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Perfect Competition (A2 Micro)

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Updated revision presentation on perfect competition designed for A2 unit 3 micro students

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Perfect Competition (A2 Micro)

  1. 1. The Model of Perfect Competition A2 Microeconomics Tutor2u, November 2013
  2. 2. Key issues • • • • • The meaning of perfect competition Characteristics of perfect competition Price and output under competition Competition and economic efficiency Wider benefits of competition in markets
  3. 3. Assumptions Behind a Perfectly Competitive Market • Many suppliers - each with an insignificant share of the market • Each firm is too small to affect price via a change in market supply – each business is a price taker • Identical output produced by each firm – i.e. homogeneous products that are perfect substitutes for each other • Consumers have complete information about prices
  4. 4. Assumptions Behind a Perfectly Competitive Market • Transactions are costless - Buyers and sellers incur no costs in making an exchange • All firms (i.e. industry participants and new entrants) have equal access to resources (e.g. technology) • No barriers to entry & exit of firms in long run – the market is open to competition from new suppliers • No externalities in production and consumption
  5. 5. Examples of Perfectly Competitive Markets? • It is rare to find a pure example of perfect competitions • But there are some close approximations: – Foreign exchange dealing • Homogeneous product - US dollar or the Euro • Many buyers & sellers • Usually each trader is small relative to total market and has to take price as given • Sometimes, traders can move currency markets
  6. 6. Examples of Perfectly Competitive Markets? Agricultural markets • Pig farming, cattle • Farmers markets for apples, tomatoes • Wholesale markets for vegetables, fish, flowers • Street food markets in developing countries
  7. 7. Approximations to perfect competition The law of one price with tens of bookmakers on a race course Finding market clearing prices at a fish auction
  8. 8. Approximations to perfect competition Chinese restaurants in Chinatown London Fruit sellers at a weekly local market
  9. 9. Price Taking Firms • Competitive firms in competitive markets have little direct influence on the ruling market price • Examples of price-taking behaviour: – Local farmers selling to large supermarkets – A local steel firm selling as much as it can at the ruling international price of steel • The law of one price may hold true – most of the existing firms sell at the prevailing price
  10. 10. Short run price and output Price Market forces determine the price MC Price MS AC P1 MD Output Output
  11. 11. Short run price and output Price Market forces determine the price MC Price MS AC P1 MD Output Output
  12. 12. Short run price and output Price Market forces determine the price MC Price MS AC Price Taking P1 MD Output Output
  13. 13. Short run price and output Price Market forces determine the price MC Price MS P1 AC Price Taking P1 AR=MR MD Output Output
  14. 14. Short run price and output Price Market forces determine the price Price MS P1 Assume profit maximising firms MC AC P1 AR=MR MD Output Output
  15. 15. Short run price and output Price Market forces determine the price Price Assume profit maximising firms MC MS P1 AC P1 AR=MR MD Output Q1 Output
  16. 16. Short run price and output MC Price Price MR=MC MS AC Maximum Profits P1 P1 AR=MR MD Output Q1 Output
  17. 17. Short run price and output MC Price Price MR=MC MS AC Maximum Profits P1 P1 AR=MR AC1 MD Output Q1 Output
  18. 18. Short run (abnormal) profits MC Price Price Profits = (P1-AC1) x Q1 MS P1 AC P1 AR=MR AC1 MD Output Q1 Output
  19. 19. Abnormal profits MC Price Profits = (P1-AC1) x Q1 AC P1 AR=MR Possible for firms in a perfectly competitive market to make abnormal (i.e. Supernormal) profits in the short run This is where price > AC AC1 Remember that normal profit is assumed to be included in the AC curve Q1 Output
  20. 20. Effect of a rise in market demand MC Price Price MS P1 AC P1 AR=MR MD Output Q1 Output
  21. 21. Effect of a rise in market demand MC Price Price MS P1 AC P1 AR=MR MD2 MD Output Q1 Output
  22. 22. Effect of a rise in market demand MC Price Price MS AC P2 P1 P1 AR=MR MD2 MD Output Q1 Output
  23. 23. Effect of a rise in market demand MC Price Price MS AC P2 AR2=MR2 P2 P1 P1 AR=MR MD2 MD Output Q1 Output
  24. 24. Effect of a rise in market demand MC Price Price MS AC P2 AR2=MR2 P2 P1 P1 AR=MR MD2 MD Output Q1 Q2 Output
  25. 25. Effect of a rise in market demand Price Price New level of supernormal profits MC MS AC P2 AR2=MR2 P2 P1 P1 AR=MR MD2 MD Output Q1 Q2 Output
  26. 26. What is a Long Run Equilibrium? • Usual interpretation of a long run equilibrium is as follows: • (1) The quantity of the product supplied in the market equals the quantity demanded by all consumers • (2) Each firm in the market maximizes its profit, given the prevailing market price • (3) Each firm in the market earns zero economic profit (i.e. normal profit) so there is no incentive for other firms to enter the market You Tube video on perfect competition
  27. 27. Long run equilibrium price MC Price Price MS P1 AC P1 AR=MR MD Output Output
  28. 28. Long run equilibrium price MC Price Price MS AC MS2 P1 P1 AR=MR P2 MD Output Output
  29. 29. Long run equilibrium price MC Price Price MS AC MS2 P1 P1 AR=MR AR2=MR2 P2 MD Output Output
  30. 30. Long run equilibrium price MC Price Price MS AC MS2 P1 P1 AR=MR AR2=MR2 P2 MD Output Q2 Output
  31. 31. The long run equilibrium Price Price MS In the long run equilibrium, normal profits are made i.e. price = average cost MC AC MS2 AR2=MR2 P2 MD Output Q2 Output
  32. 32. The long run equilibrium Price Normal profit is the profit just sufficient to keep a business in their current market in the long run In the long run equilibrium, normal profits are made i.e. price = average cost It is also the opportunity cost of capital MC AC AR2=MR2 Profits act as an incentive for enterprise Q2 Output
  33. 33. Competition and Economic Efficiency • Economic efficiency has several meanings: – Productive efficiency • when output is produced at the lowest feasible average cost (either in the short run or the long run) – Allocative efficiency • Achieved when the market provides goods and services that meet consumer needs and wants • Achieved when the price of output reflects the true marginal cost of production • This is where price=marginal cost
  34. 34. Productive Efficiency Cost per unit Productive efficiency occurs when the equilibrium output is supplied at minimum average cost. This is attained in the long run for a competitive market AC1 AC2 AC3 LRAC Q1 Q2 Q3 Output
  35. 35. Allocative efficiency • Allocative efficiency – achieved when it is impossible to make someone better off without making someone else worse off • Also called Pareto Optimality • No trades are left that would make one person better off without hurting someone else • Occurs when price = marginal costs of production • This occurs in the long run under perfect competition
  36. 36. Allocative Efficiency Price Consumer Surplus When price is equal to marginal cost (P=MC), allocative efficiency is achieved. At the ruling price, consumer and producer surplus are maximised. Market Supply P1 Producer Surplus Market Demand Q1 Output No one can be made better off without making some other agent at least as worse off – i.e. we achieve a Pareto optimum allocation of resources
  37. 37. Allocative Inefficiency Price Consumer Surplus Market Supply P2 Deadweight loss of welfare P1 Producer Surplus Q2 Market Demand Q1 Output
  38. 38. Competition and Economic Efficiency – Technological efficiency • where maximum output is produced from given inputs – Dynamic Efficiency • Refers to the range of choice and quality of service • Also considers the pace of technological change and innovation in a market
  39. 39. Importance of a Competitive Environment • The standard view is that competition drives an improvement in welfare and efficiency • Competition forces under-performing firms out of the market and shifts market share to more efficient firms in the long run • Competition encourages firms to innovate and adopt bestpractise techniques
  40. 40. How useful is model of perfect competition? • Assumptions are not meant to reflect real world markets where most assumptions are not satisfied – Pure competition is devoid of what most people would call real competitive behaviour by businesses! – The model provides a theoretical benchmark used to compare and contrast imperfectly competitive markets – Consider perfect competition as an interesting point of reference but one with few real world applications • Useful when considering – The effects of monopoly / imperfect competition – The case for free international trade
  41. 41. Real world – imperfect competition! 1. Most suppliers have a degree of control over market supply 2. Some buyers have monopsony power against suppliers because they purchase a significant percentage of total demand 3. Most markets have heterogeneous products due to product differentiation and constant innovation 4. Consumers nearly always have imperfect information and their preferences and choices can be influenced by the effects of persuasive marketing and advertising 5. Finally there may be imperfect competition in related markets such as the market for essential raw materials, labour and capital goods.
  42. 42. Keep up-to-date with economics, resources, quizzes and worksheets for your economics course. Revision notes on perfectly competitive markets

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