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PERFECT COMPETITION AND EFFICIENCY: Perfect competition is the idealized market structure that achieves an efficient allocation of resources. The conditions of perfect competition, including (1) large number of small firms, (2) identical products sold by all firms, (3) freedom of entry into and exit out of the industry, and (4) perfect knowledge of prices and technology, ensure that perfect competition efficiently allocates resources. This is in fact the purpose of perfect competition: a market structure that illustrates perfection, the best of all possible resource allocation worlds. The real world falls short of this perfection.

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Lesson 11: Circular Flow | Unit 3: Government Page: 12 of 22

Topic: Taxes <=PAGE BACK | PAGE NEXT=>

The government sector tends to be in the middle of most economic activity.
  • Taxes are collected by all levels of government, federal, state, and local.
  • The green flow from the household sector to the government sector is taxes.
  • This flow is household income diverted to the government sector.
Three basic uses of national income:
  • Consumption: Income used by the household sector to buy GDP.
  • Saving: Income diverted to the financial markets for business sector borrowing for capital purchases.
  • Taxes: Income diverted to the government sector for government purchases.
All three come from national income.

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PERFECT COMPETITION

An ideal market structure characterized by a large number of small firms, identical products sold by all firms, freedom of entry into and exit out of the industry, and perfect knowledge of prices and technology. This is one of four basic market structures. The other three are monopoly, oligopoly, and monopolistic competition. Perfect competition is an idealized market structure that is not observed in the real world. While unrealistic, it does provide an excellent benchmark that can be used to analyze real world market structures. In particular, perfect competition efficiently allocates resources.

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