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Market Structure & Price Determination

Market Structure
Market structure identifies how a market is made up in terms of: The number of firms in the industry The nature of the product produced The degree of monopoly power each firm has The degree to which the firm can influence price Profit levels Firms behaviour pricing strategies, non-price competition, output levels The extent of barriers to entry The impact on efficiency
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Market Structure
Perfect Competition Pure Monopoly

More competitive (fewer imperfections)

Market Structure
Perfect Competition Pure Monopoly

Less competitive (greater degree of imperfection)

Market Structure
Perfect Competition
Pure Monopoly

Monopolistic Competition

Oligopoly

Duopoly Monopoly

The further right on the scale, the greater the degree of monopoly power exercised by the firm

Market Structure
Market Models a word of warning! Market structure deals with a number of economic models These models are a representation of reality to help us to understand what may be happening in real life There are extremes to the model that are unlikely to occur in reality They still have value as they enable us to draw comparisons and contrasts with what is observed in reality Models help, therefore, in analysing and evaluating they offer a benchmark
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Market Structure
Basic Characteristics of each model:
Number and size of firms that make up the industry Control over price or output Freedom of entry and exit from the industry Nature of the product degree of homogeneity (similarity) of the products in the industry (extent to which products can be regarded as substitutes for each other) Shape of the demand curve

Market Structure
Characteristics: Look at these everyday products what type of market structure are the producers of these products operating in? Remember to think about the nature of the product, entry and exit, behaviour of the firms, number and size of the firms in the industry. You might even have to ask what the industry is?
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Electric Guitar Jazz Body Vodka

Mercedes CLK Coupe

Canon SLR Camera Bananas

Perfect Competition
One extreme of the market structure spectrum

Characteristics:

Large number of firms Products are homogenous (identical) consumer has no reason to express a preference for any firm Freedom of entry and exit into and out of the industry Firms are price takers have no control over the price they charge for their product Each producer supplies a very small proportion of total industry output Consumers and producers have perfect knowledge about the market
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Perfect Competition
Diagrammatic representation
Cost/Revenue
Given The average The the MC industry assumption is the cost cost price curve of of is profit is the AtThe this output the firm maximisation, standard producing determined U additional the shaped by firm the produces curve. demand is making normal profit. at MC an (marginal) cuts output and supply the where AC units of curve MC of the output. industry = at MR its It This is a long run (Q1). lowest falls as This at point a first whole. output because (due level The to firm the of is a the law is a of fraction mathematical diminishing very of the small total relationship returns) supplier industry then within equilibrium position. rises supply. between asthe output industry marginal rises. and and has average no values. control over price. They will sell each extra unit for the same price. Price therefore = MR and AR

MC AC

P = MR = AR

Q1

Output/Sales
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Perfect Competition
Diagrammatic representation
Cost/Revenue
Because the model assumes perfect knowledge, the firm Nowlower The Average assume and ACMarginal a and firm MC makes costs would gains the advantage for some that imply could be form expected the of modification firm is tonow be only lower to a short time before others copy its product earning but price, abnormal in or the gains short profit some run, form the idea or are attracted the of cost advantage (AR>AC) remains the represented same.(sayby ato new the industry by method). the existence of production grey area. What abnormal profit. If new firms would happen? enter the industry, supply will increase, price will fall and the firm will be left making normal profit once again.

MC MC1 AC AC1

AC1

Abnormal profit

P = MR = AR P1 = MR1 = AR1

Q1

Q2

Output/Sales
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Monopolistic Competition
Where the conditions of perfect competition do not hold, imperfect competition will exist Varying degrees of imperfections give rise to varying market structures Monopolistic competition is one of these not to be confused with monopoly!

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Monopolistic Competition Characteristics:


Relatively large number of firms in the industry The product is differentiated May have some element of control over price due to the fact that they are able to differentiate their product in some way from their rivals products are close but not perfect substitutes Entry and exit from the industry is relatively easy few barriers to entry and exit Consumers and producers knowledge of market conditions is imperfect 13

Monopolistic Competition

Implications for the diagram:


Cost/Revenue

MC AC

1.00

Abnormal Profit
0.60

We Marginal assume Cost that and the firm This IfSince The the is demand firm a the short produces additional run curve equilibrium Q1 facing and produces Average where Cost will MR be = MC the position sells the firm revenue each for will received a unit firm be for downward in1.00 from a on (profit same maximising shape. However, output). monopolistic average sloping each unit with and sold market represents the falls, costthe (on the At because this output the level, products AR>AC structure. average) AR MR earned curve for lies from each under sales. unit the being and are the differentiated firm in 40p x 60p, AR curve. the firmmakes will make abnormal some way, profit the (the firm grey will Q1 in abnormal profit. shaded only be area). able to sell extra output by lowering price.

MR
Q1

D (AR)
Output / Sales
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Monopolistic Competition
Implications for the diagram:
Cost/Revenue

MC AC

Because there is relative freedom of entry and exit into the market, new firms will enter encouraged by the existence of abnormal profits. New entrants will increase supply causing price to fall. As price falls, the AR and MR curves shift inwards as revenue from each sale is now less.

MR1
Q1

MR

AR1

D (AR)
Output / Sales

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Monopolistic Competition
Implications for the diagram:
Cost/Revenue

MC AC

AR = AC

Notice that the existence of more substitutes makes the new AR (D) curve more price elastic. The firm reduces output to a point where MC = MR (Q2). At this output AR = AC and the firm will make normal profit.

MR1
Q2 Q1

MR

AR1

D (AR)
Output / Sales

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Monopolistic Competition
Implications for the diagram:
Cost/Revenue

MC AC

This is the long run equilibrium position of a firm in monopolistic competition.

AR = AC

MR1
Q2

AR1
Output / Sales

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Monopolistic Competition

Some important points about monopolistic competition: May reflect a wide range of markets Not just one point on a scale reflects many degrees of imperfection Examples?

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Monopolistic Competition
Restaurants Plumbers/electricians/local builders Solicitors Private schools Plant hire firms Insurance brokers Health clubs Hairdressers Estate agents Damp proofing control firms

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Monopolistic Competition

In each case there are many firms in the industry Each can try to differentiate its product in some way Entry and exit to the industry is relatively free Consumers and producers do not have perfect knowledge of the market the market may indeed be relatively localised. Can you imagine trying to search out the details, prices, reliability, quality of service, etc for every plumber in the UK in the event of an emergency?

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Oligopoly
Competition

between the few- May be a large number of firms in the industry but the industry is dominated by a small number of very large producers Concentration Ratio the proportion of total market sales (share) held by the top 3,4,5, etc firms A 4 firm concentration ratio of 75% means the top 4 firms account for 75% of all the sales in the industry

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Oligopoly
Example: Music sales

The music industry has a 5-firm concentration ratio of 75%. Independents make up 25% of the market but there could be many thousands of firms that make up this independents group. An oligopolistic market structure therefore may have many firms in the industry but it is dominated by a few large sellers.

Market Share of the Music Industry 2002. Source IFPI:

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Oligopoly
Features of an oligopolistic market structure
Price may be relatively stable across the industry kinked demand curve Potential for collusion Behaviour of firms affected by what they believe their rivals might do interdependence of firms Goods could be homogenous or highly differentiated Branding and brand loyalty may be a potent source of competitive advantage Non-price competition may be prevalent Game theory can be used to explain some behaviour High barriers to entry
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Oligopoly
Price
The kinked demand curve - an explanation for price stability? The Assume If The the firm principle firm the therefore, seeks firm ofto is the lower charging effectively kinked its price demand a faces price to of 5 gain a kinked and a curve competitive producing demand rests on an curve advantage, the output principle forcing of 100. its it rivals to will follow maintain that: asuit. stable Any orgains rigid pricing it makes will If it chose to raise price above 5, its quickly beOligopolistic structure. lost and the firms % change may in rivals a. would If a firm not raises follow its suit price, andits the firm demand will overcome this beby smaller engaging thanin the non% effectively rivals faces will not an follow elasticsuit demand reduction price competition. in price total revenue curve for its product (consumers would would b. If again a firm fall lowers as the its firm price, now its faces buy from the cheaper rivals). The % a relatively rivalsinelastic will all do demand the same curve. change in demand would be greater than the % change in price and TR would fall.

Total Revenue B

Total Revenue A

Total Revenue B
100

Kinked D Curve

D = elastic

D = Inelastic

Quantity
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Duopoly

Market structure where the industry is dominated by two large producers


Collusion may be a possible feature Price leadership by the larger of the two firms may exist the smaller firm follows the price lead of the larger one Highly interdependent High barriers to entry Cournot Model French economist analysed duopoly suggested long run equilibrium would see equal market share and normal profit made In reality, local duopolies may exist

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Monopoly
Monopoly (polar opposite of perfect competition) is the market structure in which there is/are A single seller No close substitutes Barriers to entry One firm one industry (firms demand curve is the market demand curve)
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Monopoly
Pure monopoly where only one producer exists in the industry In reality, rarely exists always some form of substitute available Monopoly exists, therefore, where one firm dominates the market Firms may be investigated for examples of monopoly power when market share exceeds 25% Use term monopoly power with care!

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Monopoly

Monopoly power refers to cases where firms influence the market in some way through their behaviour determined by the degree of concentration in the industry Influencing prices Influencing output Erecting barriers to entry Pricing strategies to prevent competition
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Monopoly Origins of monopoly:


Ownership of strategic raw material Through growth of the firm Exclusive knowledge of production techniques Higher entry costs Economies of scale Through amalgamation, merger or takeover Through acquiring patent or license Through legal means Royal charter, nationalisation, wholly owned Pvt. Ltd.Co.
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Monopoly
Characteristics of firms exercising monopoly power: Price could be deemed too high,

may be set to destroy competition (destroyer or predatory pricing), price discrimination possible.

Efficiency could be inefficient due


to lack of competition. Inefficiency could be higher due to availability of high profits

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Monopoly

of the promise of high profits, Possibly encourages high investment in research and development (R&D) Collusion possible to maintain monopoly power of key firms in industry High levels of branding, advertising and non-price competition

Innovation - could be high because

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Monopoly
Problems with models a reminder:
Often difficult to distinguish between a monopoly and an oligopoly both may exhibit behaviour that reflects monopoly power Monopolies and oligopolies do not necessarily aim for traditional assumption of profit maximisation Monopolies not always bad may be desirable in some cases but may need strong regulation Monopolies do not have to be big could exist locally

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Monopoly
Costs / Revenue

MC
7.00

Monopoly Profit
3.00

AC

This AR Given (D) isthe both curve barriers the forshort a to monopolist entry, run and likely the long monopolist run to be equilibrium relatively will be position price able to inelastic. exploit for a monopoly abnormal Output assumed profits in the to be atrun long profit as maximising entry to the output (note caution market is restricted. here not all monopolists may aim for profit maximisation!)

MR
Q1

AR
Output / Sales

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Monopoly
Costs / Revenue

Welfare implications of monopolies AC


A look back at the diagram for The The higher price monopoly in price a competitive price and lower would be perfect competition will reveal output market 7 per means unit would with that be output 3 consumer with levels that inat equilibrium, price will by be surplus output lower is levels Q2. reduced, at Q1. indicated equal to the MC of production. the grey shaded area. On the face of it, consumers We look therefore a facecan higher prices and at less comparison of the differences choice in monopoly conditions between price and competitive output in a compared to more competitive situation compared environments. to a monopoly.

MC
7

Loss of consumer surplus


3

MR
Q2 Q1

AR
Output / Sales

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Monopoly
Costs / Revenue

Welfare implications of monopolies AC


The monopolist will benefit be affected from additional by a loss producer of producer surplus equal shownto by the the grey grey triangle rectangle. shaded but..

MC
7

Gain in producer surplus


3

MR
Q2 Q1

AR
Output / Sales

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Monopoly
Costs / Revenue

Welfare implications of monopolies AC


The value of the grey shaded triangle represents the total welfare loss to society sometimes referred to as the deadweight welfare loss.

MC
7

MR
Q2 Q1

AR
Output / Sales

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Final reminders:

Market Structures

Models can be used as a comparison they are not necessarily meant to BE reality When looking at real world examples, focus on the behaviour of the firm in relation to what the model predicts would happen that gives the basis for analysis and evaluation of the real world situation Regulation or the threat of regulation may well affect the way a firm behaves Remember that these models are based on certain assumptions in the real world some of these assumptions may not be valid, this allows us to draw comparisons and contrasts The way that governments deal with firms may be based on a general assumption that more competition is better than less
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