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KEIRETSU: A form of business structure common in Japan which involves an alliance of several businesses, each working toward the mutual success of the group. The alliance also has close ties to government. Each "independent" business owns stock in the others and shares executives and directors. Keiretsu can be either horizontally or vertically integrated. Horizontal keiretsu cluster around a major bank with business ventures in a wide variety of industries. Vertical keiretsu contain businesses in all production phases of a particular industry, from raw materials to production to marketing.

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GAME THEORY: An analysis that illustrates how choices between two plays affect the outcome of a "game." Game theory is commonly used in economics to illustrate interdependent decision-making among oligopoly firms. It illustrates that one firm makes a decision based on the decision expected from the other firm. One key conclusion from the game theory analysis is that firms often make decisions that are "second best" or the "lesser of two evils." The classic example of such a decision is the prisoners' dilemma, in which two prisoners both confess to a crime to avoid harsher punishment when not confessing would avoid any punishment.

     See also | oligopoly | interdependence | prisoners' dilemma | competition among the few | collusion | advertising |


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TOTAL REVENUE

The revenue received by a firm for the sale of its output. Total revenue is one two bits of information a firm needs to calculate economic profit, the other is total cost. In general, total revenue is the price times quantity--the price received for selling a good times the quantity of the good sold at that price. For a perfectly competitive firm, which receives a single unchanging price for all output sold, the calculation is relatively easy. For other real world firms, that charge different prices to different buyers for different quantities, the calculation can be more complex. Two other revenue measures directly related to total revenue are average revenue and marginal revenue. Total revenue is often depicted as a total revenue curve.

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