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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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Lesson 12: Elasticity and Demand | Unit 4: Determinants Page: 19 of 25

Topic: Time Period <=PAGE BACK | PAGE NEXT=>

  • The time period determinant works like this:

    • Demand tends to be relatively inelastic for a good over a shorter time period.

    • Demand tends to be relatively elastic for a good over a longer time period.

  • The longer the time period, the more time that buyers have to identify and switch between available substitutes.

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PRINCIPLE OF MINIMUM DIFFERENCES

A principle stating that monopolistically competitive firms seek to maintain similarities between products at the same time they promote differences. Similarities enable substitutability, such that one firm can attract the buyers away from other firms. Differences enable uniqueness and market control, such that each firm has market control and is able to charge a higher price than achieved with perfect competition. This principle is also termed Hotelling's paradox.

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The 22.6% decline in stock prices on October 19, 1987 was larger than the infamous 12.8% decline on October 29, 1929.
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