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RIGID PRICES: The proposition that some prices adjust slowly in response to market shortages or surpluses. This condition is most important for macroeconomic activity in the short run and short-run aggregate market analysis. In particular, rigid (also termed inflexible or sticky) prices are a key reason underlying the positive slope of the short-run aggregate supply curve. Prices tend to be the most rigid in resource markets, especially labor markets, and the least rigid in financial markets, with product markets falling somewhere in between.

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Lesson 20: Oligopoly | Unit 1: Intro Page: 5 of 24

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In this unit, you should have learned about:
  • Oligopoly as a market structure characterized by a large number of relatively small firms, each of which possesses significant market control.
  • That oligopoly markets are noted for practising competition among the few, having significant entry barriers, and are inefficient enough to prompt government intervention.
  • That oligopoly lies close to monopoly on the market structure spectrum, but that there is no clear-cut dividing line between oligopoly and monopolistic competition.
  • A few of the real world oligopoly markets, including automobile, computers, petroleum, tires, banking, long distance, television, and airlines.
  • Two key structural characteristics of oligopoly -- concentration and entry barriers.
  • Six key behavioral characteristics of oligopoly -- interdependence, price rigidity, nonprice competition, price leadership, collusion, mergers.


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DISEQUILIBRIUM, AGGREGATE MARKET

The state of the aggregate market in which real aggregate expenditures are NOT equal to real production, which results in an imbalance that induces a change in the price level, aggregate expenditures, and/or real production. In other words, the opposing forces of aggregate demand (the buyers) and aggregate supply (the sellers) are out of balance. At the existing price level, either the four macroeconomic sectors (household, business, government, and foreign) are unable to purchase all of the real production that they seek or producers are unable to sell all of the real production that they have.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time browsing through a long list of dot com websites trying to buy either a flower arrangement with a lot of roses for your grandmother or a wall poster commemorating the first day of winter. Be on the lookout for neighborhood pets, especially belligerent parrots.
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Helping spur the U.S. industrial revolution, Thomas Edison patented nearly 1300 inventions, 300 of which came out of his Menlo Park "invention factory" during a four-year period.
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