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PERFECT COMPETITION CHARACTERISTICS: The four key characteristics of perfect competition are: (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. These four characteristics mean that a given perfectly competitive firm is unable to exert any control whatsoever over the market.

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Lesson 13: The Firm | Unit 2: Objectives Page: 7 of 24

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  • The primary goal of a human consumer is thus to maximize utility.

  • Utility maximization is the process of obtaining the highest possible level of utility from the consumption or use of goods and services.
  • The primary goal of a business is really no different, in principle, than that of any consumer. The working presumption for business firms is that they seek to maximize profit.

  • Profit maximization is the process of obtaining the highest possible level of profit through the production and sale of goods and services.

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TOTAL UTILITY

The total satisfaction of wants and needs obtained from the use or consumption of a good or service. This is the cumulative amount of utility generated from consuming a good over a given time period. Total utility is most often used in consumer demand theory to indicate how much overall satisfaction someone obtains from a given activity. The primary behavioral motivation used in consumer demand theory is the goal of maximizing total utility. Total utility is also used to derive marginal utility.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time visiting every yard sale in a 30-mile radius trying to buy either storage boxes for your computer software CDs or a set of tires. Be on the lookout for jovial bank tellers.
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The portrait on the quarter is a more accurate likeness of George Washington than that on the dollar bill.
"It is very rare that you meet with obstacles in this world (that) the humblest man has not the faculties to surmount. "

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