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July 23, 2019 

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LERNER INDEX: The difference between price (p) and marginal cost (mc) as a fraction of price, that is [p-mc]/p. The Lerner index is usually taken as an indicator of market power because the larger the index, the larger the difference between price and marginal cost, that is, the larger the distance between the price and the competitive price. The Lerner index depends on the elasticity of demand. The Lerner index is also called the price-cost margin.

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CARTEL: A formal agreement between businesses in the same industry, usually on an international scale, to get market control, raise the market price, and otherwise act like a monopoly. A cartel tends to be unstable because the artificially high prices it sets gives each member of the cartel an incentive to "cheat" with a slightly lower price. When only one member of the cartel lowers the price, it can make oodles of profit by taking customers away from the other members. If they all cheat, the cartel falls apart. While cartels damage efficiency, they're power is often short-lived because of this cheating. Like collusion and other techniques of market control, cartels are illegal in the United States.

     See also | collusion | market control | oligopoly | monopoly | industry | efficiency | profit | antitrust laws |


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CARTEL, AmosWEB GLOSS*arama, http://www.AmosWEB.com, AmosWEB LLC, 2000-2019. [Accessed: July 23, 2019].


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POSITIVE ECONOMICS

The branch of economics that seeks to explain the way the economy actually operates. It is the application of the scientific method and the process of testing hypothesis to economic phenomena. A positive economic statement is one that can be refuted by looking at the real world--that is, by testing a hypothesis.

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