What is Producer Surplus?

What is producer surplus? The answer to that question depends on the type of product and market. If a product is a service, the market price is usually higher than its marginal cost. A good example is the cellphone market. For example, an iPhone costs $800, but it only contains a few dollars of parts and several hundred dollars of brand recognition. Meanwhile, in disaster areas, bottled water can cost triple or quadruple its cost because of limited supply.

Producer surplus is the difference between what a producer is paid for a good and what the producer would have been willing to sell the good for. Producer surplus measures the total benefit to producers from producing a good. This benefit can come from two sources: higher prices or increased production.

Producer surplus

The area between the market price line and the supply curve is the producer surplus. It is calculated as the amount of units that are sold for a price higher than breakeven. To determine the producer surplus, multiply the price by the number of units sold at the equilibrium point. Then divide that number by two. Non-straight supply curves are adjusted using geometric equations. The total revenue is also the producer surplus. A luxury car manufacturer’s surplus is equal to the difference between its total revenue and total sales.

Costs of production

The costs of production and the surplus of the producer are two different concepts. The former is the amount of money earned above minimum price, while the latter refers to the money earned by the seller over the cost of production. Using a formula, producer surplus can be calculated by subtracting total revenue from total cost. A successful transaction will fall between the minimum and maximum prices of the seller and buyer. Moreover, the surplus of the producer is the amount that is left over after the costs of production are paid.

Price discrimination

When a firm tries to sell the same good or service to different classes of consumers at a different price, this is referred to as price discrimination. These practices can lead to higher profits for some groups of consumers, while costing less for others. Different prices can also lead to higher economic profits when a firm offers discounts and catches the attention of consumers. Both consumer surplus and producer surplus are important factors in determining prices.

Market power

Graph of a perfect oligopoly: A perfectly oligopolistic firm has market power when its total revenue exceeds its cost of production. This surplus is also known as the producer surplus. This surplus is unlimited because the price is flexible. Hence, the higher the market power of a firm, the larger its producer surplus. This is a crucial point in the theory of oligopoly. Here, we show the relationship between producer surplus and market power using the production function.

Supply and demand

If there is a surplus of a good, the price must be lower than the quantity that is available in the market. For example, if a firm sells ten units, it will only get $0.9 more per unit than if it sold only nine. The firm’s surplus would then be $4. At this price, the firm will sell fewer units, thereby losing $9 of its producer surplus. The same principle applies to consumer surplus.


How to calculate the Producer surplus is a common question. This is an economic equation that demonstrates the relationship between price and total revenue. The area of the dotted triangle represents the total producer benefit. The base and height of the triangle are the equilibrium quantity and price. If a producer produces an item at a lower price than the equilibrium quantity, the surplus will be larger than the marginal cost. When the price of a product falls below the marginal cost, the surplus will increase and vice versa.

In conclusion, producer surplus is a measure of the difference between the amount a producer is paid for a good or service and the minimum amount the producer would be willing to accept for the good or service. Producer surplus is a positive externality, meaning that it benefits society as a whole. In addition, producer surplus can be used to measure market power and price discrimination. Finally, producer surplus is an important tool for policymakers when making decisions about how to best allocate resources.

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