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OLIGOPOLISTIC BEHAVIOR: Oligopolistic industries are nothing if not diverse. Some sell identical products, others differentiated products. Some have three or four firms of nearly equal size, others have one large dominate firm (a clear industry leader) and a handful of smaller firms (that follow the leader). Whatever products they may sell, and however they may be organized, 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 the competitors customers using incentives other than prices (nonprice competition), and when they get tired of competing with their competitors they are inclined to cooperate either legally (mergers) or illegally (collusion).

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THIRD ESTATE:

Another term for consumers and the household sector. This is one of four divisions of society based on economic function. The other three are government as the first estate, businesses as the second estate, and journalists as the fourth estate.
The notion of dividing society into different "estates" has roots in 18th century France, in which clergy and religious leaders were considered the first estate, royalty and aristocracy were the second estate, and peasants, serfs, and the working class were viewed as the third estate. Inventive journalists extended this classification to include themselves as the fourth estate.

The modern estates retain the essence of this division with an update to the realities of the modern economy. Government leaders and politicians, rather than clergy, assume their position in the first estate. Business leaders, rather than royalty, take over rule of the second estate. Rank-and-file consumers and those in the working class make up the third estate. And journalists continue as the fourth estate.

In past centuries, the third estate included the peasants, serfs, or slaves who performed the dirty deeds for the first two estates. In modern times, this is the workers, taxpayers, and consumers who have limited ownership of and control over resources--often little more than their own labor. The third estate, which forms the backbone of any modern economy, is usually at odds with the business leaders of the second estate. Help occasional comes from the government leaders of the first estate or the journalists of the fourth estate.

Consider the case of Pollyanna Pumpernickel, a divorced mother of two, who currently works as an administrative assistant (that is, clerical secretary) for an insurance agent. Paula has been working in similar jobs since high school. She is paid slightly more than minimum wage, has no savings or financial investments, and generally lives from paycheck to paycheck. Paula is a representative member of the third estate.

<= THIRD-DEGREE PRICE DISCRIMINATIONTHIRD RULE OF INEQUALITY =>


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THIRD ESTATE, AmosWEB Encyclonomic WEB*pedia, http://www.AmosWEB.com, AmosWEB LLC, 2000-2021. [Accessed: May 11, 2021].


Check Out These Related Terms...

     | four estates | first estate | second estate | fourth estate |


Or For A Little Background...

     | public sector | private sector |


And For Further Study...

     | consumer sovereignty | government functions | ownership and control | three questions of allocation | economic system | seven economic rules | household sector | macroeconomic sectors | consumption | unemployment | unemployment problems |


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