There are many reasons we may not believe that firms profit maximize:
- Principal-agent problem: The person who earns the profit (agent) is not the same as the person who receives the profit (principal)
- Imperfect information: Firms may not know enough about the market to maximize profit
- Inefficiency: Firms may not know how to use their resources optimally
Despite these issues, we still assume firms maximize profits with the following counter arguments:
- Principal-agent problem: Most firms have mechanisms in place to incentivize their employees to do well.
- Imperfect information: Firms can maximize their expected profits when uncertainty is present.
- Inefficiency: We assume inefficient firms learn to become efficient over time or go out of business