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TACIT COLLUSION: Seemingly independent, but parallel actions among competing firms (mostly oligopolistic firms) in an industry that achieve higher prices and profits, much as if guided by an explicit collusion agreement. Also termed implicit collusion, the distinguishing feature of tacit collusion is the lack of any explicit agreement. They key is that each firm seems to be acting independently, perhaps each responding to the same market conditions, but the end result is the same as an explicit agreement. This should be contrasted with explicit or overt collusion that does involve a formal, explicit agreement.

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JOINT VENTURE: An activity undertaken by two or more entities in which each entity has some degree of control. Joint ventures are commonly undertaken by two or more business firms, allowing each firm to participate in the benefits of the venture without the loss of control that would come from a formal merger of the firms. For example, a bank and a computer company might undertake a joint venture to develop a computerized, online payment system. Joint ventures are usually risky activities and often related to the development of new technology.

     See also | merger | technology | ownership and control | business | firm |


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GOOD TYPES

The economy produces four distinct types of goods based on two key characteristics -- consumption rivalry and nonpayer excludability. Consumption rivalry arises if consumption of a good by one person prevents another from also consuming. Nonpayer excludability means potential consumers who do not pay for a good can be excluded from consuming. Private goods are rival in consumption and easily subject to the exclusion of nonpayers. Public goods are nonrival in consumption and the exclusion of nonpayers is virtually impossible. Near-public goods are nonrival in consumption and easily subject to exclusion. Common-property goods are rival in consumption and not easily subject to exclusion. Private goods can be efficiently exchanged through markets. Public, near-public and common-property goods cannot, but require some degree of government involvement for efficiency.

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