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Home Scale of Production Economies of Large Scale Production


Economics of Large Scale Production:


Classifications/Types and Explanation:


The economies of large scale production are classified by Marshall into:


(1) Internal Economies and (2) External Economies.


(1) Internal Economies of Scale:


Definition and Types:


Internal economies of scale are those economies which are internal to the firm. These arise within the firm as a result of increasing the scale of output of the firm. A firm secures these economies from the growth of the firm independently. The main internal economies are grouped under the following heads:


(i) Technical Economies: When production is carried on a large scale, a firm can afford to install up to date and costly machinery and can have its own repairing arrangements. As the cost of machinery will be spread over a very large volume of output, the cost of production per unit will therefore, be low.


A large establishment can utilize its by products. This will further enable the firm to lower the price per unit of the main product. A large firm can also secure the services of experienced entrepreneurs and workers which a small firm cannot afford. In a large establishment there is much scope for specialization of work, so the division of labor can be easily secured.


(ii) Managerial Economies: When production is carried on a large scale, the task of manager can be split up into different departments and each department can be placed under the supervision of a specialist of that branch. The difficult task can be taken up by the entrepreneur himself. Due to these functional specialization, the total return can be increased at a lower cost.


(iii) Marketing Economies: Marketing economies refer to those economies which a firm can secure from the purchase or sale of the commodities. A large establishment is in a better position to buy the raw material at a cheaper rate because it can buy that commodities on a large scale. At the time of selling the produced goods, the firm can secure better rates by effectively advertising in the newspapers, journals and radio, etc.


(iv) Financial Economies: Financial economies arise from the fact that a big establishment can raise loans at a lower rate of interest than a small establishment which enjoys little reputation in the capital market.


(v) Risk Bearing Economies: A big firm can undertake risk bearing economies by spreading the risk. In certain cases the risk is eliminated altogether. A big establishment produces a variety of goods in order to cater the needs of different tastes of people. If the demand for a certain type of commodities slackens, it is counter balanced by the increase in demand of the other type of commodities produced by the firm.


(vi) Economies of Scale: As a firm grows in size, it is-possible for it to reduce its cost. The reduction in costs, as a result of increasing production is called economies of scale. The economies of scale are obtained by the firm up to the lowest point on the firms long run average cost curve. The main sources of economies of scale are in brief as under.:


Diseconomies of Scale:




The extensive use of machinery, division of labor, increased specialization and larger plant size etc., no doubt entail lower cost per unit of output but the fall in cost per unit is up to a certain limit. As the firm goes beyond the optimum size, the efficiency of the firm begins to decline. The average cost of production begins to rise.


Factors of Diseconomies:


The main factors causing diseconomies of scale and eventually leading to higher per units cost are as follows: 


(i) Lack of co-ordination. As a firm becomes large scale producer, it faces difficulty in coordinating the various departments of production. The lack of co-ordination in the production, planning, marketing personnel, account, etc., lowers efficiency of the factors of production. The average cost of production begins to rise.


(ii) Loose control. As the size of plant increases, the management loses control over the productive activities. The misuse of delegation of authority, the redtapisim bring diseconomies and lead to higher average cost of production.


(iii) Lack of proper communication. The lack of proper communication between top management and the supervisory staff and little feed back from subordinate staff causes diseconomies of scale and results in the average cost to go up.                              


(iv) Lack of identification. In a large organizational structure, there is no close liaison between the top management and the thousands of workers employed in the firm. The lack of identification of interest with the firm results in the per unit cost to go up.


(2) External Economies of Scale:


Definition and Types:


External economies of scale are those economies which are not specially availed of by .any firm. Rather these accrue to all the firms in an industry as the industry expands. The main external economies are as under:


(i) Economies of localization. When an industry is concentrated in a particular area, all the firms situated in that locality avail of some common economies such as (a) skilled labor, (b) transportation facilities, (c) post and telegraph facilities, (d) banking and insurance facilities etc.


(ii) Economies of vertical disintegration. The vertical disintegration implies the splitting up the production process in such a manner that some Job are assigned to specialized firms. For example, when an industry expands, the repair work of the various parts of the machinery is taken up by the various firms specialists in repairs.


(iii) Economies of information. As the industry expands it can set up research institutes. The research institutes provide market information, technical information etc for the benefit of alt the firms in the industry.


(iv) Economies of by products. All the firms can  lower the costs of production by making use of waste materials.


External Diseconomies:




A firm or an industry cannot avail of economies for an indefinite period of time. With the expansion and growth of an industry, certain disadvantage also begin to arise. The diseconomies of large scale production are:


(i) Diseconomies of pollution, (ii) Excessive pressure on transport facilities, (iii) Rise in the prices of the factors of production, (iv) Scarcity of funds, (v) Marketing problems of the products, (iv) Increase in risks.

Relevant Articles:

What is Scale of Production
Economies of Large Scale Production

Survival of Small Scale Firms

Localization of Industries
Optimum Firm

Principles and Theories of Micro Economics
Definition and Explanation of Economics
Theory of Consumer Behavior
Indifference Curve Analysis of Consumer's Equilibrium
Theory of Demand
Theory of Supply
Elasticity of Demand
Elasticity of Supply
Equilibrium of Demand and Supply
Economic Resources
Scale of Production
Laws of Returns
Production Function
Cost Analysis
Various Revenue Concepts
Price and output Determination Under Perfect Competition
Price and Output Determination Under Monopoly
Price and Output Determination Under Monopolistic/Imperfect Competition
Theory of Factor Pricing OR Theory of Distribution
Principles and Theories of Macro Economics
National Income and Its Measurement
Principles of Public Finance
Public Revenue and Taxation
National Debt and Income Determination
Fiscal Policy
Determinants of the Level of National Income and Employment
Determination of National Income
Theories of Employment
Theory of International Trade
Balance of Payments
Commercial Policy
Development and Planning Economics
Introduction to Development Economics
Features of Developing Countries
Economic Development and Economic Growth
Theories of Under Development
Theories of Economic Growth
Agriculture and Economic Development
Monetary Economics and Public Finance

History of Money

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