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September 17, 2019 

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MARKET STRUCTURE CONTINUUM: A diagram illustrating alternative degrees of market control held by different types of market structures based on the number of firms in the market and the degree of competitiveness. As the number of competitors along the continuum ranges from one to many, the degree of market control ranges complete to none. At one end of the continuum, with many competitors on no market control, is perfect competition. At the other end, with one competitor and complete market control, is monopoly. Oligopoly and monopolistic competition comprise the interior of the continuum, with monopolistic competition having many competitors but limited market control and oligopoly having few competitors and greater market control. The continuum illustrates that clear-cut dividing lines really do not exist between the market structures, especially for monopolistic competition and oligopoly.

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CARDINAL: A measurement based on a scale or quantitative numbers, such as 1, 5, or 357.2, that enables a comparison in magnitude. Comparability means, for example, that the difference between 5 and 2 is the same as the difference between 12 and 9. Measures such as height and weight use cardinal numbers. Most economic measures are based on cardinal numbers, including gross domestic product, unemployment rate, the price of chocolate, and the quantity of wheat produced. The benefit of cardinal measurement is the ability to directly compare one measure with another. If, for example, the price of chocolate is $1 a pound and the price of wheat is $4 a pound, then wheat is four times more expensive than chocolate. Ordinal measures, which involve relative ranking, is an alternative type of measure.

     See also | cardinal utility | ordinal | ordinal utility | utility | satisfaction | indifference curve | quality of life |


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CARDINAL, AmosWEB GLOSS*arama, http://www.AmosWEB.com, AmosWEB LLC, 2000-2019. [Accessed: September 17, 2019].


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ASSUMPTIONS, PRODUCTION POSSIBILITIES

The four key assumptions underlying production possibilities analysis are: (1) resources are used to produce one or both of only two goods, (2) the quantities of the resources do not change, (3) technology and production techniques do not change, and (4) resources are used in a technically efficient way.

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