Table 5.1 reflects the four significant categories of market structures and also their characteristics.

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Table 5.1 market Structure Characteristics


Free entry and also exit

Barriers to entry

No entry

Perfect competition is on one finish of the market structure spectrum, with many firms. The word, “numerous” has actually special an interpretation in this context. In a perfect competitive industry, each firm is so small relative come the industry that that cannot impact the price the the good. Every perfectly competitive firm is a price taker. Therefore, plenty of firms way that each firm is so tiny that the is a price taker.

Monopoly is the other extreme of the market structure spectrum, with a single firm. Monopolies have syndicate power, or the ability to adjust the price that the good. Monopoly power is also called market power, and is measured by the Lerner Index.

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

Monopolistic Competition = A sector structure characterized by a differentiated product and freedom of entry and also exit.

Monopolistically competitive firms have actually one characteristic that is prefer a syndicate (a differentiated product gives market power), and one characteristic the is like a competitive for sure (freedom of entry and exit). This form of industry structure is common in market-based economies, and also a expedition to the grocery keep reveals large numbers of differentiated products: toothpaste, wash soap, breakfast cereal, and so on.

Next, we define the market structure oligopoly.

Oligopoly = A market structure identified by obstacles to entry and also a few firms.

Oligopoly is a fascinating sector structure due to interaction and interdependency between oligopolistic firms. What one firm go affects the other firms in the oligopoly.

Since monopolistic competition and oligopoly room intermediary sector structures, the next section will evaluation the properties and also characteristics that perfect competition and also monopoly. These attributes will carry out the defining qualities of monopolistic competition and also oligopoly.

5.1.2 review of Perfect Competition

The perfectly competitive sector has 4 characteristics:

(1) Homogenous product,

(2) big number the buyers and sellers (numerous firms),

(3) freedom of entry and exit, and

(4) Perfect information.

The opportunity of entry and exit that firms occurs in the long run, since the variety of firms is resolved in the quick run.

An equilibrium is characterized as a suggest where over there is no propensity to change. The concept of equilibrium have the right to be prolonged to encompass the quick run and long run.

Short run Equilibrium = A point from which over there is no tendency to readjust (a secure state), and also a fixed number of firms.

Long operation Equilibrium = A suggest from which over there is no tendency to readjust (a steady state), and entry and exit that firms.

In the quick run, the variety of firms is fixed, vice versa, in the lengthy run, entry and exit of this firm is possible, based upon profit conditions. We will certainly compare the short and long operation for a competitive for sure in figure 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 making use of “q” for the firm’s output level, and “Q” for the market output level. The graph reflects both quick run and also long operation 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 hopeful profits πSR.


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Figure 5.1 brief Run and also Long operation Equilibria for a perfectly Competitive Firm

Positive revenues in the quick run (πSR > 0) lead to entry of various other firms, together there space no obstacles to entry in a vain industry. The entrance of new firms move the supply curve in the market graph from supply SSR to supply SLR. Entrance will happen until earnings are propelled to zero, and long run equilibrium is got to at Q*LR. In the lengthy run, financial profits room equal to zero, so over there is no inspiration for entry or exit. Every firm is earning precisely what the is worth, the opportunity prices of every resources. In long run equilibrium, profits are zero (πLR = 0), and also price amounts to the minimum median cost allude (P = min AC = MC). Marginal expenses equal average prices at the minimum average price point. At the lengthy run price, it is provided equals demand at price PLR.


5.1.3 testimonial of Monopoly

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


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Figure 5.2 syndicate Profit Maximization

Note the long-run profits can exist because that a monopoly, since barriers to entrance halt any potential entrants indigenous joining the industry. In the following section, us will check out market frameworks that lie between the two extremes the perfect competition and monopoly.

5.2 Monopolistic Competition

Monopolistic competition is a market structure identified by totally free entry and exit, choose competition, and also differentiated products, prefer monopoly. Identified products carry out each firm v some sector power. Advertising and also marketing of every individual product provide uniqueness that reasons the demand curve of each an excellent to it is in downward sloping. Totally free entry indicates that every firm competes with various other firms and profits room equal come zero on long run equilibrium. If a monopolistically competitive certain is earning positive financial profits, entry will occur until financial profits room equal come zero.

5.2.1 Monopolistic compete in the Short and Long Runs

The need curve of a monopolistically competitive for sure is bottom sloping, indicating that the firm has a level of market power. Market power derives native product differentiation, since each certain produces a different product. Each great has plenty of close substitutes, so sector power is limited: if the price is enhanced too much, consumers will change to competitors’ products.


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Figure 5.3 Monopolistic competition in the quick Run and also Long Run

Short and long operation equilibria because that the monopolistically competitive certain are presented in number 5.3. The need curve dealing with the firm is downward sloping, but relatively elastic due to the accessibility of nearby substitutes. The short run equilibrium appears in the left hand panel, and is virtually identical to the monopoly graph. The only difference is that for a monopolistically competitive firm, the need is reasonably elastic, or flat. Otherwise, the quick run profit-maximizing equipment is the same as a monopoly. The for sure sets marginal revenue equal to marginal cost, produces output level q*SR and charges price PSR. The profit level is displayed by the shaded rectangle π.


The lengthy run equilibrium is presented in the ideal hand panel. Entry of various other firms wake up until revenues are same to zero; full revenues space equal to complete costs. Thus, the need curve is tangent come the average cost curve at the optimal lengthy 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 economic Efficiency and Monopolistic Competition

There space two resources of incompetent in monopolistic competition. First, dead weight loss (DWL) early out to syndicate power: price is greater than marginal cost (P > MC). Second, overfill capacity: the equilibrium amount is smaller sized than the lowest price quantity at the minimum suggest on the average cost curve (q*LR minAC). These two resources of inefficiency have the right to be seen in number 5.4.


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Figure 5.4 compare of performance for Competition and also Monopolistic Competition

First, there is dead weight loss (DWL) as result of market power: the price is greater than marginal cost in long run equilibrium. In the best hand dashboard of figure 5.4, the price at the lengthy run equilibrium quantity is PLR, and marginal expense is lower: PLR > MC. This causes dead load loss come society, due to the fact that the vain equilibrium would certainly be in ~ a bigger quantity wherein P = MC. Full dead weight loss is the shaded area in ~ the demand curve and over the MC curve in number 5.4.


The second source that inefficiency connected with monopolistic vain is excess capacity. This can also be viewed in the best hand dashboard of number 5.4, wherein the lengthy run equilibrium amount is reduced than the quantity where average costs are lowest (qminAC). Therefore, the firm can produce in ~ a lower price by increasing output come the level where average prices are minimized.

Given these 2 inefficiencies linked with monopolistic competition, part individuals and also groups have called for government intervention. Regulation might be provided to alleviate or eliminate the inefficiencies by removed product differentiation. This would result in a solitary product instead of a large number of close substitutes.

Regulation is most likely not a good solution to the inefficiencies the monopolistic competition, for two reasons. First, the market power the a typical firm in many monopolistically competitive markets is small. Each monopolistically competitive market has countless firms that produce sufficiently substitutable assets to administer enough competition to result in reasonably low level of industry power. If the firms have small levels of sector power, climate the deadweight loss and also excess volume inefficiencies are most likely to it is in small.

Second, the benefit listed by monopolistic compete is product diversity. The gain from product diversity have the right to be large, together consumers room willing to salary for various characteristics and also qualities. Therefore, the obtain from product diversity is most likely to outweigh the prices of inefficiency. Evidence for this case can be viewed in market-based economies, whereby there is a substantial amount that product diversity.

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

5.3 Oligopoly Models

An oligopoly is defined as a sector structure with couple of firms and barriers to entry.

Oligopoly = A industry structure with couple of firms and barriers come entry.

There is regularly a high level that competition between firms, together each firm renders decisions ~ above prices, quantities, and advertising come maximize profits. Since there space a small variety of firms in one oligopoly, each firm’s benefit level relies not just on the firm’s own decisions, but also on the decision of the various other firms in the oligopolistic industry.

5.3.1 strategy Interactions

Each for sure must think about both: (1) other firms’ reactions to a firm’s very own decisions, and (2) the very own firm’s reactions to the other firms’ decisions. Thus, there is a continuous interplay in between decisions and reactions to those decision by all firms in the industry. Every oligopolist should take into account this strategic interactions once making decisions. Due to the fact that all that company in one oligopoly have outcomes that count on the various other firms, this strategic interactions space the foundation of the study and understanding of oligopoly.

For example, each auto firm’s market share depends on the prices and quantities of all of the various other firms in the industry. If Ford lowers prices family member to other auto manufacturers, it will rise its market share in ~ the price of the other vehicle companies.

When making decisions that think about the possible reactions of various other firms, firm supervisors usually assume the the supervisors of completing firms room rational and also intelligent. This strategic interactions form the examine of video game theory, the object of chapter 6 below. Man Nash (1928-2015), one American mathematician, was a pioneer in game theory. Economists and mathematicians use the ide of a Nash Equilibrium (NE) to define a typical outcome in video game theory the is commonly used in the study of oligopoly.

Nash Equilibrium = result where there is no propensity to change based on each individual selecting a strategy provided the strategy that rivals.

In the research of oligopoly, the Nash Equilibrium assumes the each firm renders rational profit-maximizing decisions while hold the habits of rival firms constant. This presumption is do to simplify oligopoly models, given the potential because that enormous intricacy of strategic interactions between firms. Together an aside, this presumption is one of the interesting themes of the activity picture, “A Beautiful Mind,” starring Russell Crowe as man Nash. The principle of Nash Equilibrium is likewise the structure of the models the oligopoly gift in the following three sections: the Cournot, Bertrand, and Stackelberg models the oligopoly.

5.3.2 Cournot Model

Augustin Cournot (1801-1877), a French mathematician, arisen the first model that oligopoly explored here. The Cournot version is a model of oligopoly in which firms develop a homogeneous good, assuming the the competitor’s output is fixed as soon as deciding how much to produce.

A numerical example of the Cournot model follows, wherein it is assumed the there are two similar firms (a duopoly), v output given by Qi (i=1,2). Therefore, total industry output is equal to: Q = Q1 + Q2. Market need is a duty of price and given by Qd = Qd(P), therefore the train station demand duty is p = P(Qd). Keep in mind that the price counts on the sector output Q, i beg your pardon is the sum of both individual firm’s outputs. In this way, each firm’s output has an influence on the price and profits of both firms. This is the basis because that strategic interaction in the Cournot model: if one firm boosts output, it lowers the price encountering both firms. The inverse demand duty and cost role are offered in Equation 5.1.

(5.1) ns = 40 – QC(Qi) = 7Qi i = 1,2

Each firm choose the optimal, profit-maximizing output level provided the various other firm’s output. This will result in a Nash Equilibrium, since each for sure is holding the habits of the rival constant. For sure One maximizes profits 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 firm One. This is as far as the mathematics solution deserve to be simplified, and represents the Cournot systems for certain One. The is a reaction role since it describes Firm One’s reaction provided the output level of certain Two. This equation represents the strategic interactions between the 2 firms, as alters in for sure Two’s output level will result in transforms in certain One’s response. Certain One’s optimal calculation level relies on certain Two’s behavior and decision making. Oligopolists space interconnected in both behavior and outcomes.

The 2 firms room assumed come be the same in this duopoly. Therefore, certain Two’s reaction role will be symmetrical to the certain 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 features can be supplied to fix for the Cournot-Nash Equilibrium. There space two equations and two unknowns (Q1 and also Q2), for this reason a numerical solution is discovered through substitution of one equation 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 indigenous the assumption of similar firms:

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

Profits because that each for sure are:

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

This is the Cournot-Nash solution for oligopoly, found by each firm assuming that the other firm holds its calculation level constant. The Cournot model have the right to be conveniently extended to much more than two firms, yet the mathematics does gain increasingly complex as more firms space added. Economists utilize the Cournot model because is based on intuitive and realistic assumptions, and also the Cournot systems is intermediary in between the outcomes the the two extreme market structures of perfect competition and also monopoly.

This deserve to be checked out by solving the numerical example for competition, Cournot, and monopoly models, and also comparing the options for each market structure.

In a vain industry, free entry outcomes in price equal to marginal cost (P = MC). In the situation of the numerical example, pc = 7. Once this vain price is substituted right into the inverse demand equation, 7 = 40 – Q, or Qc = 33. Revenues are uncovered by fixing (P – MC)Q, or πc = (7 – 7)Q = 0. The competitive systems is offered 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 syndicate solution is given in Equation (5.3).

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

The competitive, Cournot, and monopoly solutions can be contrasted on the same graph for the numerical example (Figure 5.5).