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23. Monopolistic Competition & Oligopoly Monopolistic Competition Oligopoly Monopolistic Competition Oligopoly.

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Presentation on theme: "23. Monopolistic Competition & Oligopoly Monopolistic Competition Oligopoly Monopolistic Competition Oligopoly."— Presentation transcript:

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2 23. Monopolistic Competition & Oligopoly Monopolistic Competition Oligopoly Monopolistic Competition Oligopoly

3 small number of firms interdependent behavior barriers to entry

4 examples Airlines Automobiles Cereal Soft Drinks

5 what types of barriers? economies of scale auto industry legal restrictions brand recognition cereal, soft drinks control over essential resource

6 Firm behavior no one model of behavior set of possible behaviors

7 Cartel firms collude to act like a single monopolist restrict output, charge higher price block entry

8 Price leadership informal collusion dominant firm sets price other firms follow to avoid a price war steel, airline, auto industries

9 cartels are tough to maintain each firm has output quota each firm tempted to cheat tough to block new entry

10 Collusion and Cartels firms may collude divide market fix prices illegal in U.S. examples OPEC ADM & others

11 Monopolistic Competition large # of firms product differentiation compete w/ quality, price, marketing no one firm dominates no collusion among firms free to enter/exit

12 examples running shoes clothing cleaning supplies beauty products

13 product differentiation physical differences color, size, taste... location convenience, drug stores services delivery image high quality vs. value

14 Firm Behavior, short run demand curve downward sloping less elastic than perfect competition more elastic than a monopolist choose price & output like a monopolist

15 P, cost Q (jeans/day) D MR MC 150 $70

16 P, cost Q (jeans/day) D MR MC 150 $70 ATC $20 economic profit ($70-$20)(150) = $7500

17 Long Run zero economic profit why? economic profit leads to entry economic loss leads to exit no entry/exit with zero economic profit

18 Excess capacity firms output is not at minimum of ATC output too small loss of economic welfare

19 Advertising & marketing firms in monopolistic competition spend more on this than perfect competition cost curves are higher is this a waste? Or do consumer benefit from greater selection?

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21 Summary between perfect competition & monopoly monopolistic comp. chooses P & Q like a monopolistic oligopolist behavior interdependent importance of product differentiation importance of strategic behavior

22 Types of Market Structure In order to develop principles and make predictions about markets and how producers will behave in them, economists have developed four principal models of market structure: perfect competition monopoly oligopoly monopolistic competition

23 Types of Market Structure This system of market structures is based on two dimensions: The number of producers in the market (one, few, or many) Whether the goods offered are identical or differentiated. Differentiated goods are goods that are different but considered somewhat substitutable by consumers (think Coke versus Pepsi).

24 The Meaning of Monopoly Our First Departure from Perfect Competition… A monopolist is a firm that is the only producer of a good that has no close substitutes. An industry controlled by a monopolist is known as a monopoly. e.g. De Beers The ability of a monopolist to raise its price above the competitive level by reducing output is known as market power. What do monopolists do with this market power? Lets take a look at the following graph…

25 What a Monopolist Does Under perfect competition, the price and quantity are determined by supply and demand. Here, the equilibrium is at C, where the price is P C and the quantity is Q C. A monopolist reduces the quantity supplied to Q M, and moves up the demand curve from C to M, raising the price to P M.

26 Why Do Monopolies Exist? A monopolist has market power and as a result will charge higher prices and produce less output than a competitive industry. This generates profit for the monopolist in the short run and long run. Profits will not persist in the long run unless there is a barrier to entry. This can take the form of control of natural resources or inputs, economies of scale, technological superiority, or legal restrictions imposed by governments, including patents and copyrights.

27 Economies of Scale and Natural Monopoly A monopoly created and sustained by economies of scale is called a natural monopoly. It arises when economies of scale provide a large cost advantage to having all of an industrys output produced by a single firm. Under such circumstances, average total cost is declining over the output range relevant for the industry. This creates a barrier to entry because an established monopolist has lower average total cost than any smaller firm.

28 Economies of Scale Create Natural Monopoly A natural monopoly can arise when fixed costs required to operate are very high the firms ATC curve declines over the range of output at which price is greater than or equal to average total cost. This gives the firm economies of scale over the entire range of output at which the firm would at least break even in the long run. As a result, a given quantity of output is produced more cheaply by one large firm than by two or more smaller firms.

29 How a Monopolist Maximizes Profit The price-taking firms optimal output rule is to produce the output level at which the marginal cost of the last unit produced is equal to the market price. A monopolist, in contrast, is the sole supplier of its good. So its demand curve is simply the market demand curve, which is downward sloping. This downward slope creates a wedge between the price of the good and the marginal revenue of the goodthe change in revenue generated by producing one more unit.

30 Comparing the Demand Curves of a Perfectly Competitive Firm and a Monopolist An individual perfectly competitive firm cannot affect the market price of the good it faces a horizontal demand curve DC, as shown in panel (a). A monopolist, on the other hand, can affect the price (sole supplier in the industry) its demand curve is the market demand curve, DM, as shown in panel (b). To sell more output it must lower the price; by reducing output it raises the price.

31 The Monopolists Demand Curve and Marginal Revenue Due to the price effect of an increase in output, the marginal revenue curve of a firm with market power always lies below its demand curve. So a profit-maximizing monopolist chooses the output level at which marginal cost is equal to marginal revenuenot to price. As a result, the monopolist produces less and sells its output at a higher price than a perfectly competitive industry would. It earns a profit in the short run and the long run.

32 The Monopolists Demand Curve and Marginal Revenue To emphasize how the quantity and price effects offset each other for a firm with market power, notice the hill-shaped total revenue curve: This reflects the fact that at low levels of output, the quantity effect is stronger than the price effect: as the monopolist sells more, it has to lower the price on only very few units, so the price effect is small. As output rises beyond 10 diamonds, total revenue actually falls. This reflects the fact that at high levels of output, the price effect is stronger than the quantity effect: as the monopolist sells more, it now has to lower the price on many units of output, making the price effect very large.

33 The Monopolists Profit- Maximizing Output and Price To maximize profit, the monopolist compares marginal cost with marginal revenue. If marginal revenue exceeds marginal cost, De Beers increases profit by producing more; if marginal revenue is less than marginal cost, De Beers increases profit by producing less. So the monopolist maximizes its profit by using the optimal output rule: At the monopolists profit-maximizing quantity of output, MR = MC

34 The Monopolists Profit- Maximizing Output and Price The optimal output rule: the profit maximizing level of output for the monopolist is at MR = MC, shown by point A, where the marginal cost and marginal revenue curves cross at an output of 8 diamonds. The price De Beers can charge per diamond is found by going to the point on the demand curve directly above point A, (point B here) a price of $600 per diamond. It makes a profit of $400 × 8 = $3,200.

35 Monopoly versus Perfect Competition P = MC at the perfectly competitive firms profit- maximizing quantity of output P > MR = MC at the monopolists profit-maximizing quantity of output Compared with a competitive industry, a monopolist does the following: Produces a smaller quantity: Q M < Q C Charges a higher price: P M > P C Earns a profit

36 The Monopolists Profit In this case, the marginal cost curve is upward sloping and the average total cost curve is U-shaped. The monopolist maximizes profit by producing the level of output at which MR = MC, given by point A, generating quantity Q M. It finds its monopoly price, P M, from the point on the demand curve directly above point A, point B here. The average total cost of Q M is shown by point C. Profit is given by the area of the shaded rectangle. Profit = TR TC = (P M × Q M ) (ATC M × Q M ) = (P M ATC M ) × Q M

37 Monopoly and Public Policy By reducing output and raising price above marginal cost, a monopolist captures some of the consumer surplus as profit and causes deadweight loss. To avoid deadweight loss, government policy attempts to prevent monopoly behavior. When monopolies are created rather than natural, governments should act to prevent them from forming and break up existing ones. The government policies used to prevent or eliminate monopolies are known as antitrust policy.

38 Monopoly Causes Inefficiency Panel (a) depicts a perfectly competitive industry: output is Q C and market price, P C, is equal is to M C. Since price is exactly equal to each producers cost of production per unit, there is no producer surplus. Total surplus is therefore equal to consumer surplus, the entire shaded area. Panel (b) depicts the industry under monopoly: the monopolist decreases output to Q M and charges P M. Consumer surplus (blue area) has shrunk because a portion of it is has been captured as profit (green area). Total surplus falls: the deadweight loss (orange area) represents the value of mutually beneficial transactions that do not occur because of monopoly behavior.

39 Preventing Monopoly Dealing with Natural Monopoly Breaking up a monopoly that isnt natural is clearly a good idea, but its not so clear whether a natural monopoly, one in which large producers have lower average total costs than small producers, should be broken up, because this would raise average total cost. Yet even in the case of a natural monopoly, a profit- maximizing monopolist acts in a way that causes inefficiencyit charges consumers a price that is higher than marginal cost, and therefore prevents some potentially beneficial transactions.

40 Dealing with Natural Monopoly What can public policy do about this? There are two common answers… One answer is public ownership, but publicly owned companies are often poorly run. A common response in the United States is price regulation. A price ceiling imposed on a monopolist does not create shortages as long as it is not set too low. There always remains the option of doing nothing; monopoly is a bad thing, but the cure may be worse than the disease.

41 Regulated and Unregulated Natural Monopoly In panel (a), if the monopolist is allowed to charge P M, it makes a profit, shown by the green area; consumer surplus is shown by the blue area. If it is regulated and must charge the lower price P R, output increases from Q M to Q R, and consumer surplus increases. Panel (b) shows what happens when the monopolist must charge a price equal to average total cost, the price P R *. Output expands to Q R *, and consumer surplus is now the entire blue area. The monopolist makes zero profit. This is the greatest consumer surplus possible when the monopolist is allowed to at least break even, making P R * the best regulated price.

42 Price Discrimination Up to this point we have considered only the case of a single-price monopolist, one who charges all consumers the same price. As the term suggests, not all monopolists do this. In fact, many if not most monopolists find that they can increase their profits by charging different customers different prices for the same good: they engage in price discrimination.

43 Price Discrimination (continued) Example: Airline tickets If you are willing to buy a nonrefundable ticket a month in advance and stay over a Saturday night, the round trip may cost only $150,but if you have to go on a business trip tomorrow, and come back the next day, the round trip might cost $550.

44 The Logic of Price Discrimination Price discrimination is profitable when consumers differ in their sensitivity to the price. A monopolist would like to charge high prices to consumers willing to pay them without driving away others who are willing to pay less. It is profit-maximizing to charge higher prices to low-elasticity consumers and lower prices to high elasticity ones.

45 Two Types of Airline Customers Air Sunshine has two types of customers, business travelers willing to pay $550 per ticket and students willing to pay $150 per ticket. There are 2,000 of each kind of customer. Air Sunshine has constant marginal cost of $125 per seat. If Air Sunshine could charge these two types of customers different prices, it would maximize its profit by charging business travelers $550 and students $150 per ticket. It would capture all of the consumer surplus as profit.

46 Price Discrimination and Elasticity A monopolist able to charge each consumer his or her willingness to pay for the good achieves perfect price discrimination and does not cause inefficiency because all mutually beneficial transactions are exploited. In this case, the consumers do not get any consumer surplus! The entire surplus is captured by the monopolist in the form of profit. The following graphs depict different types of price discrimination…

47 Price Discrimination By increasing the number of different prices charged, the monopolist captures more of the consumer surplus and makes a large profit.

48 Perfect Price Discrimination In the case of perfect price discrimination, a monopolist charges each consumer his or her willingness to pay; the monopolists profit is given by the shaded triangle.

49 Perfect Price Discrimination Perfect price discrimination is probably never possible in practice. The inability to achieve perfect price discrimination is a problem of prices as economic signals because consumers true willingness to pay can easily be disguised. However, monopolists do try to move in the direction of perfect price discrimination through a variety of pricing strategies. Common techniques for price discrimination are: Advance purchase restrictions Volume discounts Two-part tariffs

50 4.Which of the following is a barrier to entry? A)control of scarce resources B) economies of scale C) government-created barriers such as patents and copyrights D) all of the above T E S T Y O U R U N D E R S T A N D I N G

51 4.Which of the following is a barrier to entry? A)control of scarce resources B) economies of scale C) government-created barriers such as patents and copyrights D) all of the above T E S T Y O U R U N D E R S T A N D I N G

52 H I N T The Monopolists Profit-Maximizing Output and Price

53 D E F I N I T I O N S Producers in a perfectly competitive market face horizontal demand curves, and so price and marginal revenue are equal. The ability of a monopolist to raise its price above the competitive level by reducing output is known as market power. A producer with market power, such as a monopolist, faces a downward-sloping demand curve.

54 4.After the first unit sold, the marginal revenue a monopolist receives from selling one more unit of a good is less than the price at which that unit is sold, because of: A)diminishing marginal returns. B) increasing marginal cost. C) a downward-sloping demand curve D) all of the above. T E S T Y O U R U N D E R S T A N D I N G

55 4.After the first unit sold, the marginal revenue a monopolist receives from selling one more unit of a good is less than the price at which that unit is sold, because of: A)diminishing marginal returns. B) increasing marginal cost. C) a downward-sloping demand curve D) all of the above. T E S T Y O U R U N D E R S T A N D I N G

56 5.Compared to a perfectly competitive industry, a monopolist: A)produces a large quantity. B) charges a higher price. C) increases consumer surplus. D) does all of the above. T E S T Y O U R U N D E R S T A N D I N G

57 5.Compared to a perfectly competitive industry, a monopolist: A)produces a large quantity. B) charges a higher price. C) increases consumer surplus. D) does all of the above. T E S T Y O U R U N D E R S T A N D I N G

58 H I N T Regulated and Unregulated Natural Monopoly

59 D E F I N I T I O N S A natural monopoly exists when economies of scale provide a large cost advantage to having all of an industrys output produced by a single firm. In the United States price regulation has been used to limit the maximum price the monopoly firm can charge for its service. Such a price ceiling imposed on a monopolist does not create shortages if it is not set too low.

60 4.A natural monopoly is one that: A)monopolizes a natural resource such as a mineral spring. B) is based on control of something occurring in nature (such as diamonds). C) has economies of scale over the entire relevant range of output. D) typically has low fixed costs, making it easy and natural for it to shut out competitors. T E S T Y O U R U N D E R S T A N D I N G

61 4.A natural monopoly is one that: A)monopolizes a natural resource such as a mineral spring. B) is based on control of something occurring in nature (such as diamonds). C) has economies of scale over the entire relevant range of output. D) typically has low fixed costs, making it easy and natural for it to shut out competitors. T E S T Y O U R U N D E R S T A N D I N G

62 5.One government policy for dealing with a natural monopoly is to: A)impose a price floor to eliminate the deadweight loss. B) impose a price ceiling to eliminate any economic profit. C) break it up into smaller firms. D) do all of the above. T E S T Y O U R U N D E R S T A N D I N G

63 5.One government policy for dealing with a natural monopoly is to: A)impose a price floor to eliminate the deadweight loss. B) impose a price ceiling to eliminate any economic profit. C) break it up into smaller firms. D) do all of the above. T E S T Y O U R U N D E R S T A N D I N G

64 H I N T Price Discrimination

65 D E F I N I T I O N S Many firms with market power engage in price discrimination. Price discrimination is profitable when consumers are different in their sensitivity to the price (price elasticity of demand). A firm would like to charge high prices to consumers willing to pay them (those with a low price elasticity of demand) and lower prices to those with a high price elasticity of demand).

66 4.The main reason a monopoly engages in price discrimination is that: A)it wants to discriminate against a particular ethnic group. B) doing so increases its profits. C) it wants to discourage potential competitors. D) by charging a lower price to some people, it may succeed in discouraging efforts to regulate it. T E S T Y O U R U N D E R S T A N D I N G

67 4.The main reason a monopoly engages in price discrimination is that: A)it wants to discriminate against a particular ethnic group. B) doing so increases its profits. C) it wants to discourage potential competitors. D) by charging a lower price to some people, it may succeed in discouraging efforts to regulate it. T E S T Y O U R U N D E R S T A N D I N G

68 5.Suppose a monopoly can separate its customers into two groups. If the monopoly practices price discrimination, it will charge the lower price to the group with: A)the higher price elasticity of demand. B) the lower price elasticity of demand. C) the fewer close substitutes. D) The answer cannot be determined with the information given. T E S T Y O U R U N D E R S T A N D I N G

69 5.Suppose a monopoly can separate its customers into two groups. If the monopoly practices price discrimination, it will charge the lower price to the group with: A)the higher price elasticity of demand. B) the lower price elasticity of demand. C) the fewer close substitutes. D) The answer cannot be determined with the information given. T E S T Y O U R U N D E R S T A N D I N G


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