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May 22, 2019 

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REALISM OF PERFECT COMPETITION: Perfect competition is an idealized market structure that does NOT exist in the real world. While some real world industries might come relatively close to a one or two of the four key characteristics of perfect competition, none matches all four sufficiently that we can declare a perfectly competitively industry. Some industries come close on the large number of small firms and the identical product characteristics. A few industries have relatively good, although not perfect, information about prices and technology. However, almost all industries fall far short of the perfect mobility characteristics.

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CETERIS PARIBUS: A Latin term meaning that all other factors are held unchanged. The ceteris paribus assumption is used to isolate the effect one economic factor has on another. Without this assumption, it would be difficult to determine cause and effect in the economy. Relaxing the ceteris paribus assumption is the primary analytical technique used in the study of economics, especially when analyzing the market. Much like a chemist adds one chemical at a time to a mixture to determine the resulting reaction, an economist relaxes one ceteris paribus assumption at a time to observe the results.

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AVERAGE VARIABLE COST CURVE

A curve that graphically represents the relation between average variable cost incurred by a firm in the short-run product of a good or service and the quantity produced. This curve is constructed to capture the relation between average variable cost and the level of output, holding other variables, like technology and resource prices, constant. The average variable cost curve is one of three average curves. The other two are average total cost curve and average fixed cost curve. A related curve is the marginal cost curve.

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