Market Structures

A2 Economics... these will have a bit of a focus on them towards transport economics cause thats what i'm studying, but I'm they could be applied to other areas too. Might also help with business studies, but then i don't know whats in that syllabus, so its just a guess.

Monopoly, Oligopoly and Monopolistic Competition

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  • Created by: Vixxx92
  • Created on: 18-11-10 22:07

Key Words (next slide to start revising Market Str

Economies of Scale: fall in unit costs that occurs when a firm expands, becomes more efficient - eg. technical, purchasing, managerial, financial...

Diseconomies of Scale: rise in unit costs that occurs when a firm gets too big, less efficient

Productive Efficiency: Minimal costs

Allocative Efficicency:price = marginal cost (sacrifice by customers=cost, optimum)


Monopolistic Competition


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Basic Economic Characteristics of Monopoly

1 firm dominates the market.

Pure monopoly has 100% of the market share, but the UK government regards 25% market share as having monopoly power.

Firm Price Maker: they have economies of scale, high prices and a low output level (allocative efficiency not met)

Can make abnormal profit in both the long and short run (will not be competed away by new entrants to the market, high barriers to entry).

Aim is to profit maximise.

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Monopolistic Competition


Many firms, small with low market share

Low or no barriers to entry

Firms aim for profit maximisation

If products are differentiated it is possible to make abnormal profit

This can only be short run because it will be competed away

Initially introduced into the transport market at privatisation, now moved away from it

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Monopoly vs Monopolistic Competition (1)

Competition is better for consumers because:

Has to cost minimise or lose market share and profit (productive efficiency met)

Has to keep prices low or lose market share and profit (allocative efficiency met)

Has to respond to customers, offer choice and innovate

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Monopoly vs Monopolistic Competition (2)

Monpopoly is bad for consumers: no incentive to cost minimise (X inefficiency)

No pressure from competition to keep prices low, not enough produced (Allocative Efficiency not met)

Cause of market failure,, price higher and quantity lower than in competitive markets

Monopoly is good for consumers: might choose to cost minimise anyway (in order to profit maximise)

Has economies of scale so can pass on these benefits to consumers

Natural Monopolies: having competition would lead to a wasteful duplication of resources (eg. Railway Track)

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Basic Economic Characteristics of Oligopoly

Seen in the bus market: First Bus, Arriva, Stagecoach etc.

Market dominated by a few large firms, and a number of smaller ones

Large firms take over/merge with  smaller ones

Can work out if it is an oligopoly by working out a concentration ratio - adding up market share of largest firms

Have a kinked demand curve, can't raise price (lose customers) or lower price (price war) - price stickiness or rigidity. So instead they compete with non price competition (excessive marketing, advertising, promotions etc.)

Profit Maximisers, Abnormal Profit, High Prices

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Economic Characteristics of Oligopoly

Risk of collusion

Firms are interdependent

(Illegally) fix price above marginal cost

Price Leader/Follower situations

Market Share (agree not to directly compete on a geographical basis)

Unlikely because of trust issues

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Thank you, these are really helpful :)



heey :)

Kristian Smith


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Kristian Smith


I'm good, you?:D



aah good good ...... hows the kids ?

Kristian Smith


Good man, how's night school?



its good ..... still watching gay **** ?

Kristian Smith


Na, im banging that chick with the big ***** ;)

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