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Monopolies and Oligopolies

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Industry A Concentration ratios are used to measure the extent of competition in an industry by looking at the total output produced by the largest firms. Although there are several measures in the literature, generally the biggest four and biggest eight firms are considered (Cabral, 2000). A low concentration ratio is regarded as an industry with more competition and firms have very low control. The low concentration can be from 0 to 50 per cent and the industry can have a structure ranging from perfect competition to oligopoly. Since in industry A there are 20 firms and the CR is 20 per cent, it can be deemed as a low ratio. Therefore, the industry is a perfectly competitive one with a lot of firms competing with each other, and no one firm controls a big chunk of the market. A perfectly competitive industry has many buyers and many sellers, also the products are quite standard and resemble to each other (Microeconomics: The Basics). The number of sellers makes it impossible for any single firm to control the market and the price is determined by the demand and supply conditions. Since the products are very similar or identical to each other, the buyers can switch from one good or service to another when there are price differentials. Additionally, the barriers to entry and exit are quite low; hence firms can easily enter and leave the industry. As a result of all these features, the economic profits are zero and maximum efficiency is achieved. Nevertheless, the pure perfect competition does not exist in real world, only some industries are operating close to this ideal situation. When there is an increase in the demand for the product in a perfectly competitive industry, then in the short run the price of the good or service rises. This will allow the 20 firms in the industry to make positive profits. A shift of the demand to the right would mean higher…...

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