Returns to cale

In financial aspects, Returns to Scale and economies of scale are connected however diverse terms that portray what happens as the size of creation increments over the long haul, when all information levels including physical capital utilization are variable (picked by the firm). The term comes back to scale emerges with regards to an association’s generation capacity. It clarifies the conduct of the rate of expansion in yield (creation) in respect to the related increment in the inputs (the variables of generation) over the long haul. Over the long haul all elements of generation are variable and subject to change because of a given increment in size (scale). While economies of scale demonstrate the impact of an expanded yield level on unit costs, comes back to scale concentrate just on the connection amongst info and yield amounts.

The laws of profits to scale are an arrangement of three interrelated and consecutive laws: Law of Increasing Returns to Scale, Law of Constant Returns to Scale, and Law of Diminishing comes back to Scale. On the off chance that yield increments by that same relative change as all inputs change then there are steady comes back to scale (CRS). In the event that yield increments by not as much as that relative change in inputs, there are diminishing comes back to scale (DRS). On the off chance that yield increments by more than that relative change in inputs, there are expanding comes back to scale (IRS). A company’s creation capacity could show diverse sorts of profits to scale in various scopes of yield. Normally, there could expand returns at moderately low yield levels, diminishing returns at generally high yield levels, and steady returns at one yield level between those reaches.

In mainstream microeconomics, the returns to scale faced by a firm are purely technologically imposed and are not influenced by economic decisions or by market conditions (i.e., conclusions about returns to scale are derived from the specific mathematical structure of the production function in isolation).


When all inputs increase by a factor of 2, new values for output will be:

Twice the previous output if there are constant returns to scale (CRS)

Less than twice the previous output if there are decreasing returns to scale (DRS)

More than twice the previous output if there are increasing returns to scale (IRS)

Assuming that the factor costs are constant (that is, that the firm is a perfect competitor in all input markets), a firm experiencing constant returns will have constant long-run average costs, a firm experiencing decreasing returns will have increasing long-run average costs, and a firm experiencing increasing returns will have decreasing long-run average costs. However, this relationship breaks down if the firm does not face perfectly competitive factor markets (i.e., in this context, the price one pays for a good does depend on the amount purchased). For example, if there are increasing returns to scale in some range of output levels, but the firm is so big in one or more input markets that increasing its purchases of an input drives up the input’s per-unit cost, then the firm could have diseconomies of scale in that range of output levels. Conversely, if the firm is able to get bulk discounts of an input, then it could have economies of scale in some range of output levels even if it has decreasing returns in production in that output range.

Formal definitions

Formally, a production function F(K,L) is defined to have:

  • Constant returns to scale if (for any constant a greater than 0) F(aK,aL)=aF(K,L)
  • Increasing returns to scale if (for any constant a greater than 1) F(aK,aL)>aF(K,L),
  • Decreasing returns to scale if (for any constant a greater than 1) F(aK,aL)<aF(K,L)

where K and L are factors of production—capital and labor, respectively.

In a more general set-up, for a multi-input-multi-output production processes, one may assume technology can be represented via some technology set, call it T, which must satisfy some regularity conditions of production theory. In this case, the property of constant returns to scale is equivalent to saying that technology set T is a cone, i.e., satisfies the property  In turn, if there is a production function that will describe the technology set T it will have to be homogeneous of degree 1.

Formal example

The Cobb-Douglas functional form has constant returns to scale when the sum of the exponents adds up to one. The function is:

where A > 0 and 0 < b < 1. Thus

But if the Cobb-Douglas production function has its general form

with 0 < c < 1, then there are increasing returns if b + c > 1 but decreasing returns if b + c < 1, since

which is greater than or less than aF(K,L) as b+c is greater or less than one.

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