November 24, 2015 

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PARETO IMPROVEMENT: Based on the Pareto efficiency criterion, the notion that an action improves efficiency if it is possible for one person to benefit without anyone else being harmed. A Pareto improvement is possible if the economy has idle resources or market failures. With idle resources, more production is possible to help some without hurting others. With market failures, corrective actions can eliminate deadweight loss that can then be use for benefits economy-wide. A contrasting condition for attaining efficiency is the Kaldor-Hicks improvement.

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MONOPOLY: A market structure characterized by a single seller of a unique product with no close substitutes. This is one of four basic market structures. The other three are perfect competition, oligopoly, and monopolistic competition. As the single seller of a unique good with no close substitutes, a monopoly firm essentially has no competition. The demand for a monopoly firm's output is THE market demand. This gives the firm extensive market control--the ability to control the price and/or quantity of the good sold--making a monopoly firm a price maker. However, while a monopoly can control the market price, it can not charge more than the maximum demand price that buyers are willing to pay.

     See also | market structure | perfect competition | oligopoly | monopolistic competition | market control | price maker | marginal cost | demand curve | market failure | monopoly characteristics | monopoly and demand | monopoly and efficiency | monopoly profit | monopoly and perfect competition | monopsony | natural monopoly | inefficiency |

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An analysis using the kinked-demand curve to explain rigid prices often found with oligopoly. The kinked-demand curve contains two distinct segments--one for higher prices that is more elastic and one for lower prices that is less elastic. Key to this analysis is that the corresponding marginal revenue curve contains three segments--one associated with the more elastic segment, one associated with the less elastic segment, and one associated with the kink. A profit-maximizing firm can then equate marginal cost to a wide range of marginal revenue values along the vertical segment of the marginal revenue curve. This suggests that marginal cost must change significantly before an oligopolistic firm is inclined to change price.

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State of the ECONOMY

New Orders for Manufactured Durable Goods
July 2015
$241.1 billion U.S. Commerce Dept.
Up 2.0% from June 2015

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