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December 14, 2019 

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OLIGOPOLY CHARACTERISTICS: The three most important characteristics of oligopoly are: (1) an industry dominated by a small number of large firms, (2) firms sell either identical or differentiated products, and (3) the industry has significant barriers to entry.

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KALDOR-HICKS IMPROVEMENT: Based on the Kaldor-Hicks efficiency criterion, the notion that an action improves efficiency if the willingness to pay of those benefiting exceed the willingness to accept of those harmed. In other words, if those gains exceed those losses, or the benefits exceed the costs, then social welfare is improved and undertaking the action provides a net benefit to society. In other words, the winners can, in principle, compensate the losers for their loss, and still come out ahead. The actual compensation, however, is required. A contrasting condition for attaining efficiency is the Pareto improvement.

     See also | Kaldor-Hicks efficiency | efficiency | willingness to pay | willingness to accept | benefit-cost analysis | Pareto improvement | Pareto efficiency | welfare economics | externality | market failure |


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MARGINAL COST

The change in total cost (or total variable cost) resulting from a change in the quantity of output produced by a firm in the short run. Marginal cost (MC) indicates how much total cost changes for a given change in the quantity of output. Because changes in total cost are matched by changes in total variable cost in the short run (total fixed cost is fixed), marginal cost is the change in either total cost or total variable cost. It is found by dividing the change in total cost (or total variable cost) by the change in output. Marginal cost is one of four cost concepts used in short-run production analysis. The other three are average total cost, average fixed cost, and average variable cost.

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