. Consider all the key drivers of performance, such as company profit or loss for both the short term and long term, and the fundamental manner in which each factor influences managerial decisions.

(Hints:

Calculate profit in the short run by using the price and output levels you generated in part 5. Optional: You may want to compare this to what profit would have been in Assignment 1 using the cost function provided here.
Calculate profit in the long run by using the output level you generated in part 5 and cost data in part 3 and assuming that the selling environment will likely be very competitive. Determine why this would be a valid assumption.)

Recommend two (2) actions that the company could take in order to improve its profitability and deliver more value to its stakeholders. Outline, in brief, a plan to implement your recommendations.
Use at least five (5) quality academic resources in this assignment. Note: Wikipedia does not qualify as an academic resource.

Your assignment must follow these formatting requirements:

Be typed, double spaced, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all sides; citations and references must follow APA or school-specific format. Check with your professor for any additional instructions.
Include a cover page containing the title of the assignment, the student’s name, the professor’s name, the course title, and the date. The cover page and the reference page are not included in the required assignment page length.

The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:

Analyze short-run and long-run production and cost functions.
Apply macroeconomic concepts to changes in global and national economies and how they affect economic growth, inflation, interest rates, and wage rates.
Evaluate the profit-maximizing price and output level for given operating costs for monopolies and firms in competitive industries.
Use technology and information resources to research issues in managerial economics and globalization.
Write clearly and concisely about managerial economics and globalization using proper writing mechanics.

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