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PERFECT COMPETITION AND EFFICIENCY: Perfect competition is the idealized market structure that achieves an efficient allocation of resources. The conditions of perfect competition, including (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, ensure that perfect competition efficiently allocates resources. This is in fact the purpose of perfect competition: a market structure that illustrates perfection, the best of all possible resource allocation worlds. The real world falls short of this perfection.

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MARKET FAILURE: A condition in which a market does not efficiently allocate resources to achieve the greatest possible consumer satisfaction. The four main market failures are--(1) public good, (2) market control, (3) externality, and (4) imperfect information. In each case, a market acting without any government imposed direction, does not direct an efficient amount of our resources into the production, distribution, or consumption of the good.

     See also | market | fifth rule of imperfection | sixth rule of ignorance | public good | market control | externalities | production | consumption | information | pollution | regulation |


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SCARCE RESOURCE

A resource with an available quantity less than its desired use. Scarce, or economic, resources are also called factors of production and are generally classified as either labor, capital, land, or entrepreneurship. Scarce resources are the workers, equipment, raw materials, and organizers used to produce scarce goods. Like the more general society-wide condition of scarcity, a given resource falls into the scarce category because it has a limited availability in combination with greater (potentially unlimited) productive uses.

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BROWN PRAGMATOX
[What's This?]

Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time strolling through a department store hoping to buy either decorative garden figurines or a wall poster commemorating last Friday (you know why). Be on the lookout for high interest rates.
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Rosemary, long associated with remembrance, was worn as wreaths by students in ancient Greece during exams.
"Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness."

-- Martin Luther King, Jr., clergyman

HDI
Human Development Index
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