Table 5.1 shows the four significant categories of sector structures and their characteristics.

You are watching: A major characteristic of monopolistic competition is that prices will be _____.

Table 5.1 sector Structure Characteristics

Free entry and exit

Barriers come entry

No entry

Perfect compete is ~ above one finish of the sector structure spectrum, with countless firms. The word, “numerous” has special definition in this context. In a perfect competitive industry, each firm is so tiny relative to the sector that it cannot affect the price the the good. Every perfectly competitive for sure is a price taker. Therefore, many firms means that every firm is so tiny that the is a price taker.

Monopoly is the other too much of the sector structure spectrum, with a single firm. Monopolies have syndicate power, or the capacity to readjust the price that the good. Monopoly power is additionally called sector power, and also is measure by the Lerner Index.

This thing defines and describes two intermediary market structures: monopolistic competition and also oligopoly.

Monopolistic Competition = A industry structure identified by a differentiated product and also freedom the entry and exit.

Monopolistically competitive firms have actually one characteristic the is prefer a monopoly (a identified product gives market power), and also one characteristic that is favor a competitive certain (freedom that entry and also exit). This form of sector structure is usual in market-based economies, and also a trip to the grocery store reveals huge numbers of distinguished products: toothpaste, wash soap, breakfast cereal, and so on.

Next, we define the market structure oligopoly.

Oligopoly = A sector structure characterized by obstacles to entry and a few firms.

Oligopoly is a fascinating industry structure as result of interaction and interdependency in between oligopolistic firms. What one firm walk affects the various other firms in the oligopoly.

Since monopolistic competition and oligopoly space intermediary sector structures, the following section will testimonial the properties and also characteristics of perfect competition and also monopoly. These features will provide the defining qualities of monopolistic competition and oligopoly.

5.1.2 review of Perfect Competition

The perfectly competitive sector has four characteristics:

(1) Homogenous product,

(2) big number that buyers and also sellers (numerous firms),

(3) freedom of entry and exit, and

(4) Perfect information.

The possibility of entry and also exit that firms wake up in the lengthy run, since the number of firms is fixed in the short run.

An equilibrium is identified as a allude where over there is no tendency to change. The concept of equilibrium can be extended to encompass the short run and also long run.

Short operation Equilibrium = A suggest from which there is no tendency to adjust (a secure state), and a fixed number of firms.

Long run Equilibrium = A allude from which there is no tendency to readjust (a steady state), and also entry and also exit of firms.

In the brief run, the number of firms is fixed, whereas in the long run, entry and exit of that company is possible, based upon profit conditions. We will compare the short and also long run for a competitive firm in number 5.1. The two panels in number 5.1 space for the for sure (left) and also industry (right), v vastly different units. This is emphasized by using “q” for the firm’s calculation level, and “Q” because that the sector output level. The graph mirrors both brief run and long run equilibria because that a perfectly competitive firm and industry. In brief run equilibrium, the firms faces a high price (PSR), produces amount QSR at PSR = MC, and also earns positive profits πSR.


Figure 5.1 short Run and also Long operation Equilibria because that a perfect Competitive Firm

Positive earnings in the short run (πSR > 0) lead to entry of other firms, as there are no barriers to entrance in a vain industry. The entry of new firms move the it is provided curve in the industry graph from supply SSR to supply SLR. Entry will happen until earnings are driven to zero, and also long run equilibrium is got to at Q*LR. In the long run, financial profits are equal to zero, so over there is no motivation for entrance or exit. Each firm is earning exactly what it is worth, the opportunity costs of every resources. In lengthy run equilibrium, profits are zero (πLR = 0), and price equals the minimum average cost allude (P = min AC = MC). Marginal prices equal average prices at the minimum average price point. At the long run price, it is provided equals demand at price PLR.

5.1.3 testimonial of Monopoly

The characteristics of syndicate include: (1) one firm, (2) one product, and (3) no entrance (Table 5.1). The monopoly solution is displayed in number 5.2.


Figure 5.2 monopoly Profit Maximization

Note the long-run profits deserve to exist for a monopoly, since obstacles to entry halt any type of potential entrants native joining the industry. In the next section, us will check out market frameworks that lie between the 2 extremes of perfect competition and also monopoly.

5.2 Monopolistic Competition

Monopolistic vain is a market structure identified by free entry and also exit, choose competition, and also differentiated products, prefer monopoly. Distinguished products carry out each firm with some market power. Advertising and marketing of each individual product carry out uniqueness that reasons the need curve of each an excellent to be downward sloping. Cost-free entry shows that every firm competes with other firms and also profits are equal to zero on lengthy run equilibrium. If a monopolistically competitive certain is earning positive financial profits, entry will happen until economic profits room equal to zero.

5.2.1 Monopolistic vain in the Short and also Long Runs

The demand curve that a monopolistically competitive certain is bottom sloping, indicating that the firm has a level of market power. Market power derives native product differentiation, since each firm produces a different product. Each good has many close substitutes, so sector power is limited: if the price is boosted too much, consumers will transition to competitors’ products.


Figure 5.3 Monopolistic compete in the short Run and Long Run

Short and long run equilibria for the monopolistically competitive firm are displayed in number 5.3. The need curve encountering the certain is downward sloping, but reasonably elastic as result of the access of nearby substitutes. The brief run equilibrium appears in the left hand panel, and also is nearly identical come the monopoly graph. The only difference is the for a monopolistically vain firm, the demand is relatively elastic, or flat. Otherwise, the short run profit-maximizing equipment is the exact same as a monopoly. The certain sets marginal revenue equal to marginal cost, produces calculation level q*SR and also charges price PSR. The profit level is displayed by the shaded rectangle π.

The long run equilibrium is displayed in the appropriate hand panel. Entry of other firms occurs until earnings are equal to zero; full revenues room equal to complete costs. Thus, the need curve is tangent come the average price curve at the optimal long run quantity, q*LR. The lengthy run profit-maximizing amount is found where marginal revenue equates to marginal cost, which likewise occurs in ~ q*LR.

5.2.2 financial Efficiency and Monopolistic Competition

There are two sources of inefficiency in monopolistic competition. First, dead load loss (DWL) due to monopoly power: price is greater than marginal cost (P > MC). Second, excess capacity: the equilibrium quantity is smaller sized than the lowest cost quantity at the minimum allude on the average cost curve (q*LR minAC). These two sources of inefficiency can be checked out in figure 5.4.


Figure 5.4 to compare of efficiency for Competition and also Monopolistic Competition

First, there is dead load loss (DWL) as result of market power: the price is higher than marginal cost in long run equilibrium. In the right hand panel of figure 5.4, the price at the long run equilibrium quantity is PLR, and marginal price is lower: PLR > MC. This causes dead load loss to society, because the vain equilibrium would certainly be at a larger quantity where P = MC. Full dead weight loss is the shaded area beneath the demand curve and above the MC curve in figure 5.4.

The second source the inefficiency linked with monopolistic vain is overfill capacity. This can likewise be seen in the ideal hand dashboard of figure 5.4, wherein the lengthy run equilibrium quantity is lower than the amount where average prices are shortest (qminAC). Therefore, the firm could produce at a lower price by boosting output to the level whereby average expenses are minimized.

Given these two inefficiencies connected with monopolistic competition, some individuals and also groups have dubbed for government intervention. Regulation can be provided to alleviate or eliminate the inefficiencies by removed product differentiation. This would result in a solitary product instead of a huge number of nearby substitutes.

Regulation is probably not a great solution come the inefficiencies the monopolistic competition, for two reasons. First, the industry power of a common firm in most monopolistically competitive industries is small. Each monopolistically competitive market has plenty of firms that develop sufficiently substitutable products to provide enough vain to result in reasonably low levels of market power. If the this firm have little levels of industry power, climate the deadweight loss and also excess capacity inefficiencies are likely to be small.

Second, the benefit listed by monopolistic compete is product diversity. The acquire from product diversity deserve to be large, together consumers space willing to pay for different characteristics and also qualities. Therefore, the obtain from product diversity is most likely to outweigh the costs of inefficiency. Evidence for this insurance claim can be checked out in market-based economies, where there is a substantial amount that product diversity.

The next chapter will introduce and also discuss oligopoly: strategic interactions in between firms!

5.3 Oligopoly Models

An oligopoly is characterized as a market structure with few firms and barriers to entry.

Oligopoly = A sector structure with few firms and barriers come entry.

There is often a high level that competition in between firms, together each firm makes decisions top top prices, quantities, and also advertising come maximize profits. Because there room a small number of firms in one oligopoly, every firm’s benefit level relies not only on the firm’s own decisions, but likewise on the decisions of the other firms in the oligopolistic industry.

5.3.1 strategic Interactions

Each firm must think about both: (1) various other firms’ reaction to a firm’s own decisions, and also (2) the very own firm’s reaction to the other firms’ decisions. Thus, over there is a constant interplay in between decisions and reactions come those decisions by every firms in the industry. Every oligopolist need to take right into account this strategic interactions when making decisions. Due to the fact that all firms in one oligopoly have actually outcomes that count on the other firms, this strategic interactions are the structure of the study and understanding the oligopoly.

For example, each car firm’s industry share depends on the prices and quantities of every one of the other firms in the industry. If Ford lowers prices family member to other vehicle manufacturers, that will boost its market share in ~ the price of the other car companies.

When making decisions that think about the possible reactions of other firms, firm managers usually assume the the supervisors of contending firms room rational and also intelligent. This strategic interactions form the research of game theory, the topic of chapter 6 below. Man Nash (1928-2015), one American mathematician, to be a pioneer in game theory. Economists and also mathematicians usage the principle of a Nash Equilibrium (NE) to define a common outcome in video game theory the is typically used in the study of oligopoly.

Nash Equilibrium = an outcome where over there is no propensity to change based on each individual choosing a strategy given the strategy the rivals.

In the examine of oligopoly, the Nash Equilibrium assumes that each firm provides rational profit-maximizing decisions while holding the habits of competitor firms constant. This presumption is make to simplify oligopoly models, given the potential for enormous intricacy of strategic interactions in between firms. As an aside, this assumption is among the exciting themes that the activity picture, “A Beautiful Mind,” certification Russell Crowe as john Nash. The concept of Nash Equilibrium is also the foundation of the models the oligopoly gift in the next three sections: the Cournot, Bertrand, and Stackelberg models that oligopoly.

5.3.2 Cournot Model

Augustin Cournot (1801-1877), a French mathematician, emerged the an initial model of oligopoly discover here. The Cournot design is a model of oligopoly in i m sorry firms develop a homogeneous good, assuming the the competitor’s output is fixed when deciding just how much come produce.

A numerical instance of the Cournot design follows, wherein it is assumed the there space two similar firms (a duopoly), through output given by Qi (i=1,2). Therefore, complete industry calculation is equal to: Q = Q1 + Q2. Market need is a role of price and also given by Qd = Qd(P), hence the station demand function is ns = P(Qd). Keep in mind that the price relies on the sector output Q, i beg your pardon is the sum of both separation, personal, instance firm’s outputs. In this way, each firm’s output has actually an affect on the price and profits that both firms. This is the basis for strategic communication in the Cournot model: if one firm rises output, the lowers the price dealing with both firms. The inverse demand function and cost role are provided in Equation 5.1.

(5.1) ns = 40 – QC(Qi) = 7Qi ns = 1,2

Each firm chooses the optimal, profit-maximizing calculation level offered the various other firm’s output. This will an outcome in a Nash Equilibrium, because each for sure is holding the habits of the rival constant. Certain One maximizes revenues as follows.

max π1 = TR1 – TC1

max π1 = P(Q)Q1 – C(Q1)

max π1 = <40 – Q>Q1 – 7Q1

max π1 = <40 – Q1 – Q2>Q1 – 7Q1

max π1 = 40Q1 – Q12 – Q2Q1 – 7Q1

∂π1/∂Q1= 40 – 2Q1 – Q2 – 7 = 0

2Q1 = 33 – Q2

Q1* = 16.5 – 0.5Q2

This equation is referred to as the “Reaction Function” of for sure One. This is as much as the mathematical solution can be simplified, and also represents the Cournot equipment for certain One. That is a reaction role since it defines Firm One’s reaction given the output level of certain Two. This equation to represent the strategy interactions in between the 2 firms, as alters in for sure Two’s output level will an outcome in transforms in certain One’s response. For sure One’s optimal output level relies on for sure Two’s behavior and decision making. Oligopolists are interconnected in both behavior and also outcomes.

The two firms are assumed to be the same in this duopoly. Therefore, firm Two’s reaction function will be symmetrical to the firm One’s reaction function (check this by setting up and also solving the profit-maximization equation for Firm Two):

Q2* = 16.5 – 0.5Q1

The 2 reaction functions can be provided to fix for the Cournot-Nash Equilibrium. There space two equations and also two unknowns (Q1 and also Q2), therefore a numerical equipment is discovered through substitution the one equation right into the other.

Q1* = 16.5 – 0.5(16.5 – 0.5Q1)

Q1* = 16.5 – 8.25 + 0.25Q1

Q1* = 8.25 + 0.25Q1

0.75Q1* = 8.25

Q1* = 11

Due to symmetry from the assumption of identical firms:

Qi = 11 ns = 1,2Q = 22units p = 18 USD/unit

Profits for each certain are:

πi = P(Q)Qi – C(Qi) = 18(11) – 7(11) = (18 – 7)11 = 11(11) = 121 USD

This is the Cournot-Nash equipment for oligopoly, uncovered by each firm assuming the the various other firm hold its output level constant. The Cournot model can be easily extended to much more than two firms, however the math does get increasingly complicated as more firms space added. Economic experts utilize the Cournot model because is based upon intuitive and also realistic assumptions, and the Cournot equipment is intermediary in between the outcomes that the two extreme market frameworks of perfect competition and also monopoly.

This can be viewed by solving the numerical instance for competition, Cournot, and syndicate models, and comparing the solutions for each sector structure.

In a compete industry, free entry outcomes in price equal to marginal expense (P = MC). In the situation of the number example, computer = 7. Once this competitive price is substituted right into the inverse demand equation, 7 = 40 – Q, or Qc = 33. Earnings are found by solving (P – MC)Q, or πc = (7 – 7)Q = 0. The competitive equipment is provided in Equation (5.2).

(5.2) computer = 7 USD/unitQc = 33 unitsπc = 0 USD

The syndicate solution is found by maximizing profits as a single firm.

max πm = TRm – TCm

max πm = P(Qm)Qm – C(Qm)

max πm = <40 – Qm>Qm – 7Qm

max πm = 40Qm – Qm2 – 7Qm

∂πm/∂Qm= 40 – 2Qm – 7 = 0

2Qm = 33

Qm* = 16.5

Pm = 40 – 16.5 = 23.5

πm = (Pm – MCm)Qm = (23.5 – 7)16.5 = 16.5(16.5) = 272.25 USD

The monopoly solution is provided in Equation (5.3).

See more: How Many Pounds In A Gallon Of Diesel Weigh? Diesel Weight: Answering Your Questions

(5.3) pm = 23.5 USD/unit Qm = 16.5 unitsπm = 272.5 USD

The competitive, Cournot, and syndicate solutions have the right to be compared on the same graph because that the numerical instance (Figure 5.5).