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June 28, 2022 

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COLLUSION AND EFFICIENCY: Colluding oligopolistic firms generally produce less output and charge a higher price than would be the case for a perfectly competitive industry. In essence, colluding oligopolistic firms function just as if a market were monopolized. The price charged by the colluding firms is higher than the marginal cost of production. The equality between price and marginal cost is THE key indication that resources are allocated efficiently and that society's resources are being used to generate the highest possible level of satisfaction. Because the colluding firms control the market like a monopoly, the market demand curve is THE demand curve for the colluding firms's. With a negatively-sloped demand curve, price is greater than marginal revenue. And because a profit-maximizing firm equates marginal revenue with marginal cost, the price charged by the colluding firms when the maximize industry profit is greater than marginal cost.

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HOTELLING'S RULE: The notion that efficiency and competitive market forces will lead to an increase of scarcity rent of a finite, exhaustible resource that is equal to the interest rate. The logic behind Hotelling's Rule is that as a finite fossil fuel is depleted, less is available in the future, causing scarcity rent, and thus the resource price, to increase. An increase in the resource price reduces the quantity demanded and conserves more for future consumption. When finite, exhaustible resource markets are competitive, this process generates an efficient allocation over time.

     See also | efficiency | competitive market | scarcity rent | exhaustible resource | interest rate | price | quantity demanded | consumption | allocation | investment | switching point | natural resources | recycling |


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OLIGOPOLY, BEHAVIOR

Oligopolistic industries share several behavioral tendencies, including: (1) interdependence, (2) rigid prices, (3) nonprice competition, (4) mergers, and (5) collusion. In other words, each oligopolistic firm keeps a close eye on the decisions made by other firms in the industry (interdependence), are reluctant to change prices (rigid prices), but instead try to attract customers from the competition using incentives other than prices (nonprice competition), and when they get tired of competing with their competitors they are inclined to cooperate formally and legally (mergers) or informally and illegally (collusion).

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