Monopolistic Competition


It is assumed that—as in pure competition—firms do not collude on price or quality, and also that free entry into the industry (or exit from it) is possible. The monopolistic element in monopolistic competition is product differentiation: each firm has its own unique variety of product. This gives the firm some monopoly power, since each enterprise will have a “clientele” of customers closest to it on the ring of preference. In a particular city, for example, there may be a dozen supermarkets. They may be closely competing in some respects, but each has some monopoly power due to geographical location on other special features that make it the favorite of a fraction of the customers. We see that a group of monopolistically competitive firms produce more and charge less than would a monopolistic operating several plants.

 Each independent firm would produce more output than a monopolistic  would allow its point to produce. The reason is that the independent firm’s perceived demand curve is more elastic (flatter) than the monopolist’s per-plant demand curve.

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