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LONG-RUN INDUSTRY SUPPLY CURVE: The relation between market price and the quantity supplied by all firms in a perfectly competitive industry after the industry as completed its long-run adjustment. The long-run industry supply curve effectively traces out a series of equilibrium prices and quantities the reflect long-run adjustments of a perfectly competitive industry to demand shocks. This long-run adjustment can take one of three paths: increasing, decreasing, and constant. These three adjustment paths indicate an increasing-cost industry, decreasing-cost industry, and constant-cost industry, respectively.

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Lesson 16: Perfect Competition | Unit 1: Price Taker Page: 3 of 28

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  • Each firm in a perfectly competitive market has no market control and is a price taker.

  • A price taker is a firm that takes, or accepts, the going market price and has no ability to control it or to charge a different price.
  • Because a perfectly competitive firm is such a small part of the overall market, it has no choice but to sell output at the going market price:

    • There is no WAY to sell output ABOVE the going market price.

    • There's no REASON to sell output BELOW the going market price.

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OLIGOPOLY AND MONOPOLISTIC COMPETITION

Oligopoly and monopolistic competition have some similarities, but also have a few important differences. Both are examples of imperfect competition on the market structure continuum between ideals of perfect competition and monopoly. However, oligopoly contains a small number of large firms and monopolistic competition contains a large number of small firms. The dividing line between oligopoly and monopolistic competition can be blurred due to the number of firms in the industry.

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