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PERFECT COMPETITION, LONG-RUN EQUILIBRIUM CONDITIONS: The long-run equilibrium of a perfectly competitive industry generates six specific equilibrium conditions, including: (1) economic efficiency (P = MC), (2) profit maximization (MR = MC), (3) perfect competition (MR = AR = P), (4) breakeven output (P = AR = ATC), (5) minimum production cost (MC = ATC), and (6) minimum efficient scale (MC = ATC = LRAC = LRMC).

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MONOPOLISTIC COMPETITION: A market structure characterized by a large number of small firms, similar but not identical products sold by all firms, relative freedom of entry into and exit out of the industry, and extensive knowledge of prices and technology. This is one of four basic market structures. The other three are perfect competition, monopoly, and oligopoly. Monopolistic competition approximates most of the characteristics of perfect competition, but falls short of reaching the ideal benchmark that is perfect competition. In fact, the best way to think of monopolistic competition is our imperfect real world's best approximation of perfect competition. It aspires to perfect competition, but doesn't quite make it.

     See also | market structure | perfect competition | oligopoly | monopoly | market control | price maker | marginal cost | demand curve | market failure | monopolistic competition characteristics | monopolistic competition and demand | monopolistic competition and efficiency | inefficiency | product differentiation | competition among the many |


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MARGINAL REVENUE CURVE, PERFECT COMPETITION

A curve that graphically represents the relation between the marginal revenue received by a perfectly competitive firm for selling its output and the quantity of output sold. Because a perfectly competitive firm is a price taker and faces a horizontal demand curve, its marginal revenue curve is also horizontal and coincides with its average revenue (and demand) curve. A perfectly competitive firm maximizes profit by producing the quantity of output found at the intersection of the marginal revenue curve and marginal cost curve.

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