What is overabundance Capacity?

Excess capacity (or unutilized capacity) occurs as soon as a for sure operates or is developing output at much less than the optimum level. It can occur when there is a industry recessionRecessionRecession is a term used to represent a slowdown in general economic activity. In macroeconomics, recessions room officially recognized after 2 consecutive quarters of an unfavorable GDP expansion rates. Or boosted competition, where demand declines and also firms are required to reduce capacity come decrease costs.

You are watching: In manufacturing, excess capacity can be used to


To rise demand, companies generally decrease prices as soon as there is excess volume in the industry. Excess volume is figured out using the minimum long-run average cost; hence, the is not a short-run occurrence.

Economists usually study excess volume in the paper definition of industry structures – perfect competitionPerfect CompetitionIn a sector with perfect competition, both producers and consumers space price-takers. Such a characteristic indicates production and and monopolistic compete – which we will examine below.


Excess capacity is a instance where a firm go not develop at optimum or appropriate capacity – mainly since of decreased demand.Excess volume is calculated utilizing the minimum long-run average cost; hence, it is no a short-run occurrence.There is no excess capacity in the lengthy run for perfectly compete markets.

Excess capacity Under Perfect Competition



LAC – Long-run typical costLMC – Long-run marginal costAR – mean revenueMR – Marginal revenueOP – PriceOQ – QuantityE – Equilibrium point

Conditions of complete equilibrium in a perfect competitive sector structure are reached once the need curve (AR) is tangential come the long-run average cost curve (LAC) in ~ its minimum point. This is likewise the point where the LMC = AR = grandfather = LAC.

The equation signifies the in the lengthy run, despite the entrance of new firms in the market, existing firms make efficient use of easily accessible resources to operate at the lowest point of the LAC.

Therefore, in the lengthy run, the optimum calculation is OQ, and at the equilibrium suggest (E), all firms earn common profits; abnormal earnings are unattainable.

At E, whereby price (OP) and also optimum calculation at the reliable scale (OQ), mr = LMC – AR = LAC. Consequently, over there is no excess volume in the lengthy run because that perfectly competitive markets.

Excess capacity Under Monopolistic Competition

Excess volume is an ext defined under monopolistic competition as result of the nature the the industry structure.

Unlike perfect competitive industries where the demand curve is horizontal, monopolistic vain markets display a bottom sloping need curve. The demand curve cannot be tangential to the LAC at its minimum point.


Conditions that equilibrium are reached at E, whereby LMC = LAC at the minimum point of the latter. This firm in monopolistic competition are most likely to see excess capacity, as there is no incentive to develop optimum calculation at a greater long-run marginal price (LMC) that is greater than marginal revenue (MR).

Firms in monopolistic vain operate below optimum capacity; hence, lock are smaller in size, large in terms of population, and work under conditions of excess capacity.

Firms under monopolistic competition run at the equilibrium suggest E1, whereby output OQ1 is produced, and also the need curve is tangent to the LAC at allude A. It is the allude where the LMC curve intercepts v the grandfather curve.

Firms carry out not operate at equilibrium (E), whereby the LMC curve intercepts the LAC curve at its shortest point, and also optimum output (OQ) is produced. Past OQ1, this firm will start making losses as LMC is better than MR. Thus, excess capacity is created as stood for by Q1Q.

The graph likewise reveals that in the lengthy run, calculation is lower, and price is greater under monopolistic competition, contrasted to perfectly competitive sectors where output is greater and price is lower.

Chamberlin’s watch on overfill Capacity

The ide was defined by Prof. Chamberlin. He suggested that under monopolistic competition, wherein there is flexibility of entry and also price competition, the tangency that the need curve and also the long-run average expense curve would cause optimum output and also no excess capacity.

Furthermore, consumers room willing to salary a higher price for identified products and the boost in a range of goods. Excess volume occurs as result of non-price competition in spite of the liberty of entry in a monopolistic competition industry structure.

Chamberlin suggested that firms usage the expense of manufacturing rather than need when pricing their products, and also they will aim come earn common profits. This firm are typically unwilling to reduce product prices.

In addition, firms focus on product differentiation to dissuade attention from price competition. Part will additionally be led by company ethics to stop cut-throat price competition.

Chamberlin’s Assumptions

Prof. Chamberlin excess capacity ide assumes the following:

A big number of this firm in the marketFirms produce comparable products independently of every other and also can charge lower prices to attract customers from various other firms or charge higher prices and lose customers.Consumer preferences are same distributed throughout product varieties.No product monopoly by any type of firmLong-run cost curves are U-shaped for all firmsFreedom the entry and also exit


Firms knife abnormal revenues at initial short-run equilibrium suggest S and price (OP), i beg your pardon is over the long-run average expense (LAC) curve. However, the entrance of brand-new firms in the market will eventually wipe far abnormal profits.

Imaginary need curve dd is that no material importance if over there is no price competition. The entrance of brand-new firms will press the demand curve DD to the left, wherein it becomes D1D1 and is also tangent to the LAC curve at point G.

At this point, all firms will currently be earning normal earnings at price (OP) and output (OQ). Come note, however, is that OQ is output completed in the absence of price competition.

The optimum calculation is OQ1, wherein excess volume does no exist together each firm’s demand curve d2d2 is tangent come the LAC at allude H, the lowest feasible point ~ above the curve under price competition.

However, every firm produce OQ in the absence of price competition. Therefore, calculation OQ1 signifies overabundance capacity due to non-price competition. In the lengthy run, prices and also costs space governed by excess fertile capacity.

Chamberlin shown that return optimum output is greater than actual calculation under monopolistic competition, it need to not be termed as inefficient, yet it is the price paid because that product differentiation by the consumer.

He more outlined that the difference between OQ and also OQ1 is a measure of the expense of product differentiation quite than overfill capacity. Hence, the conditions for optimum output under monopolistic competition are flexibility of entry and non-price competition.

Excess capacity is frequently caused by solved prices, however when prices space flexible, the entrance of new firms causes an increase in price elasticity the demand, i m sorry lowers price and, subsequently, profits. Prices will be an ext than costs, and profits are likely to stay at the same level if consumer apathy exists.

The level of excess capacity is primarily dependent on:

Elasticity that demandThe price of fall of long-run average cost (LAC)Degree the the preferred product differentiationPresence that price competition

The lack of price competition in between firms has various reasons, as provided by Chamberlain and also include the following:

Policy of live and let liveFormal and tacit agreementsFear of short price being viewed as identified to low-quality productsProfessional ethicsMasked price cut in the kind of rebates or complimentary maintenance

These factors often result in excess capacity in imperfect markets.

Causes of overabundance Capacity

There are two main causes of excess volume under monopolistic competition:

1. Downward-sloping demand curve or median revenue (AR) curve

The demand curve can only be tangential to the LAC when the LAC is falling. Hence, just the horizontal demand curve under perfect competition can be tangential come the LAC at its shortest point.

The downward-sloping shape of the need curve is resulted in by product differentiation. Hence, the higher the elasticity of demand for a firm under monopolistic competition, the less the overfill capacity. Under perfect competition, where need is perfectly elastic, there is no overabundance capacity.

2. Entrance of brand-new firms in the industry

It additionally causes excess capacity in the lengthy run, as shown by Chamberlin. New entrants space attracted by abnormal profits earned by that company in the quick run.

As firms continue to go into the market, the sector is decreased to earning common profits. Every firm produces less than its optimum capacity as result of the share of industry demand.

Benefits of overabundance Capacity

Excess volume under monopolistic competition is led to by product differentiation the leads to product selection and quality, i m sorry is valuable to consumers. Consumers normally do not favor homogenous products. Technically, excess volume increases customer satisfaction.

Real-World issues on overabundance Capacity

Excess capacity in manufacturing sectors of developed economies is brought about by demand or it is provided factors. The is greatly attributable to demand factors because of reduced demand globally or from home because of service cycles and other demand-induced factors.

However, excess capacity can additionally be attributable come supply-side components such as continued rapid expansion in fixed-asset investment, which rises manufacturing capacity and crowds out consumption.

See more: When Is The Orange Bowl 2017, 2017 Orange Bowl: Wisconsin 34, Miami 24

The relationship in between supply and also demand weakens, and this results in overinvestment and excess capacity. Usual remedies because that eliminating excess volume in the real people are together follows:

Boosting domestic need to absorb overfill capacityBoosting external demand through a worldwide strategyEnforcing environmental and energy-efficient requirements to minimize capacity

How to Monetize excess Capacity

Monetizing excess volume is a prudent method of unlocking revenue because that the firm, and also it is also good for society. The main strategy is concentrating on non-cash transactions, and the use of technology. Right here is a perform of methods to monetize overabundance capacity:

Renting out, selling, or trading excess volume – Amazon’s computer power and also storage are supplied to complete capacity throughout the festive season rush. The remainder of the months, Amazon leas out the computing capacity to various other firms and government agencies.Excess office room and commercial machinery deserve to be sold, rented out, or traded come firms. Excess industrial tools can be traded for much-needed equipment.Excess restaurant food is generally wasted – v the aid of applications such together Too an excellent To Go, Karma, and YWaste, i beg your pardon facilitate the sale of excess restaurant food at reduced prices.

More Resources

CFI is the official provider that the worldwide Commercial banking & credit Analyst (CBCA)™Program web page - CBCAGet CFI"s CBCA™ certification and become a Commercial bank & credit Analyst. Enroll and breakthrough your career with our certification programs and courses.certification program, designed to assist anyone come to be a world-class jae won analyst. Come keep progressing your career, the added CFI resources listed below will be useful: